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Heritage open days 2015 in Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth Heritage Open Days 10 to 13 September host an exciting programme of free tours and drop in events in the Borough of Great Yarmouth during Heritage Open Days weekend, Thursday 10 to Sunday 13 September.

Book a tour back to World War II at ‘Blitz Street’ Scratby (10-13 September), or a guided walk On the Warpath: Piers and Bombs (10 September). Go on a tour featuring the Great & the Good Great Yarmouth (11 September) and get behind the scenes in Great Yarmouth Community Library (10 and 11 September).

Go to Priory Gardens Past Times Fayre in Gorleston (13 September), see Great Yarmouth’s Heritage & History in Pictures at the Great Yarmouth Mercury (10 and 11 September), explore the Masonic Royal Assembly Rooms (10-12 September) and visit the Fishermen’s Hospital (10-13 September). Head off to All Saints Church Horsey, which dates back to Saxon times (11-13 September) and Hopton Ruined Church (11-13 September).

Walk from Reedham to Polkey’s Mill and Reedham Marsh Steam House (10 September), or visit Morse’s Wind Engine Park at Repps with Bastwick, the only collection of historic wind pumps in the UK (10-13 September).

Visit the Elizabethan House Museum and Tolhouse Museum (both 10-13 September) and go to The Priory Centre (10 September).

Pick up a Great Yarmouth Heritage Open Days leaflet at the Tourist Information Centre,
t. 01493 846346, or download a copy of the leaflet from

Borough of Great Yarmouth – Heritage Open Days events and tours – full list

Pre-Booked Events

Blitz Street
Scratby, NR29 3NS
Thursday 10 to Sunday 13 September, tours at 10am and 2pm.
Pre-booking only t. 01493 846346.
A life size street scene made up of garden sheds transports you back to the 1940s and wartime life. See Nanny Morrison's cottage fitted out to make any wartime housewife proud, and buy sweets by the quarter in the corner shop. BBC comedy classic Dad's Army is brought to life with a full size replica of Captain Mainwaring’s office and new for 2015 visit the chemist with potions and lotions to cure all sorts of ailments. Visits by pre-booked tour only.

Guided Walk – On the Warpath: Piers and Bombs
Meeting Place: Wellington Pier, Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, NR30 3JF
Thursday 10 September, 2pm
Pre-booking required t. 01493 846346
Find out more about the Victorian piers and the former jetty, from which Nelson embarked for the battle of Copenhagen and the role they played in seafaring activities from the 1650's onwards. Also discover stories of the town's war efforts during both world wars and how the seafront played its part.

Guided Walk – The Great & the Good Great Yarmouth
Meeting Place: The Fishermen’s Hospital, Great Yarmouth, NR30 1ND
Friday 11 September, 2pm
Pre-booking required via 01493 846346
Join this walk and find out just how Yarmouth became Great, including how the town grew over time featuring fishing, railways, rows and monks and which personalities played starring roles in the town's development up to and including recent times.

Drop in events no need to book

The Fishermen’s Hospital.
Market Place, Great Yarmouth, NR30 1ND
Thursday 10 to Sunday 13 September, 10am – 4pm. Talk given daily at 11am.
The Fishermen's Hospital was built in 1702 by the corporation of Great Yarmouth for old or "decayed" fishermen. It could house up to 40 residents, but now only nine cottages remain with 8 residents. Tours will include cottage no 8, which will be opened especially for HODs visitors. A talk will be given each day at 11am and tea & coffee will be available for HODs visitors.

Royal Assembly Rooms,
Albert Square, Great Yarmouth, NR30 3JH
Thursday 10 to Saturday 12 September
Tours at 11am and 2pm each day
Originally designed to be Assembly and Reading Rooms in 1863, the building was bought from the Norfolk Militia by the Masons in 1919 and has undergone significant refurbishment. Take a look around this magnificent building. A guide will be on hand to answer all your questions.

Wind Energy Museum – Morse Collection
Marsh Road (Off Staithe Road), Repps With Bastwick, NR29 5JU
Thursday 10 to Sunday 13 September, 10am to 4pm
Great Britain’s only collection of historical wind-pumps. Experience this unique museum with guided tours starting every half an hour on the social history & heritage of the site. There will also be illustrated talks on the hour about Norfolk Mills and their people plus other local topics.

Old Meeting – Unitarian Church
Greyfriars Way, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2SW
Thursday 10 and Friday 11 September 10am to 4pm, Saturday 12 September 9am to 5pm,
Sunday 13 September, 12.30pm to 2pm
A chance to see a modern, light and airy church built in 1954 following the bombing of its predecessor in WWII. Learn about of this dissenting movement's presence in the town, from its establishment in 1644.

Great Yarmouth Potteries
18/19 Trinity Place, Great Yarmouth, NR30 3HA
Thursday 10 and Friday 11 September, 9.30am to 3pm
Get transported back to ‘Yarmouth past’ in this building with its tarred timbers and other nautical paraphernalia. See the arrow slits and gargoyles in the medieval wall and the 700 year-old well, which is still in daily use. Children can make a small clay item, to take home free.

Tolhouse Museum & Gaol
Tolhouse Street, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2SH
Thursday 10 to Sunday 13 September, 11am to 4pm
Take a journey through crime and punishment in Great Yarmouth in one of England's oldest prisons. Learn of the fates of thieves, smugglers, witches, pirates and murderers. Hear both gaoler and prisoners tell their tales of transportation, incarceration and execution. On 12 and 13 September, visit a convict in the cells and discover what hard labour really meant.

Great Yarmouth Minster
Church Plain, Great Yarmouth, NR30 1NE
Thursday 10 to Saturday 12 September 10am to 4pm, Sunday 13 September 11am to 4pm
Great Yarmouth Minster was built in 1101 and is the largest parish church in the country. It was bombed during WWII, with just the walls and towers left standing. Restored by Stephen Dykes Bower between 1957 and 1961, this wonderful church is full of fascinating stories and history. Special exhibition, The Sea and Great Yarmouth.
Caister Lifeboat Visitor Centre
Skippers Walk, Tan Lane, Caister-on-Sea, NR30 5DJ
Thursday 10 September 10am to 3:30pm, tours at 11am and 2pm.
Sunday 13 September, 10am to 3:30pm, tours at 11am and 2pm
More than 200 years of lifeboat history is told through exhibits in the Visitor Centre. New tours for HODs, feature some of the historical tragedies on the sandbanks and the story of Caister Lifeboat to the present day. HODs visitors will also have the chance to see inside the lookout tower which is the operational base for today's Caister National Coastwatch.
Elizabethan House
4 South Quay, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2QH
Thursday 10 to Sunday 13 September, 10am to 4pm
Discover the lives of the families who lived here from Tudor through to Victorian times. The house gives you a feel for day to day domestic life with rich period settings and evocative sounds and smells. Be a house detective in the exciting HODs museum trail. Sunday 12 – make a Tudor Rose or a First World War poppy.

All Saints Church
The Street, Village of Horsey, NR29 4EF
Friday 11 September, 12noon to 5pm
Saturday 12 September, 10am to 5pm
Sunday 13 September, 12noon to 5pm with organ recital 12noon to 12.45pm
A beautiful, ancient Saxon church with round tower and thatched roof. Photographic displays show the village and church through the ages, including the Horsey flood.

Hopton Ruined Church
Coast Road, Hopton on Sea, NR30 2QE
Friday 11 to Sunday 13 September 10am to 3pm
This Grade II listed ruin appears on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk register and is currently a conservation project led by the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust. Information will be available about the progress so far with access in the ruin for HODs visitors. Flintknapping demonstrations and taster sessions Friday 11: John Lord will demonstrate working with flints in an architectural setting.
Children’s Nature Workshop Saturday 12: Emma Purnell will be making a bug hotel for the ruin gardens to encourage wildlife.
Children’s Archaeology Activity Day Sunday 13: Giles Emery will be doing archaeologically based activities aimed at budding young archaeologists to come and try out.

Holy Trinity Church
Norwich Road, Caister-on-Sea, NR30 5JN
Saturday 12 September 9am to 4pm
Dating from the 14th century church and re-built in the 18th century and beyond. Strong links with Caister Lifeboat throughout can be seen with memorials inside and outside the church, including a stunning stained glass window of Christ and the Fisherman, by Paul Woodruffe which commemorates the 1901 lifeboat disaster.

Quaker Meeting House
Howard Street South, Great Yarmouth, NR30 1LN
Saturday 12 September, 10am to 4pm
Early 19th century Quaker Meeting House in a walled garden, which was once the burial ground. Quakers have worshiped in Great Yarmouth since 1649 and beneath the present building you can see the remains of a 14th century cell occupied by Augustinian Friars until the Dissolution of the Monasteries, c.1536.

Royal Naval Hospital,
Queens Road, Great Yarmouth, NR30 3JU
Friday 11 to Sunday 13 September, 11am to 3pm
A former Navy hospital originally built for Nelson's men. In 1815 it treated 600 soldiers injured at Waterloo. During WWII the hospital became HMS Watchful, co-ordinating mine sweeping operations and acting as an information centre and administrative headquarters for the Royal Navy. Now sympathetically converted into apartments and houses, the Chapel and one ward have been preserved. Escorted tours to the chapel and ward may be available on request on the day.

Holy Trinity & All Saints Church
Somerton Road, Winterton-on-Sea, NR29 4AW
Saturday 12 September, 10am to 3pm
Winterton Church is renowned for its stately tower. The church has close connections with the sea: the crucifix that stands in Fisherman's Corner is carved from ship's timber, a trawler net forms its canopy; plaques record the valiant deeds of the village lifeboatmen, and a memorial records the sacrifice of Fr Clarence Porter, who died after saving a choirboy from drowning.

Polkey’s Mill & Reedham Marsh Steam Engine House
Wherryman’s Way (footpath), Reedham, NR13 3UB
Thursday 10 September, 12pm to 4pm
The site includes a working drainage mill, which will be working weather permitting. Beside the mill is an old steam engine house built in 1880 (no steam engine). Visitors will be allowed access to the buildings. Tours of Polkey’s Mill in small groups will be available. It is also hoped to have the mid-1940's diesel engines working and on show.

Great Yarmouth Community Library
Tolhouse Street, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2SH
Thursday 10 September, tour at 2pm and Friday 11 September, tour at 10am.
Take part in a guided tour behind the scenes of Great Yarmouth Library. See examples of some of the local studies, collections and resources currently held in the depths of the library basement. These tours have been specially created for HODs visitors. Not suitable for children under the age of 16.

Great Yarmouth’s Heritage & History in Pictures
Great Yarmouth Mercury, 169 King Street, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2PA
Thursday 10 September, 9am to 5pm and Friday 11 September, 9am to 5pm
A new exhibition for 2015 HODs visitors. Take a trip down memory lane with a fascinating selection of images taken by staff photographers from the Great Yarmouth Mercury over the decades, covering the resort's heydays and holidays, plus pictures of local industries and businesses.
Guided Churchyard & Cemeteries Walk at Great Yarmouth Minster
Church Plain, Great Yarmouth, NR30 1NE
Friday 11 September, tour at 10.30am
HODs visitors will be taken on a guided tour of the churchyard and cemeteries, led by local historian Paul Davies. Hear stories about the most important and interesting people buried there and be guided around some of the most significant monuments. The old and new cemeteries are also now recognised as a county wildlife site.

Priory Gardens Past Times Fayre
High Street (behind council car park), Gorleston, NR31 6NJ
Sunday 13 September, 10am to 4pm
Local interest groups and schools will be exhibiting their heritage projects in the Priory Gardens. A marquee housing a vintage tearoom will provide refreshments and various activities will be taking place for HODs visitors including archery, donkey rides, brass band, and a wildlife 'show & tell'.

The Priory Centre
Great Yarmouth Community Trust, The Priory Centre, Priory Plain, Great Yarmouth, NR30 1NW
Thursday 10 September, 12noon to 4pm
Originally a Benedictine Abbey founded in 1260 and used until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536. A special exhibition for HODs visitors will feature photographs from its days as a school from 1854 to 1999. HODs visitors who attended school here will have an opportunity to share their memories and organisers would love to see mementoes.