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Did you know that Holkham Hall became the second stately home to open to the public when it threw open its gates in 1777? The Palladian mansion was completed in 1764, its huge cost – and the loss of much of the family fortune in the South Sea Bubble fiasco – left the Coke family finances in a parlous state for years. Thomas Coke, son of the man who had Holkham Hall built, pioneered crop rotation, fodder crops and the use of manure to fertilize the fields of his extensive estate farms. His son Edward was the originator of the Bowler hat , designed to protect gamekeepers from low branches while riding – and from the sticks carried by poachers.

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As no man is born an artist, so no man is born an angler. - Izaak Walton
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On this day:
Malt Tax Riots Begin - 1725, Battle of Plassey - 1757, First Regatta on the Thames - 1775, Deadly Laki Gas Fog Arrives - 1783, End of coal rationing announced - 1958, Darwin’s Tortoise Dies at 176 - 2006, Britain Votes Leave - 2016
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