Explore Blickling's Jacobean house
Immerse yourself in Blickling's history using our room guides below. Take a look at our opening times to find out when you can visit.
Rooms to explore...
Discover Blickling’s collections and learn more about our significant eighteenth-century Long Gallery library, from the comfort of your own home and be inspired to visit in person.
The Great Hall
Once the principal room of the Jacobean house, the Great Hall was altered into the grand entrance hall with the staircase of today by Sir John Hobart, 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire. The reliefs of Elizabeth I and Anne Boleyn were inspired by the Nine Worthies in the original Jacobean hall.
Originally the kitchen was housed in the west wing, and the food was delivered to the Dining Room by means of an underground tunnel and was kept warm, if needed, in the hot cupboards in the Serving Room. Lord Lothian moved the kitchen into this part of the house in the 1930s. Before then, this room was used by the servants as a sitting room.
The West Porch
This private entrance for the family was built in 1767 by the 2nd Earl when the grand staircase was moved into the Great Hall. It wasn’t until 1865 that the stone section of the staircase extended down to the basement level, in order to provide more effective communication with this entrance. The head gardener used this entrance to bring cut flowers into the house.
This room was the upper part of the Jacobean staircase with the carved wooden ceiling boss hanging over the stairwell. It became the ante-room for the South Drawing Room in 1767 and hung with the Mortlake tapestries. It was also used as a billiard room in the nineteenth century, and the bookcases were then fitted during the 1930s.
Blickling recently received a financial boost from the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help fund essential repair work on the Upper Ante Roomceiling.
The Long Gallery
Perhaps the most remarkable room at Blickling it was built by Sir Henry for social activity and exercise in bad weather. The 12 large portraits now hanging in the Great Hall hung here until it became the library in 1745.
The 1st Earl inherited a collection of 10,000 books from a distant cousin, Sir Richard Ellys who was an important theologian and antiquary. The volumes here at Blickling form one of the most remarkable and important libraries in the country.
Peter the Great Room
The Peter the Great Room was fitted out in 1778-82. The room was designed to display the tapestry given to the 2nd Earl by Catherine the Great of Russia. The fine plasterwork was based on a design from ceilings discovered in Pompeii and Herculaneum.
The State Bedroom
This room is the best of the late eighteenth-century rooms at Blickling. Over the fireplace is a portrait of Sir Henry Hobart by Daniel Mytens, painted in 1624. The decoration of the room highlights the scarlet robes of the portrait and the crimson hangings of the bed to reflect the greatness of Blickling’s owners.
The Brown Drawing Room
This room was a chapel in Sir Henry’s time and became a drawing room in the nineteenth century. Today the room is presented in the style of the 1930s. The carved angel’s fireplace came from Caister Castle, the home of Sir John Fastolf who owned the Blickling Estate in the fifteenth century.
The pictures in the room show members of the Stuart court in the early seventeenth century and were brought to Blickling by Lady Constance Lothian and her husband, the 8th Marquess. Lady Lothian’s portrait also hangs in here and through the windows you can see the Parterre and terraces which she designed in the early 1870s.
The Lower Ante Room
Originally the lower part of the Jacobean stairwell, this room became the drinking room in 1767, hung with full-length portraits. In the nineteenth century, it was a small library before being converted by Philip Kerr, 11th Marquis to a small sitting room in the 1930s. It was redecorated by the National Trust in the 1960s.
The Dining Room
This room was Sir Henry Hobart’s parlour and was a private room used for family meals. In 1765 the 2nd Earl converted it into a dining chamber keeping much of its Jacobean design. He put in the chestnut panelling but kept the great fireplace which shows the arms of Sir Henry and his wife Dorothy.
The Serving Room
The house inventory of 1793 calls this room the Confectioner’s Room and it became a serving room in the nineteenth century. The staircase at the end of this room leads down to the kitchen and what was the Victorian servants’ hall.
West Turret Bedroom and Bathroom
The fine plasterwork on the ceiling tells us that this was one of the important bedchambers of the Jacobean house. The 4th Baronet died of his wounds from a duel in this room. The hangings on the bed are crewelwork and are thought to have been made in the late seventeenth century.
The Chinese Bedroom
Formed in 1760 by partitioning the Jacobean withdrawing chamber, the room had a window overlooking the Stone Court, which was later blocked up. While the ceiling is typically rococo, the frieze is neo-Jacobean and imitates the ornaments of the two stone Jacobean doorcases on the staircase landing.
The South Drawing Room
This room would have been the great chamber of the Jacobean house a place for grand feasts and entertainment. Charles II would have been entertained here on his visit to Blickling in 1671.
The portrait to the left of the fireplace is of Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk and the daughter of Henry Hobart, 4th Baronet who was killed in a duel on Cawston Heath. Henrietta was the mistress of George II and encouraged her nephew the 2nd Earl in the sympathetic restoration of Blickling.