Holkham  Norfolk


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Holkham like this:

HOLKHAM, a village and a parish in Walsingham district, Norfolk. The village stands near the West Norfolk Junction railway, 1 mile from the coast, and 2 W of Wells; and has a r. station and a post office under Wells, Norfolk. The parish comprises 5, 208 acres of land, and 765 of water. Real property, £5, 847. ...

Pop., 603. Houses, 126. The property all belongs to the Earl of Leicester. John Coke, Esq., fourth son of Lordchief justice Sir Edward Coke, purchased the property in 1659, and reclaimed 350 acres of salt marshes from the sea; and his successor, Thomas Coke, who became Viscount Holkham and Earl of Leicester, and who died in 1759, reclaimed 400 more acres from the sea, converted a great extent of barren heath into fertile land, founded in 1734 the magnificent mansion of Holkham Hall; and laid out, around it, a splendid park of fully 3, 200 acres. Holkham Hall was completed in 1760, by his Dowager countess; was constructed from designs by Lord Burlington and Kent; consists of a centre, 345 feet long and 180 feet wide, with two fronts and four wings; has, on the S front, a bold, hexastyle Corinthian portico; includes an entrance hall, 46 feet by 70, and 43 feet high, with a gallery resting on 24 fluted Ionic columns; shows high splendour and fine taste in the fittings and furnishings of the apartments; contains a rich collection of paintings; and was visited, in 1835, by the Duchess of Kent and the Princess Victoria, and, in 1865, by the Prince and Princess of Wales. A beautiful lake of about 20 acres, and several charming vistas, are in the grounds. " Coke of Norfolk, '' who succeeded to the estate in 1778, who is often called the Great Earl of Leicester, and who was one of the most distinguished agriculturalists of his day, made vast additions to the previous land improvements; increased the value of the rentalmore than tenfold in forty years; and is commemorated by a Corinthian column, erected in the grounds in 1852. An artificial mound, supposed to have been formed by the Saxons, and known to have been occupied as a Danish camp, is surmounted by the parish church. Traces of a small ancient camp are near Rabbit farm, about ¾ of a mile from the church. A slight indentation of the coast bears the name of Holkham bay, and once had a small port. Bricks and tiles are made, and limestone is quarried. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Norwich. Value, £200. * Patron, the Earl of Leicester. The church consists of nave, chancel, and aisles, with lofty embattled tower; was repaired in 1767, at a cost of £1, 000, by the Dowager countess of Leicester; and is a land mark to mariners. There are alms houses, founded and endowed by the Countess, and having £150 a year.

Holkham through time

Holkham is now part of North Norfolk district. Click here for graphs and data of how North Norfolk has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Holkham itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Holkham in North Norfolk | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 06th March 2021

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