Hidden Passages and Servants' Stairs Behind the Scenes Tours of Holkham Hall
Wednesdays 25th April, 30th May, 27th June, 11th July, 29th August, 26th September and 31st October, 11am-12.30pm
Behind the grand state rooms that the public normally see, hidden from view, lie a labyrinth of corridors and stairways. Servants could come and go throughout the hall without being seen or heard. They would appear in the state rooms as if by magic!
These guided tours take you behind the scenes to explore some of these never-before-seen passages and stairs. But, be aware, you will need stamina and good shoes as there are 70 winding stairs to climb up and 70 more to climb down. The tour starts at the porter’s door in the servants’ wing. After a brief insight into how space in the hall was divided between the senior servants, we will climb the back stairs to the corridor which serviced the state, or royal, bedchambers.
We will climb further to the bedrooms in which the royal entourage were housed, now known as Nelson Wing today and peep into some of the bedrooms, which are still in use for visitors.
We then climb even further to explore the attics and tower rooms of Holkham Hall. Here we will see the hall’s rooftops from the windows and the courtyards far below, the newly repaired bell-tower and the attic libraries. We will see the fabric room with its many chairs waiting their turn to be restored, as well as much more which is now in storage.
The attics offer glimpses of fabulous views over the park. We shall hear the story of Lady Mary Coke, daughter-in-law of Thomas Coke, who locked herself away in one of the tower rooms and hear the tall tales of strange goings-on within the book shelves.
Finally, we shall descend via a spiral staircase which comes out by the main bank of servants’ bells near the butler’s pantry, before returning to the porter’s door.
Tickets: £25 adult, £12.50 child (recommended age 10+). Parking is included in the price. Please wear suitable footwear and clothing for climbing stairs. Photography is not permitted.
Please be aware that the tour will incorporate staircases (there will be 70 stairs to climb), confined spaces and heights therefore if you are unsure whether this tour is suitable please contact us. Due to the nature of this event, we are unable to accommodate wheelchairs or buggies and we recommend that the tour is suitable for children aged 10 and over.
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