LAZY FRIDAY: WAILS AND SCREAMS AND DYING GROANS

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Blickling Hall, Gardens and Park

You may get two ghosts for the price of one at Blickling Hall.

Blickling Hall was said to be owned by the Boleyn family from the end of the fifteenth century. It’s even rumoured that Anne Boleyn (second unfortunate wife of King Henry VIII was born there.

So don’t be surprised if on your wanders through the house you catch a glimpse of Anne Boleyn’s headless body roving about aimlessly.

Shhhh!  Listen for The Dying Groans of Sir Henry Hobart

What Has Sir Hobart Got to Groan About?

On August 21st 1698 the villagers of Cawston Heath in Norfolk heard the sound of sword on sword – there was a duel taking place. The duelists were 40-year old MP Sir Henry Hobart 4th Baronet – Owner of Blickling Hall and the other contestant was Sir Oliver Le Neve aged 36; he was a Lawyer from Great Witchingham Hall of Norfolk.

As Sir Hobart was well known for being a fine swordsman, while Sir Neve preferred drinking and fishing to being a swordsman – it was a forgone conclusion that Sir Hobart would be the winner.

But Why The Duel?

It was in the elections in 1698 that Sir Hobart was not re-elected. There had been rumours being spread about regarding his cowardly and dishonourable conduct at the Battle of The Boyne.

Sir Hobart by making some enquiries came to the conclusion that the gossipmonger was Sir Neve.  As Sir Hobart was an MP for the Whigs and Sir Neve was a member of the Tory Party and therefore on opposite sides.

So Sir Hobart challenged Sir Neve to a duel even though Sir Neve protested his innocence.

What Happened At The Duel?

Hobart managed to wound Neve in the arm. But he also managed to get his sword tangled in Neve’s clothing. So while Hobart was occupied by trying to disentangle his sword, Neve took the opportunity to drive his sword into Hobart’s belly.

And After The Duel …

Sir Hobart died the next day from the wound he received during the duel.

His widow was not very happy about this and she offered a reward for the capture of Sir Neve. But because the duel was illegal as there were no seconds present – Sir Neve had already fled to Holland, where he remained for two years.

Meanwhile, visitors to Blickling Hall can sometimes hear Sir Henry Hobart’s dying groans.

Besides Two Ghosts What Else Can Blickling Hall Offer The Visitor?

Blickling Hall is a magnificent Jacobean House with gardens and park.

•    Famed for its long gallery, fine tapestries, paintings and rare books.
•    An all season garden
•    You can hire it for your wedding or conference

What’s New This Year?

The kitchens and service areas have been renovated.

You can learn about life downstairs in the 1930’s and hear stories about Blickling Hall told to you by people who actually worked and lived at Blickling Hall.

Contact Details

For further information about Blickling Hall you can:
Phone:  01263 738030
Fax:   01263 738035
Email: blickling[at]nationaltrust.org.uk

Eva

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