jawaharlal_nehru_with_school_children_at_durgapur_copy“At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.”

“Tryst with Destiny” was a speech delivered by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, on the eve of India’s independence in August 1947. To mark the 70th anniversary of the passing of the Indian Independence Act, this year at Blickling we’re exploring the story of Lord Lothian’s short but powerful connection to India’s history.

The last private owner of Blickling Estate, Philip Henry Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian, was a British politician, diplomat and newspaper editor. He became the Under-Secretary of State for India in 1931 and his interest in the independence movement remained until his death nine years later.

11th Marquess of Lothian

11th Marquess of Lothian

He first visited India in 1912, and as a delegate of the Round Table Conference during which the ‘India question’ was discussed, he met Mahatma Ghandi.

On your next visit to Blickling, we’ll be taking you back in time to July 1938 and a country house party where amongst the guests you’ll find the first Prime Minister of India and his daughter. You’ll hear some interesting views about the thinking of the time expressed by Lord Lothian and his influential contemporaries.

As well as a collection of ‘all things Indian’ in the house, there’ll be themed food in the restaurant, costumed interpretation on selected days and planting in the garden with flowers to reflect the national flag of India.

The house is open 7 days a week from 6 March to 29 October. The gardens and parkland are open 363 days of the year.

For further information regarding the India story at Blickling please contact a member of the marketing & visitor team on:
Telephone | 01263 738030 (option 3)
Email | Blickling@nationaltrust.org.uk
Find out more at: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/blickling-estate

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