Last month I was lucky enough to visit Blickling Hall, due to the wedding of friends of ours. As soon as I’d heard that our friends were getting married there, I was very excited. Blickling Hall is the (probable) birthplace of Anne Boleyn. I say ‘probable’ due to the well-documented uncertainty over her birthdate. However, Blickling is a key Boleyn family property situated in Norfolk and I was very keen to visit.
However, this was not to be my first visit to Blickling. I had visited as a child with my parents, a couple of years before my love of Tudor history began! The manor house where the Boleyns lived no longer stands, but the Jacobean house which is in its place still takes the breath away.
Thomas Boleyn, the owner of Blickling Hall and Anne’s father, is a repugnant man to me. He did, after all, stand by as two of his children went to their deaths. His ghost is rumoured to haunt the Hall, as is Anne’s on the anniversary of her execution. There was certainly no sign of ghosts while I was there! Instead, as the wedding guests arrived at Blickling Hall, there was an audible gasp as everyone took in the beauty of the property and the grounds. It was a baking hot day and the Hall simply glistened in the sunshine. We walked through the amazing gardens down to the marquee by the lake, and it is a simply stunning location on any day, but especially on a wedding day in the sunshine.
Hever Castle may be the most famous Boleyn home, but Blickling holds a special place for me, especially now that it was the location for such a gorgeous wedding. As the sun was setting and we sat by the lakeside, watching the happy couple pose for photographs, it was easy to imagine the Boleyn children playing in the grounds and near the lake, perhaps splashing eachother and giggling, before their futures became so dangerous and gruesome. Thomas Boleyn may have abandoned his children, but he had a good eye for a home.
I tried to capture the majesty of the Hall and I hope you enjoy these photos of the visit.
Congratulations to Richard and Kate on a beautiful day in a wonderful location.