This year promises to be an exciting time for Holkham Hall with a permanent, brand new interactive exhibition called Field to Fork arriving.
London-based creative design group, Drinkall Dean, has been responsible for the design of the exhibition and it is hoped that Field to Fork will become the focal point of Holkham’s dedicated education programme.
It tells the story of farming at Holkham, a nationally-significant tale because Holkham was the home of Thomas William Coke, the first Earl of Leicester.
Better known as Coke of Norfolk, he with his four-course crop rotation and famous Sheep Shearings, helped revolutionise English agriculture in the early 1800s.
The new exhibition is housed in seven rooms, taking up part of the old Bygones museum in the courtyard.
The rooms are all themed and designed to present different aspects of farming and food to visitors of all ages.
After a welcoming room, there is a room entitled Lie of the Land, giving a history of the estate and exhibits including Holkham tweed, saffron and Holm oak acorns that were used as 18th-century bubble wrap.
The next room is Tools of the Trade and is about managing the land, past and present. Aside from a tractor and scythes there will be a seleciton of mystery tools to identify.
Breaking New Ground will explain why the estate was at the forefront of new ideas in agriculture and remains so today.
An Edible Landscape tells the story of the food obtained from a diverse environment. Previous rooms had concentrated on the Field; from now on it is about crops, animals and Food.
Holkham produces food from many sources, venison from deer in the park, sugar from beet, beef and lamb from its livestock, game in the woods and beer from the malting barley. The Farming Year is an eight-minute film showing the myriad things that go on in the estate over 12 months.
Our Crops, Your Food, follows the passage of food from our fields to your forks. It will be set up as a series of market stalls with things to look at and think about.
There will be a strong message that what you eat and where ti comes from is vital for your overall nutrition and health.
In the courtyard will be a tractor to climb on and a huge tractor tyre to measure yourself against. There are future plans for a tractor simulator to be installed.
Running alongside the Field to Fork exhibition will be one of the life of the late 7th Earl of Leicester, who died last year, From Homestead to Holkham.
It pays tribute to a great, yet modest man who was integral to the restoration of the fortunes of the Holkham estate.
Holkham Hall is open March 20–October 31, 12-4pm on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays. The Walled Garden, Farming Exhibition, Children’s Woodland Adventure Play Area, Courtyard Café and Gift Shop opens from March 20–October 31, every day 10am-5pm, Prices for the Hall, Farming Exhibition and Walled Garden: Adult: £15, child (5-16 years inc) £7.50; Family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children 5-16 years inc): £41. Farming exhibition and Walled Garden Adult £8, child £4. Buy tickets online in advance for a 10 per cent discount. The Homestead to Holkham exhibition is open only when the hall is open.