The Monument at Holkham
Tenants of the estate in Coke of Norfolk’s time were often granted long leases, which had clauses laying down the pattern of crop rotation to be followed and improvements to be done. These long leases encouraged farmers to put money into the farms as they knew that they would benefit from these improvements and the rent for the farm could only be raised at the end of the lease. Farmhouses were often rebuilt in the latest style and all these factors combined helped to attract some of the best agriculturalists of the period to Holkham estate. After his death he was commemorated by the Coke Monument, paid for by public subscription, designed by William Donthorne and erected in 1845–8.
The monument consists of a Corinthian column 120 feet (37 m) high, surmounted by a drum supporting a wheat sheaf. The plinth which is 44 feet square (13.5 m) is decorated on three sides with bas-reliefs, carved by John Henning junior, which show some of work of Coke of Norfolk during his lifetime. The south side shows a Holkham sheep shearing, the west side shows an irrigation scheme in progress and on the east side Coke of Norfolk is shown granting a lease to a tenant. The north side bears the dedication. The corners of the plinth support sculptures of an ox, sheep, plough and seed-drill. The ox and sheep show his interest in improving animals through breeding and the plough and seed drill show his support of improved mechanisation in farming. Coke’s work to increase farm yields had resulted in the rental income of the estate rising between 1776 and 1816 from £2,200 to £20,000, and had considerable influence on agricultural methods in Britain.