A beautiful 18th century house with deer park created by William Kent.
The Walled Garden is approximately 1/4 mile from the house. Stretching to 6 acres, the garden is divided into 8 compartments known as ‘squares’ or ‘slips’. Currently being restored, there’s an ornamental garden, vegetable garden and vineyard as well as Victorian greenhouses. The lawn at the far end is used for events.
There are wonderful walks around the lake – look out for butterflies, birds, wild flowers and fallow deer.
There are also bookable events around the 25,000 acre estate including a night-time walk around the Nature Reserve, Butterfly and Bat Walks. These are extremely popular so book early – details are on the website.
The Walled Garden is open from April until October but check the website for details – and for the opening times of the Park.
Historic Houses members visit for free.
Thomas Coke, later the Earl of Leicester, inherited the estate in 1707 at the age of 10. In 1712, Coke embarked on a six-year Grand Tour. On his travels, he met William Kent and Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington.
The earliest surviving drawings of the house are dated 1726 and were by Matthew Brettingham. Modifications to the design were made in 1732 by Coke himself, Lord Burlington and William Kent. Work began on the Palladian building in 1734 although it took 30 years to complete.
Kent also designed the garden buildings and changed the layout of the gardens, creating a new shrubbery and pleasure grounds. Alterations were made by ‘Capability’ Brown in 1762 and again four years later by Thomas William Coke.
The Walled Garden was moved to its present site in 1780s with Samuel Wyatt responsible for its design. Wyatt also built several new lodges. More land was bought during this period and in 1789 Humphry Repton was invited to survey Holkham although few of his ideas were implemented.
Holkham Hall is still lived in by the Earls of Leicester.