The National Trust, the country’s largest conservation charity, owns Blickling Hall and describes it perfectly: ‘It epitomises the great Jacobean country house, a sumptuous confection of local red brick and Ketton limestone, Dutch gables and turrets.’ The 16th century buildings have a fascinating historic heritage including its association with Anne Boleyn.
The Hall’s extensive library has one of the most significant collections of manuscripts and books in England. ‘The Long Gallery’ (image below) has between 12,500 and 14,000 volumes, mostly collected in the 18th century. It includes three pre 1500s Latin bibles and first editions of Jane Austen’s novels Emma and Sense and Sensibility! Of all the National Trust’s libraries the one at Blickling Hall is the biggest and most important of them all (all the books are being catalogued which is estimated to take 12 years!).
The Hall's doors are open again from 12pm to 5pm every day. This year (2018) the Blickling team is creating an immersive theatrical experience using sound and theatrical design to enable visitors to explore the importance of books, the threat posed to them around the globe and their shifting role and continued relevance in a changing world. The Word Defiant! opens on 1 May 2018 until 28 October 2018.