By Blickling

The weather being fair on Saturday, I hauled on the walking shoes and hopped on a bus, then on another bus. The intention was a circular walk, from Aylsham—the one-time centre of the Norfolk wool industry, now a quiet market town—and back, via Silvergate. Blickling and Ingworth. Six miles. Ish.

The Boleyn’s of Blickling

Blickling Hall, home of Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, provided the highlight of the walk.

Blickling Hall

Blickling Hall: Photo 24th March 2018

Sir Geffrey Boleyn, Lord Mayor of the City of London, bought the Blickling estate ca.1450 from Sir John Fastolf (or his heirs) and made it his country seat. This didn’t represent much of a move, for Sir Geffrey Boleyn was a scion of the Bullens of Salle, just 5 miles from Blickling, as the crow flies, where the family had held land at least since 1283.

Ann Boleyn

Anne Boleyn, courtesy of Wikipeadia

Anne Boleyn, gt.granddaughter of Sir Geffrey, was the daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn, first & last Earl of Wiltshire, and Elizabeth Howard (daughter of Duke of Norfolk). Born at Blickling, she married King Henry VIII January 1533 and gave birth to Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth I) in September 1533. In May 1536, Anne was beheaded on a charge of treason.

 

Blickling Hall Facts and Factoids

Anne Boleyn was born at Blickling Hall. Technically true. The hall as it stands today was built—though renovated seems more likely—more than a century after Anne’s birth, in the 1620s.

Dated Door at Blickling Hall

The dated door at Blickling Hall: Photo 24th March 2018

To explain:
Anne Boleyn’s grandfather, Sir William Boleyn, was the father of one Alice Boleyn, who married Sir John Clere, a wealthy landowner at Ormesby, near Great Yarmouth.

And it came to pass (for lack of male heirs) that in 1556 Sir Edward Clere, High Sheriff of Norfolk, a descendant of said Alice Boleyn and Sir John, inherited Blickling and made it his residence.

Meanwhile, the Hobart family from Essex was busy extending its property portfolio, first into Suffolk, then to Norfolk where they settled at Plumstead, near Norwich. There, Sir James begot Myles who begot Thomas (d.1560) who begot Henry Hobart (d.1625). In 1603 James I knighted both Henry Hobart and his son John. Henry became MP for Norwich.

In his History of Norfolk, Francis Blomefield (who doesn’t always get it right), says James Hobart bought Blickling off Sir Edward Clere. This seems highly improbable due to the wide-apart date;  he goes on to say that John Hobart, son of James built the present hall upon his father’s death in 1625. You don’t need a calculator to know that can’t be right.

The corrected version reads: Henry Hobart bought Blickling Hall off Sir Edward Clere, which his son, Sir John Hobart, then renovated in 1620s.

Dutch influence at Blickling Hall

Dutch influence on this row of cottages at Blickling Hall: Photo 24th March 2018

What we see today is a Jacobean hall, heavily influenced by the Netherlanders who at the time were flooding into Norfolk as religious refugees. They brought with a tradition of building in brick; superior techniques in weaving (a much-needed shot in the arm for the Norfolk wool industry) as well as hatters and glovers; improved methods of agriculture; and market gardening;

Bull at Blickling

The Bullen’s bull is everywhere!

Bull at Blickling

Sir John Hobart paid homage to his Boleyn (Bullen) antecessor. Blickling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
This entry was posted in History, Photos and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to By Blickling

  1. Very cool! The who begot whom is enough to make your head spin!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful photos 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joy Pixley says:

    How very grand! At to have such a stately set of side buildings called “cottages” — the British tendency toward understatement, I suppose. I love looking at these old buildings and thinking about the history behind them. I only wish I knew more (that is, remembered more of what I’ve learned) about architecture so that I was better at noticing things like the Dutch influence, or identifying when certain aspects were added or changes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      For me, the Dutch influence stands out like the cliched sore thumb. I live in Norfolk., and Norfolk was heavily settled not only by religious refugees of C16th & C17th, but prior to that by weavers invited by King Edward III (C14th) with intent of improving England’s wool exports and thus funding his wars (through taxes raised on the wool). And even they weren’t the first Dutch immigrants. The earliest I’ve found served as mercenaries to KIng Stephen (12th). Although, if we don’t want to label them as Dutch, we could also say of the Anglo-Saxons. They came from the same area and included many Frisians. So yes, Dutch influence is strong in Norfolk

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Nothing like being surrounded by history to help it seep into your mind. I hadn’t realized the connection with wool and weaving. I was just realizing that I’ll have to do some research on that, as one of the characters in my new novel is obsessed with wool and weaving and new fabrics (the family business) and blathers on about it constantly, boring the heck out of my main character. Except, unfortunately, I don’t know the first thing about what someone would be blathering on about regarding wool and weaving! Luckily, my MC is so self-centered at that point in the story that he generally stops listening after the first sentence, so I can wave my hands on some of the details. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • crimsonprose says:

        If you need some help on the basics of weaving with any fibres, I found a fantastic scanned (old) book on Google Book. I can look up the title if you want. It might surprise you to know the many fibres our ancestors used. We think of linen and wool, but hemp and nettles also were used (WWII German soldiers had both hemp, and nettle, uniforms). As I remember, the book had illustrations of early looms as well, and details of spinning. All couched in the language of a Victorian writer. Or was it Georgian? I think I’d get on well with your character, for (as Brian will tell you) I, too, am obsessed with fabrics. For me, it helps to have a museum and study centre nearby dedicated to the ‘Norwich’ industry.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        That does sound interesting – if you can find that title, please do send. This story takes place later than most of my other ones, at the height of the Pyanni Empire, so they are using fancy fabrics and techniques from all over the world — which means I have to know about more than just linen and wool, you’re right!

        Liked by 2 people

      • crimsonprose says:

        I’m looking even as I write.

        Liked by 2 people

      • crimsonprose says:

        Okay, On Google Play, Books, search for ‘The Raw Materials Used For Weaving’ by James Yates, published 1843, London. It’s free. I can’t give you a link cos it’s specific to me.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Will do – thanks!

        Liked by 2 people

      • crimsonprose says:

        No probs. We share what we know.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Violet Lentz says:

    This is excellent. So much history. We have nothing that even begins to compare to this in the US..

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      That’s one reason I include it when I can. The Brits are blazee about historical houses etc. Too much history, overload. But I know it has a readership in the US.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Violet Lentz says:

        Absolutely. If something is 200 years old here it’s a relic and usually torn down!! We are not very good at preserving history…

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Yea, that’s something my and I have occasionally remarked on.
        I think the oldest remains I’ve visited will be West Kennet Long Barrow, which (I think) predates Stonehenge which means somewhere between 4000 and 3000 BCE. But that’s not on my doorstep. Grimes Graves dates to about the same. A train to there. It’s a neolithic flint mine. First time I went there you could squiggle through the galleries, but they’re all grilled off from the public now. So you could go down the hole and look through the grilles, but that’s all.
        Now you begin to see why I’m fixated on history! 🙂

        Like

      • Violet Lentz says:

        Oh man…. Maybe some day. I’m off to Alaska a week from today to see the Aroura Borealis… so ya never can tell…

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Much as I’d like to see the Aurora, Alaska sounds too cold for the likes of wimpy me. Enjoy. And take a terrabyte of pics.

        Liked by 1 person

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