BY CHARLES EVANS
In its beautiful setting of lawns and gardens, the rose-red brick mansion of Blickling Hall, many-gabled and turreted, satisfies the most romantic conception of the English Country House.
It was built in 1616-28 in Aylsham in Norfolk, on the moated site of a house previously belonging to the Boleyn Family, from the designs by Robert Lyminge, architect of Hatfield House with which it has much in common.
The curved and pedimented gables are a Dutch feature characteristic of this date and especially of East Anglia. The grand staircase is a close counterpart to the one found at Hatfield and was likely carved by the same carver.
Some of the principal rooms contain notable Chinese wallpapers and St Petersburg tapestry given by the Empress Catherine.
Blickling is important as it’s a first. For the ambassador and statesman, the Marquess of Lothian, both gave Blickling to the National Trust and originated the extension of the Trust’s activities to the holding of historic houses.