Blickling is one of my favourite country houses by far (or should I say so far, there are loads more to visit). The house is so large, meaning there are so many rooms to explore and the gardens look beautiful, especially in the summer.
The house is so steeped in history so here’s a quick overview of the history of the estate:
The original house, built in the 15th Century, was later home to the Boleyn family and said to be the birthplace of Anne Boleyn. The house is therefore home to a few Tudor and Elizabethan royal portraits and statues; worth trying to find dotted about the house.
Blickling, as seen today, was built in 1616-24 by Robert Lyminge for Sir Henry Hobart, 1st Baronet, Lord Chief Justice to James I, on the ruins of the old Boleyn property.
The last private owner of Blickling was Philip Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian, private secretary to Prime Minister David Lloyd George between 1916 and 1921. Kerr was best known for successfully winning America’s support for the British war effort. After his death, He passed Blickling on to the National Trust.
During World War II the house was requisitioned and served as the Officers’ Mess nearby RAF Oulton. The bomber base was created in 1939 and was decommissioned in 1949, where it was left in the care of the tenants until the National Trust began work in 1960. There’s a brilliant museum in the house of the war history of Blickling with some recreated bunks and knowledgable volunteers to tell you all about the history.
If you want more info check out the Blickling Website , there’s some great history articles about the various inhabitants of Blickling. There’s also a fascinating piece on their new exhibition A Taste of India.
The walled garden has recently been completely renovated, and has now been lovingly returned to its former glory. They have a beautiful mix of flowers and edible produce, replicating a traditional walled garden.
The rest of the gardens are vibrant with colour, creating beautiful views upon strolling around the grounds. The flowers are designed to display a hot to cool colour range, which I never noticed on my visit and actually only saw when looking through photos for this post!
Blickling hosts one of the most historically significant collections of manuscripts and books in England. And I have to say, this is one of the highlights of the property for me. I love looking at all the titles on the shelf and imagining having a library like that of my own (maybe one day haha).
More on books, if you’re visiting Blickling, you absolutely have to visit the second hand bookshop. It’s one of the biggest of National Trust properties and has so many books. Seriously, I could spend hours in there.
I’d really recommend a visit to Blickling, it’s such a lovely day out, especially on a summers day when you can really appreciate the beautiful gardens and grounds. Also there are a few great tea shops on site, so what’s not to love??
On a sidenote I experimented with some floral doodles to add to some of my photos for this post. They took hours because I’m trying to learn how to use design programs on the go but I’m pretty pleased with them so hopefully they add a little colour to this post!
(Information from the National Trust website)