Holkham Hall & Estate
Holkham Hall is an eighteenth-century country house located adjacent to the village of Holkham, on the north coast of Norfolk, close to Burnham Market.
The hall was constructed in the Palladian style for Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester by the architect William Kent, aided by the architect and aristocrat Lord Burlington.
Holkham Hall is one of England’s finest examples of the Palladian revival style of architecture, and the severity of its design is closer to Palladio’s ideals than many of the other numerous Palladian style houses of the period. The Holkham estate, formerly known as Neals, had been purchased in 1609 by Sir Edward Coke, the founder of his family fortune. It is the ancestral home of the Coke family, the Earls of Leicester of Holkham.
The interior of the Hall is opulently but, by the standards of the day, simply decorated and furnished. Ornament is used with such restraint that it was possible to decorate both private and state rooms in the same style, without oppressing the former. The main entrance is through the “Marble” Hall, which leads to the piano nobile, or the first floor, and state rooms. The most impressive of these rooms is the saloon, which has walls lined with red velvet. Each of the major state rooms is symmetrical; for some, false doors are necessary to achieve this effect.
The Hall itself open to visitors from 25th March to 31st October between 12noon-4pm on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays, plus Good Friday and Easter Saturday (29th and 30th March 2013).
The sweeping Park in which the Hall stands is home to a large herd of Fallow Deer and a small herd of Red Deer. The evergreen oak trees that are such a feature of the Park, are Mediterranean in origin and were brought to Holkham from Italy.
The Park is open to the public and vehicles from 25th March to 31st October. During the period from November to March when vehicles are not allowed the public can still enjoy the Park with pedestrian and cycle access via the walk-in gates at the main entrances to the Park.