Manual Ref* NFbrBL001 Show 10 images 27

Doorway of Blickling Hall

County Norfolk   District Council Broadland 
Civil Parish or equivalent Blickling  Town/Village* Blickling Hall 
Road Blickling Road (B1354) 
Precise Location Doorway of Blickling Hall 
OS Grid Ref TG1728  Postcode NR11 
Previous location(s)  
Setting On building  Access Public 
Artist/Maker Role Qualifier
Robert Lyminge  Architect(s)   

Commissioned by

Sir Henry Hobart 

Design & Constrn period


Date of installing


Exact date of unveiling



Abstract Animal Architectural
Commercial Commemorative Composite
Free Functional Funerary
Heraldic Military Natural
Non-Commemorative Performance Portable
Religious Roadside, Wayside Sculptural
Temporary, Mobile Other  

Object Type

Building Clock Tower Architectural
Coat of Arms Cross Fountain
Landscape Marker Medallion
Mural Panel Readymade
Relief Shaft Sculpture
Statue Street Furniture War Memorial
Other Object Sub Type: Architectural sculpture

Subject Type

Allegorical Mythological Pictorial
Figurative Non-figurative Portrait
Still-life Symbolic Other

Subject Sub Type

Bust Equestrian Full-length
Group Head Reclining
Seated Standing Torso
Part Material Dimension
Pair of statues of bulls on bridge parapet  Ketton Limestone  Each W36cm H 100cm 
Gateway with columns, sculptures & decorative arch  Ketton Limestone, brick, lead rainwater goods  W 380cm H 448cm(approx) 
Window with pilasters & decorative transom  Ketton Limestone, glass, lead  W 380cm H 680cm (approx) 
Balustrade with sculptures  Ketton Limestone & metal  W 380cm H 96cm(approx);Sculpyures each W 40cm, H 112cm (both approx) 
Central pediment sculpture  Ketton Limestone  W 56cm H 112cm(both approx) 

Work is

Extant Not Sited Lost


National Trust 

Listing status

Grade I Grade II* Grade II Don't Know Not Listed

Surface Condition

Corrosion, Deterioration Accretions
Bird Guano Abrasions, cracks, splits
Biological growth Spalling, crumbling
Metallic staining Previous treatments
Detail: Minor lichen growth

Structural Condition

Armature exposed Broken or missing parts
Replaced parts Loose elements
Cracks, splits, breaks, holes Spalling, crumbling
Water collection Other
Detail: Elements of coat of arms on arch defaced


Graffiti Structural damage Surface Damage

Overall condition

Good Fair Poor


No Known Risk At Risk Immediate
Signatures/Marks Initials HD and IP on lead rainwater heads either side arch. Date stone on bridge parapet and facade: 1620 

Description (physical)

The splendid brick façade is framed by corner towers and articulated by seven bays with windows on the main, first floor, dressed with Ketton stone, and culminating in the central window and Ketton stone doorway approached over the moat. The use of stone underlines Sir Henry Hobart’s (1554-1625) huge expenditure – over £6,500- on rebuilding an older moated house on the site which dated from 1319. The doorway, based on Roman triumphal arches, proclaims Hobart's learning with its Tuscan columns and victories in the spandrels holding palms and the victor's crown of laurel. The central window is framed by Ionic pilasters, perhaps reflecting the virtues of Justice with scales and a sword and Wisdom with a mirror and a snake set on the balustrade above the main window. These allude to Hobart's legal career, culminating in his appointment as chief justice, and chancellor to Charles, prince of Wales. The three gables are topped by small naked putti. Hobart’s legal career was summarised by his younger contemporary Judge Jenkins (1582-1663) as ‘in Hobart were many noble things, an excellent eloquence, the éclat of ancestry, the most engaging sweetness animated with singular gravity.’ Justice with her sword and scales is a long established figure, wisdom combines the mirror, representing the tradition of self knowledge, with the snake, the embodiment of intelligence according to Cesare Ripa, since intelligence first goes along the ground before looking up to the heavens, a conceit only available in Italian at this date. The heraldry, flanked by arabesques with griffin heads, reveals Hobart’s pride in his family: the coat of arms is flanked by heraldic bulls, which echo those on the moat. The Hobart Crest (on a wreath of colours or and sable a bull statant per Sable and Gules and in the nose a ring or) is quartered with Lyhart and Hare coats of arms, surmounted by a bull’s head crest, bulls at side holding cartouches.  

Description (iconographical)

Henry Hobart, the 2nd son of Thomas Hobart of Plumstead and Audrey (daughter of William Hare), was a protégé of Lord Burghley and later of his son the Earl of Salisbury, and the designer of Blickling, Robert Lyminge, had previously worked for the Burghleys at Hatfield House. Hobart entered parliament in 1589 and the following year married Dorothy (bap. 1572), daughter of Sir Robert Bell of Beucepré Hall, the chief baron of the exchequer. This ensured Hobart a successful parliamentarian and legal career; he was appointed attorney-general in 1606 and later chief justice. This led to financial security and in addition to the huge expenditure on Blickling Hall from 1618 he had invested in the East India Company in 1617. 


Date taken:  17/4/2006
Date logged: 

Photographed by:
Brian Cole and Sarah Cocke

On Site Inspection

Date:  2/4/2006

Inspected by:
Brian Cole

Sources and References

Pevsner, N. and Wilson B., Buildings of England. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East, New Haven and London, 1997, 400; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, from the earliest times to the year 2000, eds Matthew, H.C.G. and Harrison, B., Oxford, 2004, 27, 374-5; Woodcock, T. & Robinson, J. M., Heraldry in National Trust Houses, London, 2000, 46 and 192; Ripa, C., Iconologia: overo descrittione di diverse imagini cavate dall’antichità, e di propria inventione, Rome, 1603 (facsimile, Hildesheim, 1970), 239 


Date entered:  20/4/2006

Data inputter:
Richard Cocke