During the summer months, church services take place in the church of St Withburga in Holkham Park; but as the church has no heating, the congregation moves to this chapel for the winter months, where a service is held every Sunday.
Up until the Second World War, morning prayers were held here each day at 9am. Lord Leicester’s chaplain took the services and everyone in the house - family and servants - had to attend.
Our archives reveal that a Countess, visiting the Hall at Christmas time, recounted to her maid, that during a service the Holkham servants, led by the cook, seemed to really enjoy singing the carols. The maid soon disabused her mistress of this idea. “They were not singing ‘Noel, Noel,” she explained, “But ‘No Ale, No Ale’, what shall we do now we’ve got no Ale’.” Apparently, the Earl of the day had banned the consumption of the estate-brewed beer at the staff party, after drunken behaviour at the previous year’s party.
The Chapel forms part of the family’s private accommodation and the gallery, which looks down on to the Chapel itself, is frequently open for public view. Opening of this area is at the family’s discretion and cannot be guaranteed. Our Visitor Information page displays dates for closure, where available.