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
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.web[email protected] 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