History of the Blickling estate

A very old black and white photograph of the long gallery

Mentioned in the Domesday Book, Blickling Estate was the birthplace of Anne Boleyn, and during the Second World War RAF air crew were billeted here, while its owner, Lord Lothian, influenced Churchill’s actions. However, this year we're taking a closer look at one of the National Trust's most significant collections: Blickling's Long Gallery library...

Imagine a world without books...

This year we're all about books, as we are celebrating the story of the Blickling's eighteenth century Long Gallery library. Most of the books in this impressive collection were bequeathed by Sir Richard Ellys in the 1740s, when Sir John Hobart owned the estate.


Influential Owners

The Blickling Estate, and its owners, were very influential in their time. It was Lord Lothian who persuaded Churchill to write the historic letter to Roosevelt which for the first time gave the Americans an unequivocal statement of Britain's depleted military strength.
At a daringly timed conference in Washington (1940), Lothian delivered a similar message to the American public which was to be his last during his final visit to America.  Watch his speech here.
Find out more about Philip Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian

Those who once owned Blickling

The manor of Blickling is recorded in the Domesday Book. Its owners have included Sir John Fastolf and Geoffrey Boleyn, grandfather of Anne Boleyn, the ill-fated wife of Henry VIII.
The present red-brick mansion was built 1616-24 by Robert Lyminge (the architect of Hatfield) for Sir Henry Hobart, 1st Baronet, Lord Chief Justice to James I.
Little is known about the long tenure of Lady Caroline Suffield and her husband. Despite inheriting Blickling in 1793, it wasn't until the late 1820s that she made her mark on the house.