Blickling

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.

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Some of the principal rooms contain notable Chinese wallpapers and St Petersburg tapestry given by the Empress Catherine.

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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.

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