Her­itage week: Cel­e­brat­ing in­spi­ra­tional women

Step back in time, im­merse your­self in his­tory and dis­cover some of Nor­folk’s ex­cit­ing se­cret places this month as part of the Her­itage Open Days fes­ti­val

EDP Norfolk - - INSIDE - WORDS: Rachel Buller and Rowan Man­tell

Em­brace Nor­folk’s an­cient build­ings, their in­trigu­ing sto­ries and the fas­ci­nat­ing so­cial his­tory that seeps from their bricks dur­ing this year’s Her­itage Open Days. Here is our pick of just a few of the fab­u­lous places open­ing their doors for the fes­ti­val.

On the banks of the River Nar, Nar­bor­ough Bone Mill op­er­ated dur­ing Vic­to­rian times, grind­ing bones to make fer­tiliser. It has a re­stored 16ft wa­ter­wheel, tun­nels and a new vis­i­tor cen­tre. Septem­ber 8 and 9, 10am – 4pm; The Malt­ings, Main Road, Nar­bor­ough, PE32 1TE, bone­mill.org.uk

Visit the his­toric Thet­ford Gram­mar School and ex­plore the 16th cen­tury school­room built on the site of a 14th cen­tury Do­mini­can Fri­ary, once oc­cu­pied by a Nor­man Cathe­dral. Septem­ber 8, 10am – 1pm; Thet­ford Gram­mar School, 24 Bridge Street, Thet­ford, IP24 3AF, thet­gram.nor­folk.sch.uk

Known lo­cally as Tu­dor House, this 15th cen­tury build­ing, now Al­bright craft shop on St Ni­cholas Street in Diss, boasts a carved dragon post and im­pres­sive dec­o­ra­tive tim­ber fram­ing. Septem­ber 13/14/15; 9.30am -1pm, 2pm – 5pm; Al­bright, 23 St. Ni­cholas Street, Diss, IP22 4LB

Beck­ets Chapel in Wy­mond­ham was founded around 1174 AD and fea­tured in the lead up to Kett’s Re­bel­lion. It has an un­usual 15th cen­tury false-ham­mer­beam roof, a mag­nif­i­cent 15th cen­tury fleu­ron-dec­o­rated arch and some grue­some as­so­ci­ated tales. There are ac­tiv­i­ties through­out the days. Septem­ber 6/7/8/9 and 13/14/15/16, 10am – 5pm. Pre-book tours on 01953 202202, wymond­hamarts.org Beck­ets Chapel, 2 Church Street, Wy­mond­ham, NR18 0PH.

The Chris­tadel­phi­ans in Bramer­ton are shar­ing their large and fas­ci­nat­ing col­lec­tion of his­toric bibles and fac­sim­i­les of bibles, many of which are rare and hun­dreds of years old. Septem­ber 7 and 8, 10am – 5pm. Chris­tadel­phian Hall, The Street, Bramer­ton, NR14 7DW, b-c.org.uk See the fastest all-weather lifeboat in the coun­try, learn about dare­devil res­cues and 200 years of lifeboat his­tory at the Cais­ter Vol­un­teer Lifeboat her­itage cen­tre. The for­mer Royal Naval hos­pi­tal in Great Yar­mouth was built in 1811 for Lord Nel­son’s men, but was never used by them. It played an im­por­tant role in treat­ing naval staff though, in­clud­ing 600 sol­diers in­jured at Water­loo, shipped there in 1815. Septem­ber 6/7/8/9 and 15/16, 11am – 3pm. Queens Road, Great Yar­mouth, NR30 3JU, great­yarmouth.gov.uk, rn­hgy.org.uk

Built in 1702, the Fish­er­men’s Hos­pi­tal was for old or ‘de­cayed’ fish­er­men. Open­ing espe­cially

for Her­itage Open Days, there are talks on its his­tory and the chance to ex­plore one of the re­main­ing cot­tages. Septem­ber 6/7/8/9 and 13/14/15, 10am to 4pm, talks 11am and 2pm. Great Yar­mouth Mar­ket Place, Great Yar­mouth, NR30 1ND, great-yar­mouth. co.uk Take a trip on the his­toric Spark of Light – the old­est hire cruiser on the Broads. Built by Her­bert Woods in 1926 at Pot­ter Heigham, it was widely repli­cated across the wa­ter­ways.

Septem­ber 6/7/8 and 13/14, 10am – 4pm; Septem­ber 9, 11am – 4pm, hourly trips daily. Book­ing es­sen­tial, 0800 144 44 72, her­bert­woods.co.uk. Her­bert Woods LLP, Bridge Road, Pot­ter Heigham, NR29 5JF

A rare chance to see in­side the aban­doned rail­way sta­tion at Felm­ing­ham, near North Wal­sham – un­changed since the line closed in 1959. Known af­fec­tion­ately as the ‘Mud­dle and Go Nowhere’ line be­cause of its me­an­der­ing route from Le­ices­ter to the Nor­folk coast, it would have once seen up to 80 trains a day.

Septem­ber 6/7, tours 11am – 3pm; pre-book on 07843 069 567 or m.web­ster@tcv.org.uk. Weavers Way, Felm­ing­ham, NR28 0LL.

Step in­side the Grade II listed sig­nal box at Cromer, op­er­ate the 1960s lever sys­tem, see the points work and old rail­way arte­facts. Cromer Sig­nal Box, Off Holt Road, Cromer, NR27 9ST. Septem­ber 7/8, 10.30am – 3.30pm.

Founded in 1249 to care for re­tired clergy and the poor, the Great Hos­pi­tal in Nor­wich is a true hid­den gem. Take a tour of the Church of St He­len and clois­ters, the stunning Ea­gle ward and medieval re­fec­tory. Septem­ber 6 and 13, tours 10am – 11.30am; Septem­ber 7, tours 2.30pm – 4pm. Pre-book­ing re­quired, the­fo­rum­nor­wich.co.uk/ hods Bish­op­gate, Nor­wich, NR1 4EL; greathos­pi­tal.org.uk

En­joy the rare chance of a rooftop tour of the pavil­ion build­ings at Ea­ton Park in Nor­wich for amaz­ing city views and learn more about its his­tory. Septem­ber 16, tours 3pm, 3.30pm, 4pm and 4.30pm. Places first come first served. Meet at the band­stand, Ea­ton Park, South Park Av­enue , Nor­wich, NR4 7AZ.

A for­mer leper hos­pi­tal dat­ing back 900 years, Lazar House in Nor­wich is an in­trigu­ing build­ing with a fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory. En­joy a walk and talk tour. Septem­ber 16, 11am – 3pm, tour 11.30am – 12pm. Pre-book at the­fo­rum­nor­wich.co.uk/ hods; The As­sist Trust, Lazar House, 219 Sprow­ston Road, Nor­wich, NR3 4HX; as­sist-trust. co.uk Wit­ness con­ser­va­tion in ac­tion as Horsey Wind­pump’s sails turn for the first time in 75 years. The restora­tion project be­gan in 2016 to bring this iconic Nor­folk Broads’ land­mark back to life. Septem­ber 6/7/8/9 and 13/14/15/16, 10am – 4.30pm, Horsey Wind­pump, Horsey, NR29 4EE, na­tion­al­trust.org. uk/horsey-wind­pump

Pic­ture: Matthew Usher

ABOVE LEFT: Ea­ton Park ABOVE RIGHT:David Hol­gate’s statue of Mother Ju­lian at Nor­wich Cathe­dralFAR LEFT:Nar­bor­ough Bone Mill

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