Saturday, 28 June 2008

England Part III - Blickling Hall, Norfolk

Anne Boleyn was born here at Blickling Hall in 1507, or so they say.

Anne was a maid-of-honour to Henry VIII's first wife, Queen Katharine. When Henry first set eyes on Anne, he became infatuated with her. She resisted his attentions and refused to become his mistress, as her sister Mary had, so there was nothing Henry could do but declare an annullment from Wife #1 and make Anne Wife #2. (4 more to go!)

Unfortunately for Anne, this wasn't a Good Thing. She lost her head in 1536 after being falsely accused of adultery, incest and high treason.

But her daughter Elizabeth went on to reign as Queen over England for 45 years.

This English country house began as a manor house in the 11th century. Since then it has been the site of a Bishop's palace and a moated house.

The current Jacobean building was built on the ruins of the Boleyn property some time before 1616. It boasts a huge collection of 12,000 rare books in the Long Gallery.
Three women are employed to dust the books.... it takes them about a year to dust them all, and then they have to start again.

In the 1860s a flower parterre was added on the east side of the house. The parterre is dotted with yew topiary shaped as giant acorns and grand pianos.

The beds closest to the house are planted with cool colours (pink, blue, and white) and those furthest away from the house are bright colours.

Blickling Hall was voted the most haunted house in Britain in a survey in October 2007.
Luckily for me, I didn't come across the unlucky Anne or any other members of the Boleyn family, headless or otherwise.
For previous posts about my vacation in England, scroll down.


Luke said...

a beautiful place! very nice!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

That's a LOT of books. Well, I like books...but not enough to dust them all year and then start all over again.

I've read historical novels about the Boleyns. That Henry was quite the rascal, wasn't he?

Kerri said...

Fabulous post! Your shots are excellent!! And how neat it would be to be surrounded by all of those books....but I wouldn't want to dust them all :)

Hilary said...

As always, great shots, ex-S. And a wonderful history lesson.

Ginnie said...

Having seen the recent Boleyn movie really makes this post extra fascinating to me, Ex-S. I eat up this stuff! Lucky you for being there!

rosemary said...

Great three should be a tour guide!!!! I have watched the Tudors TV seasons and love that period in history. We were in London in '99 and had a great time but few photos.

m.e. said...

splendid post! very edjicational. you should write a guidebook!!! wonderful photos and great history. very very interesting

CanadianSwiss said...

Hmmm. Who'd have thought that dusting books could be a full time job! ;)

Very interesting post and beautiful picts. Thanks for sharing.

madretz said...

I want to go here someday!! Well, even if that doesn't ever happen, I thank you for your beautiful post so I was able to walk through those gardens through your eyes.

Ming the Merciless said...

Your photos are amazing. I'm dying to visit England.