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Ghostly Goings On during heritage walk

Great Yarmouth Minster

Body snatchers, witches and ghosts from Great Yarmouth’s past will figure in a special heritage walk around the town.
The guided Dastardly Deeds and Ghostly Goings On stroll will take a light-hearted look at famous and infamous characters, as well as intriguing events, from its past.

They include jailed 19th century body snatcher Thomas Smith, who would dig up recently-buried locals, and hide them in a flat off the Rows before taking them to a London surgeon by cart.

The guide will explain the mystery tapping following the burial of a mummified Egyptian princess found in a local school in 1845, and recall when a ghostly gardener cycled through the lock gates of the Minster as recently as 1963.
Other stories include a handful of witches who were sent to the gallows at North Denes after a visit by Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins in 1645, and a visit by Lord Nelson in 1800 when he was granted the Freedom of Borough. When it was suggested a pub was renamed the Nelson Arms, the naval hero pointed out that would be foolish - as he only had one.

It also takes people to the scene of the Suspension Bridge disaster of 1845 when 79 people, mostly children, died when it collapsed under the weight of crowds watching a clown being towed up the river in a bath tub by four geese.

The walk – which includes appearances by characters in costume - starts in front of the Minster gates at 7pm on Sunday April 9.
Another walk on Tuesday April 11 - Roman Revelations at a Fascinating Fort – explores the 2000-year history of Burgh Castle’s well-preserved ruins, which were once home to a 500-strong cavalry garrison.
There is a chance to learn about the fort’s strategic importance, and have fun learning soldier drills and a little Latin.

It starts at Burgh Castle car park, Butt Lane, NR31 9QG at 2pm
Booking for both walks – which will be repeated in the summer - is essential through the Tourist Information Centre on 01493 846346/7.

Details of these and other walks can be found on our Guided Heritage Walks page.