Publication date: 9 February 2016
Category: Regional History
Nobody ever forgets their first sight of Blickling. The breath-taking red-brick gabled mansion and ancient yews sit at the heart of a magnificent garden and historic park in the beautiful Bure meadows. The completeness of the estate is just one of the things that sets Blickling apart. Its story can be traced over a thousand years, during which Blickling has been the scene of many historic events, and yet its landscape has changed little and is quintessentially Norfolk. The mansion was built, modified and embellished to reflect the status of its owners, the high- ranking and politically heavyweight Hobarts. While the house has been remodelled and added to over the centuries, each owner that wrought significant change kept in view the achievements of those who went before and honoured the vision that the first Hobart had for the estate. Outside, the formal garden is the result of three centuries of inspired planting, and the gently undulating parkland is full of history, lost buildings, stunning views and abundant wildlife. After centuries of change the last century arguably had the greatest consequence for Blickling. After two world wars, the physical and political landscape of this country had irrevocably changed. Philip Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian, played a vital role in preserving the estates that might have been broken up and sold off. Blickling was the first gift of its kind to the National Trust and the nation, and one that keeps giving.