Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Boleyns, Blickling and the beach

Day 5 in Norfolk, and we were treated to yet another warm and sunny day.

We had decided on a one stop trip so headed due south towards Blickling Hall.

This amazing Jacobean mansion, constructed around 1616, is built on the site of the former home and birthplace of Anne Boleyn, second (and beheaded) wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I.  All three Boleyn siblings were born here during the short ownership of the estate by their father.

Jacobean architecture at its finest

Supposedly haunted by Anne Boleyn herself and voted most haunted house in Britain in a 2007 National Trust survey, we saw no spirits while we were there

The inner courtyard entrance to the house proper is slightly less grand

Painted ceilings in one drawing room, with a previous owner being Ambassador to St Petersburg in the mid 1700's who knows how many notorious leaders have been here? 

My personal favourite area in any property has to be the kitchens and these at Blickling had the best outlook 

Upstairs, and the doorways were grand indeed

The bedrooms are grand of course and are dressed in the style of various stages of the history of the property

Look up and you will find grander ceilings!

More important tapestries than you can shake a stick at, these were a gift from Catherine the Great of Russia and the room was built to house them 

And one of the finest libraries in the country, with some extremely old books, and very modern nylon printed copy carpets, a trick the National Trust is now employing to save important carpets but to still give the feel of grandeur underfoot.

 The library is over 100 feet long and packed with leather and vellum, all secured behind discreet wire doors. At the base of the photograph above you can just see the frame of a mirror so you don't strain your neck looking up at the ceiling.  

The room below I understand was built for Catherine the Great of Russia, she ended up not visiting but now the guides tell you there is enough bling for President Trump and his wife to feel at home. Unbelievably, the gilding has never been retouched since it was first done in the 1700's 

Outside, and we wandered around the immediate gardens. Blickling is so large that I imagine it requires more than one visit to cover it all.

The fountain created an enjoyable fine mist as the day got hotter

We discovered this analemmatic sundial in the grounds. I recognised the letters spelling out the name Jason as the months of the year and we realised what it was. It even accounts for British Summer Time.

Selfie in the garden!

 After a quick walk around the walled gardens it was time to head back for tea, just time for one last look at the beautiful meadow opposite the entrance, complete with cows, it could almost have been painted by Constable

 After tea, and we were back on the beach near the chalet. There were swimmers, fishermen and these paragliders enjoying the fine weather

The weather was glorious and the noise of the sea breaking against the steep pebble shore was soothing and mesmeric.

We spent almost two hours enjoying the sea spray.

More tales from Norfolk soon!


  1. What fab ceilings. The Russian influence is evident with all that gilding..perish the thought that the orange buffoon would set foot there! Lovely sea shots. xx

  2. Thank you for the tour around Blickling Hall. The ceilings and tapestries are fabulous. Good to see you had such great weather. Wonderful sea shots: I can almost hear the sound of the waves crashing and feel their spray! xxx

  3. Blickling Hall is quite outstanding . The Jacobean architecture and the glorious decorations are so wonderful , another for my list. Thank you so much for the tour.

  4. Blickling Hall is quite outstanding . The Jacobean architecture and the glorious decorations are so wonderful , another for my list. Thank you so much for the tour.


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