Holkham Hall (Norfolk), 2 miles west of Wells-next-the-Sea, is a slightly forbidding house, built in a rather hard and unlovable local yellow brick. But the grand hall and staircase is majestic and the interior decoration sumptuous. It was built for Thomas Coke, earl of Leicester, in the mid-18th cent. and designed largely by William Kent and Lord Burlington, close friends of Coke. It passed to Thomas Coke, the agricultural improver, for whom the earldom of Leicester was revived in 1837. Lancelot Brown is believed to have worked on the gardens, but the park, flat and near the sea, offered modest capabilities, even to him.
J. A. Cannon
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