DiCamillo Companion
England

Blickling Hall (Blickling Park)

  • Earlier Houses: The current house was built on the ruins of the old Boleyn family house.

    Built / Designed For: Sir Henry Hobart

    House & Family History: Robert Lyminge designed Blickling between 1616 and 1627 for Sir Henry Hobart, lord chief justice of the Common Pleas and 1st Baronet, who purchased the House from Robert Clere in 1616. Sir Henry was one of the "new men" who made a fortune in the law during the reign of Elizabeth I. Blickling is famed for its spectacular Long Gallery and outstanding plasterwork ceilings. King Charles II and Queen Catherine of Braganza were probably guests at here in 1671. Thomas Ivory designed major alterations for John Hobart, 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire, between circa 1765 and circa 1786. William Ivory redecorated state bedroom in 1779. The three-story wooden clock tower was constructed between 1820 and 1830. The 11th Marquess of Lothian, ambassador to Washington, left Blickling to the National Trust at his death in 1940; just before his death Lord Lothian helped to initiate the Country Houses Scheme of the National Trust, of which Blickling was one of the first acquisitions. During World War II the House was requisitioned and served as the Officers' Mess of nearby RAF Oulton. Royal Air Force servicemen and women were billeted within the grounds in Nissen huts, with RAF officers housed in Blickling itself. The National Trust has created the RAF Oulton Museum onsite in tribute to the RAF pilots and ground crew who served in the Second World War. Though it was at an earlier house, Blickling is most famous today as a seat of Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire and 1st Earl of Ormond, father of Anne Boleyn. Although the exact birth dates of their children are unknown, historians are confident that all three surviving Boleyn children, including Anne, were likely born at Blickling.

    Collections: Blickling contains notable collections of furniture, pictures, books, and tapestries (particularly noteworthy is the "Battle of Poltava" tapestry of 1764, probably given to the 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire by Catherine the Great). The Ellys Library is considered the finest library in the care of the National Trust. Sir William Paston commissioned a large collection of statues for display at Oxnead Hall, Norfolk; of these, Nicholas Stone's statue of Hercules, circa 1640, is today at Blickling.

    Comments: Blickling is considered one of England's greatest Jacobean houses.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The 17th century fountain of Hercules and Diana is from Oxnead Hall. William Ivory's Orangery dates from 1781. Joseph Bonomi designed the famous Mausoleum in 1794 as a 45-square-foot pyramid that stands 40 feet high. W.E. Nesfield and Sir Matthew Wyatt together designed the parterre in 1872; Norah Lindsay remodeled the parterre circa 1930.

  • Architect: William Burn

    Date: 1864
    Designed: Alterations to West Range for 8th Marquess of Lothian

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    Architect: John Adey Repton

    Date: Circa 1823-30
    Designed: Alterations and additions for Dowager Lady Suffield, including restoration of West Front, new arcades to wings, Clock Tower, and estate cottages.

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    Architect: Samuel Wyatt

    Date: 1782
    Designed: Work for 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire, probably including Orangery.

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    Architect: Norah Lindsay

    Date: 1930s
    Designed: Simplified gardens

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    Architect: William Eden Nesfield

    Date: 1872
    Designed: Parterre, together with Matthew Wyatt

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    Architect: Matthew Wyatt

    Date: 1872
    Designed: Parterre, together with W.E. Nesfield

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    Architect: Joseph Bonomi the Elder

    Date: 1794-96
    Designed: Pyramid Mausoleum

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    Architect: Robert Lyminge

    Date: 1616-27
    Designed: House

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    Architect: Thomas Ivory

    Date: Circa 1765-86
    Designed: Major alterations to House for John Hobart, 2nd Earl.

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    Architect: William Ivory

    Date: 1779-81
    Designed: Redecorated state bedroom; added Orangery.

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  • John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. II, p. 131, 1855.

    John Preston (J.P.) Neale, published under the title of Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. III, 1820.

    Country Life: XVIII, 822, 1905. LXVII, 814, 902, 936, 1930. LXXXIX, 160, 1941.

  • Title: Belton House Guidebook - 1992
    Author: Tinniswood, Adrian
    Year Published: 1992
    Reference: pg. 2
    Publisher: London: The National Trust
    ISBN: 0707801133
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Country House Garden: A Grand Tour, The
    Author: Jackson-Stops, Gervase; Pipkin, James (Photographer)
    Year Published: 1987
    Reference: pg. 19
    Publisher: New York: New York Graphic Society (Boston: Little, Brown and Company)
    ISBN: 0821216686
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Tudor House and Garden: Architecture and Landscape in the Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries, The
    Author: Henderson, Paula
    Year Published: 2005
    Reference: pg. 197
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300106874
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Reference: pgs. 191, 805, 1126
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Burke's and Savills Guide to Country Houses, Volume III: East Anglia
    Author: Kenworthy-Browne, John; Reid, Peter; Sayer, Michael; Watkin, David
    Year Published: 1981
    Publisher: London: Burke's Peerage
    ISBN: 0850110351
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • "All the King's Men" [aka World War I: The Killing Fields"] (1999 - TV movie, as exterior of Sandringham). "Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story" (2005).
  • Past Seat of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Sir John Fastolf, 15th century. Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire and 1st Earl of Ormond, 1499-1505. Robert Clere, early 17th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: John Hobart, 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire, 18th century. Schomberg Henry Kerr, 9th Marquess of Lothian, 19th century. Dowager Lady Suffield, 19th century.

    Current Ownership Type: The National Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01263-738-030

    Fax: 01263-731-660

    Email: blickling@nationaltrust.org.uk

    Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No