Building Facade, Walsingham

Discover our Museums

If museums are your thing we have plenty to offer. Start with the Walsingham Shirehall Museum for a fine display of village artefacts and photographs, plus the old courthouse and lock-up. Ask at the Tourist Information Centre in the Shirehall Museum for keys to access the old prison.

 

St Seraphim's Chapel exterior

St Seraphim’s Chapel exterior

St Seraphim’s Icon and Railway Heritage Museum  is a unique heritage site in the former Walsingham Station. A display in the porch captures the heritage of the building, with information about its iconography, railway and pilgrimage collections. A temporary display of railway artefacts, information on the station and memories gathered from locals and pilgrims is accessible by arrangement. Permanent displays of the collections are planned.

 

Photo from Gressenhall MuseumTwo miles down the road in Thursford is a stunning collection of old steam engines, mechanical organs, Wurlitzers and old-style carousels.

At Fakenham Museum of Gas and Local History (four miles south) you will find the only surviving town gasworks in England and Wales, complete with all the equipment used to manufacture gas from coal.

In Glandford, just south of Holt, is a pearl among museums — the tiny Shell Museum houses the collection of shells amassed over 60 years by Sir Alfred Jodrell, late of Bayfield Hall. Here are shells of every hue from all corners of the earth, and amongst them intriguing little curios diligently catalogued with evocative stories.

In the same vicinity is Letheringsett Watermill, awarded top tourist attraction in North Norfolk year after year. This is a working water-powered mill producing wholewheat flour from locally grown wheat — you can buy their flour and muesli in Walsingham Farms Shop.

Go further on to Cromer to enjoy the RNLI’s Henry Blogg Museum, telling the story of the man who saved 873 people from the sea in his long career as coxswain of the Cromer lifeboats. There are displays covering almost 200 years of RNLI history and Henry Blogg’s dog, Monte, leads younger visitors through the story.

At Cromer Museum you can find out about the famous West Runton elephant, Britain’s oldest and most complete elephant fossil, and see some of its actual bones.

Victorian classroom at Gressenhall Museum of Norfolk Life

Victorian classroom at Gressenhall Museum of Norfolk Life

For a  wonderful family day out, visit Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, just over 20 minutes drive away on the Dereham Road. Gain a fascinating and very moving insight into the world of the Victorian workhouse. See a lost rural Norfolk brought to life, with atmospheric homes, shops and gardens lovingly recreated. Meet the animals in the working farm and take a stroll through the woods or along the river.

At Holkham Hall the Bygones Museum offers a vast collection of social, domestic and agricultural memorabilia, with a strong History of Farming exhibition that tells the story of Coke of Norfolk (early owner of Holkham Hall) and his role in the 18th century agricultural revolution.

Further afield, both Norwich and King’s Lynn are each well worth a day’s visit, for a huge wealth of museums and galleries. In particular, check out Lynn Museum for its centrepiece Seahenge exhibit, a Bronze Age timber circle discovered on the beach. True’s Yard Fishing Heritage Museum captures the harsh realities of fishing life and the traditions and spirit of this close-knit community.

In Norwich, the fascinating Strangers Hall dates back to 1320, and exhibits bring the days of the Tudors and Stuarts vividly to life. The Bridewell, once a prison for women and beggars, is now home to a wonderful collection of historic objects and machinery revealing how Norwich people earned their living. And don’t miss Norwich Castle Museum, a magnificent Norman keep that houses Egyptian mummies, eclectic exotica from around the world, plus terrific displays on Queen Boudica, the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings.

Tank outside the Muckleburgh Collection, Weybourne

Tank outside the Muckleburgh Collection, Weybourne

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