Houghton Hall, now the family seat of Sir Robert Walpole’s direct descendant, the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, is considered one of the country’s finest Palladian houses. It is situated about 10 miles from Burnham Market, half a mile off the A148 King’s Lynn to Fakenham Road.
The Hall was built in the 1720s by Sir Robert Walpole and the magnificent interiors and furnishings were designed by William Kent. No expense was spared and each room was lavishly decorated using the finest craftsmen of the time. Despite long periods of neglect when the house was put up for sale, little has changed since Walpole’s time with much of the original furniture and fabrics still in place as well as a considerable art collection.
All these years later Houghton still cannot fail to impress visitors. Each room has its own unique story and quality – whether it be the hand painted Great Staircase, Stone Hall, Marble Parlour, State bedrooms or red velvet Saloon – and begs to be explored and admired.
The Parkland surrounding the Hall was planted in the early eighteenth century, and contains a number of ancient oak and sweet chestnut trees. The park is home to a herd of about six hundred white fallow deer, as well as small groups of other rare deer species from around the world, such as Pere David, Sambar and Chital.
Winner of the Christies and Historic Houses Association ‘Garden of the Year Award,’ the stunning 5 acre walled garden invites visitors to explore its variously themed areas.
At Houghton you will also find the Soldier Museum – the largest private collection of model soldiers in the world. It was started by the 6th Marquess of Cholmondeley as a school boy and he continued collecting throughout his life often commissioning whole scenes to his specification. The museum shows many reconstructions of battles, such as Waterloo and Omdurman, as well as displaying a selection of paintings and militaria.
Houghton’s unique history and interior, the award-winning five acre garden, the contemporary sculpture park, playground and restaurant, offer something of interest to everyone, and make for a great day out for all the family.