Holkham Hall: A grand day out

As promised, we headed out early to Holkham Hall. My cousins had to leave in the afternoon, so we wanted to allow enough time to see something of the extensive grounds, lake, and deer park. I will add a link later, but for information, Holkham Hall is the home of Viscount Coke, son of the 7th Earl of Leicester. It is still privately owned and maintained, and considered to be one of the finest homes in the Palladian style still existing in Britain. The family are undoubtedly wealthy, as they own not only this huge property and its grounds, but also Holkham Beach, Holkham Village, and the entire town of Wells-Next-The-Sea, one mile east.

For the small fee of £2.50, you can park close to the Hall, and enjoy all the grounds and facilities, free of charge. Entry to the house, or a boat trip on the large lake, are available at additional cost. We knew that we would not have time to tour the house, which is very grand inside, but we could make the most of the grounds, with the benefit of excellent weather, once again. There is a nice cafe, a well-stocked gift shop, and all the usual toilet facilities. These are in the grounds, so accessible to all. The following photos are all large files, and can be clicked on, for detail.

The house in its setting. You can see what good condition it is in.

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The original builder of the house, Thomas Coke, was a member of parliament, and a champion of modern methods of farming. When he died, his friends and colleagues raised the money to have this memorial column erected in the grounds, in his memory.

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The main frontage of the house is huge, and surrounded by a brick balustrade. This was as close as I could get.

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The family was wealthy enough to have an Ice House built in the grounds. Ice was imported from as far away as North America, and packed in snow, brought from Scotland and Switzerland.

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We spent a very pleasant few hours there, and will go again, to see the interior. They are currently building a wedding venue, and the Hall is also the venue for popular events every year, including a food fair, and open-air concerts. Cycle hire is available, and there is a play area for children, as well as walled gardens to explore, for a small charge. If you are ever in this area, I really recommend that you visit this delightful slice of British history. If you would like to see and read more about it, including some better professional photographs, here is a link to the Hall’s website.
http://www.holkham.co.uk/

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36 thoughts on “Holkham Hall: A grand day out

  1. If they ever have a problem with bats in the chimney, they may want to call upon your services. This is one of those magnificent buildings I’d love to spend time in or around (not just a tour). I’m trying to figure out what service I could offer. Maybe if they introduced spoonbill catfish in their ponds, I could be the go-to wannabe ichthyologist who spoon feeds them their daily ration of insect larvae… In any event, the photos are postcard quality. I look forward to your photos of the interior—and don’t forget the chimneys.

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    1. I am sure that the extensive grounds would provide an outlet for your talents, David. Unfortunately, salaries in that area of the UK are notoriously low.
      I could work on a price-per-bat basis, as I expect they have many there, during ‘bat season.’
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. Pete, what a delightful treat to see your beautiful pictures, and the honor for us to read about your family and a tour of this lovely estate. Take care and happy blogging to ya, from Laura ~

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  3. I’m a sucker for the splendours of the English stately home – especially restrained Palladian ones – and their landscaped parks, even though we know they are evidence that beauty has too often been created out of terror, and financed by slavery. At least the Cokes were Whigs, not Tories, Pete! (I don’t know the origins of their wealth.)
    I have never been to Holkham, and I’m looking forward to you visiting the interior so I can see it vicariously. The whole estate looks very well managed and enterprising.

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    1. By most accounts, Coke was a well-liked agricultural reformer, who was good to his tenants and his staff. I am happy to see this house and grounds so well-preserved, and not allowed to deteriorate, as so many others have done.
      Nice to ‘see’ you, Pippa. x

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  4. Oh, to be in England, now that Summer is here…. (Yes, I know, not the right words)…. Anyway, I must get myself to Norfolk in my new life…who knows, I might even meet you, Pete 😊

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  5. Nice to see some more of Norfolk Pete. I visited Holkham and went for a walk around the lake which is lovely (not the whole way around as it is quite big) but didn’t go inside the hall itself. You have some delightful grand houses and gardens in your part of the world and as a NT member I got to see a lot of them! Good photos too. especially nice to see on this grey and wet day…

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    1. Yes indeed, Cindy. I have to keep looking at the photos myself, just to admire the blue skies! Since yesterday afternoon, it has been raining again…I’m not complaining though, not this time.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  6. All I can saw is wow Pete, Lookslike a fantastic place to explore and spend the day. Thomas must have been some man for his friends to erect such a monument. We have a few similar places here in Ireland, but nothing as grand as this with maybe the exception of Castletown House which I have still to explore with my camera 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Ed. There are many large houses in the county, but Holkham is my favourite, mainly for its near-idyllic setting, and proximity to the beach. And I had great weather to use the new camera too!
      Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. Glad to hear that you were able to see it, Sarah. Despite my feelings about the aristos, I do appreciate the fact that they maintain it so well, and don’t charge too much to visitors either.
      We live about 11 miles from Fakenham, to put our location in context for you.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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      1. I use to stay with my friends on a regular basis in the ’80s and early ’90s until the marriage fell apart and eventually our friendship faded. I’m very fond of that part of Norfolk and I was pretty certain you lived in the general area. Happy Monday!

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