Blickling Hall, a sneaky peek

Housekeeping Training Blog Post No. 4

The location of the National Trust’s housekeeping study days course for its employees changes each year. Past venues have included Lyme Park, Treasurer’s House and Felbrigg – the property is in a different region each year to give a greater number of employees from different areas the opportunity to attend. It also means that we get a sneaky peek at other National Trust properties when they are closed for the winter! We thought we’d share with our blog followers a few glimpses of Blickling as we saw it.

Glorious view of the formal gardens in front of Blickling’s striking exterior

Blickling Hall is a Grade 1 listed Jacobean house in Norfolk designed by Robert Lyminge, one of only a handful of known architects of this period. It has connections to the Boleyn family, and is thought to have been Anne Boleyn’s (second wife of King Henry VIII) birthplace and childhood home. In the mid eighteenth century the Norwich architects Thomas and William Ivory added new apartments and remodelled the interiors of the house. Now, Blickling remains much as the Ivorys left it. It holds one of the National Trust’s most important collections, and has the largest library.

One half of Blickling Hall’s main split staircase in the entrance hall

The rooms at Blickling looked much like Nostell, with most items covered up with dust sheets over the winter

Staircase repairs at Blickling

Peeking at the marvellously preserved crewel work on some of the bedclothes at Blickling

Unveiling the cabinets hiding beneath some of the dust covers

Peeping behind a secret door in the wall to look at the servants’ stairs. The servants’ stairs meant that the servants wouldn’t be seen by the family as they did their daily chores unless absolutely necessary

Having a sneaky look inside some of Blickling’s cabinets, which are not always as grand on the inside as they are on the outside!

Revealing the detailed model pagodas

Garden walk at Blickling

Blickling Hall was a great venue for the course – large enough to hold about one hundred National Trust employees and with a big enough collection to enable sessions on many different types of object conservation (which we have shared with you over the last few blog posts). It was fantastic to see a very different property to Nostell, and learn how it is cared for. We must also mention the tea room staff at Blickling, who provided us with lovely food on the days we were there. We only wish that we had a longer time to explore the extensive grounds and lake, although we did manage a quick walk around the formal gardens!

Ellie

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