12 Facts About Holkham Hall


Holkham Hall is an 18th-century country house near the village of Holkham, Norfolk, England, constructed in the Neo-Palladian style for the 1st Earl of Leicester, by the architect William Kent, aided by Lord Burlington.

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Holkham Hall is one of England's finest examples of the Palladian revival style of architecture, and the severity of its design is closer to Palladio's ideals than many of the other numerous Palladian style houses of the period.

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The Holkham Estate was built up by Sir Edward Coke, the founder of his family's fortune.

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Holkham Hall bought Neales manor in 1609, though never lived there, and made many other purchases of land in Norfolk to endow to his six sons.

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The principal entrance is through the Marble Holkham Hall, which is in fact made of pink Derbyshire alabaster; this leads to the piano nobile, or the first floor, and state rooms.

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Holkham Hall was built by Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester, who was born in 1697.

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Holkham Hall made a disastrous investment in the South Sea Company and when the South Sea Bubble burst in 1720, the resultant losses delayed the building of Coke's planned new country estate for over ten years.

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Holkham Hall was influential in the design of the mansion, although he attributed the design of the Marble Hall to Coke himself.

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Kent was responsible for the external appearance of Holkham Hall; he based his design on Palladio's unbuilt Villa Mocenigo, as it appears in I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura, but with modifications.

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Plans for Holkham Hall were of a large central block of two floors only, containing on the piano nobile level a series of symmetrically balanced state rooms situated around two courtyards.

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Holkham Hall is a Palladian house, and yet even by Palladian standards the external appearance is austere and devoid of ornamentation.

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One of these wings, as at the later Kedleston Holkham Hall, was a self-contained country house to accommodate the family when the state rooms and central block were not in use.

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