Daily Archives: May 26, 2011

The Bones of Holkham Hall


Holkham Hall is the ancestral seat of  Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester, and his descendants.  As one of the most notable examples of 18th century Palladian revival, which celebrated the symmetrical style of ancient Greece and Rome, its construction lasted a total of 30 years, between 1734 when its foundation was laid and 1764 when the great house was finally completed.

This early blueprint is based on the principal plan of the piano nobile, or first floor, drawn by Matthew Brettingham in 1761.  For purposes of understanding what an 18th century country estate might look like to the bones, it’s fantastic.  The reception rooms are situated around two courtyards.  Wings extend from the heart, comprising the bedchambers and the family’s various private rooms.

Upon close review, Holkham Hall might look familiar to you.  The 2008 film, The Duchess, was set on location here.  The Great Hall in particular was the setting for many of Georgina’s emotional interludes, including her  argument with Charles Grey after she’s returned from their love affair in Bath.

The Library

The Chapel

The Salon or Saloon

For more information, see:

360 degree view of Holkham Hall

Visit Holkham Hall

More pictures