You Rang My Lord

Posted: January 25th 2021

by Katherine Hardwick, Collections Coordinator

One of the most evocative images of the Country House is of servants’ bells ringing in a hallway. Holkham was one of the earliest houses to install a mechanical system based on copper wires and springs. This system was overhauled in 1910 when the 3rd Earl of Leicester embarked on a monumental programme of modernisation and refurbishment in the Hall. This project included the redecoration of the family and servants’ rooms, refurbishment of the state rooms, installation of new plumbing, and (perhaps most importantly) bringing electricity to Holkham. At the same time, a new system of electric servants’ bells was installed in the Hall. Evidence of both sets of bells can still be seen in the Hall today.

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Thomas William Coke: local politics and a force to be reckoned with in the creation of an independent America

Posted: January 20th 2021

by Lucy Purvis

​As Joe Biden is inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States of America today, our archivist Lucy explores the links between Thomas William Coke and the 1st president, George Washington.

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Cleaning up the Wood Cellar

Posted: January 15th 2021

If you’ve ever been on a cellar tour of Holkham you may have come across our wood cellar. Our hall team has been working hard giving it a good spring clean ready for the year ahead.

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In the Marble Hall are two busts. One is of the 1st Earl by Sir Francis Chantrey but who is the other?

Posted: January 15th 2021

by Dr Mac Graham, Librarian and Historian

Our resident Librarian and Historian, Dr Mac Graham, was recently asked to respond to a query relating to the busts in the Marble Hall. He was asked: “in the Marble Hall are two busts. One is of the 1st Earl by Sir Francis Chantrey but who is the other?” He shares his answer with us today on the blog.

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Launching WONDER

Posted: January 01st 2021

Sustainability and a pioneering spirit sit at the centre of our vision – a vision which has given way to the creation and launch of WONDER, our sustainability strategy. Join us on this journey as we venture into the new year.

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Christmases Past at Holkham

Posted: December 28th 2020

Christmas is always such an exciting time at Holkham and this year was no different, but as someone that works in a remote corner of the hall it is normally the sounds and smells that waft up the stairs that indicate that Lady Leicester and her very busy team are starting to transform the state rooms in wonderful displays. Closer to Christmas the noises and aroma changes to excited chatter, carols and aromatic candles and I know the candlelight tours have started! Although the decorations were on a smaller scale this year, I could still sense the excitement of Christmas and I wanted to share how Christmas at Holkham has been celebrated in the past.

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The gardener meets a marketing genius

Posted: December 16th 2020

by Lucy Purvis - Archivist

Don’t ever think that archives are just places where dusty old documents are kept. They are full of moments in history that are waiting to be explored. It is vital to remember that for a document to have been kept for decades, sometimes centuries it must have been important at one point. The archives at Holkham are full of just such documents some of which are well-known, and others are just waiting to be explored. Holkham Archivist, Lucy Purvis, gives our Head Gardener, Mark Morell, an exclusive viewing of a book close to his heart.

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Safari on Foot - Natural Adaptation

Posted: November 30th 2020

by Will Clennell, Learning and Engagement Officer

In 2019, we decided that we wanted to offer visitors the opportunity to experience the National Nature Reserve at a different level and in greater depth than ever before. With 11 miles of coastline and almost 10,000 acres to explore, using a 4X4 vehicle would enable us to cover a great deal of ground, get off-road and, with the kind permission of the NNR Wardens, enter parts of the reserve that are usually off-limits to the public. These NNR Experience Days proved to be extremely successful and popular, with visitors travelling great distances to spend a day on the hugely diverse habitats we are lucky enough to have at Holkham. Then 2020 happened…

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