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Museums & Exhibitions

There are a number of museums, galleries and exhibitions throughout Norfolk catering for all manner of interests, included here are a selection in and around the Norfolk Coast AONB.

The Norfolk Museums service website includes museums in Norwich and elsewhere not mentioned here. Additional sources of information include Architecture of King's Lynn and www.heritage.norfolk.gov.uk

Always check on opening times prior to visiting as these will vary and may be seasonal

Viewing tower on the Rocket House RNLI Museum at Cromer

Viewing tower on the Rocket House RNLI Museum at Cromer

The coast has a long maritime history as many museums illustrate

Cromer Museum
East Cottages, Tucker Street, Cromer NR27 9HB Tel: 01263 513543
www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
Step back in time inside a Victorian fishermans cottage, discover Cromer's history from the arrival of steam railway to bathing machines. Extensive geology displays include the famous West Runton elephant.

RNLI Henry Blogg Museum
The Rocket House, The Promenade, Cromer NR27 9ET Tel: 01263 511294
www.rnli.org.uk
The RNLI Henry Blogg Museum tells the story of Henry Blogg, who saved 873 people from the sea during his long career as coxswain of Cromer lifeboats.

The Mo - Sheringham Museum
Lifeboat Plain, Sheringham NR26 8BG Tel: 01263 824482
www.sheringhammuseum.co.uk
Telling the story of Sheringham and its proud, brave and independent people and their historic fleet of lifeboats and fishing boats.

Fisherman's Heritage Centre
The Slipway, West Cliff, Sheringham NR26 8JT Tel: 01263 824343
www.sheringham-preservation.org.uk
Housed in original Victorian long-shore fishermen's sheds is the towns last private lifeboat the Henry Ramey Upcher and the story of those who crewed these boats.

Map of

Mundesley Maritime Museum
Beach Road, Mundesley NR11 8BG Tel: 01263 720879
Mundesleymaritimemuseum.co.uk
Exhibits include the village past and present; its maritime history; lifeboat activity from 1811; shipwrecks; fishing; trade; the rise and fall of the railway 1898-1964; the Mundesley Minefield. The first floor displays a coastguard lookout of the 1930/1940s with powerful binoculars for visitors to use.

Lynn Museum
Market Street, Kings Lynn, PE30 1NL Tel: 01553 775001
www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
The story of West Norfolk, from a life size replica of the Bronze Age timber circle known as Seahenge, the Sedgeford Hoard of Iceni gold coins hidden in a cow bone for nearly 2000 years to the skeleton of an Anglo Saxon warrior and Egyptian Shabti figures. The museum is in a former Union Baptist Chapel and schoolroom adjacent to the bus station.

Trues Yard Fisherfolk Museum
North Street, Kings Lynn PE30 1QW Tel: 01553 770479
www.truesyard.co.uk
A social history museum in two original fishermens cottages.

Tales of the Old Gaolhouse
Kings Lynn
www.kingslynntownhall.com
Stories of Lynn, Museum and old gaol cells, brings King's Lynn's fascinating history, vividly to life with a stunning exhibition. Set within the magnificent, newly-revealed vaulted undercroft of the 15th century Trinity Guildhall, Stories of Lynn invites you to discover stories of the seafarers, explorers, merchants, mayors, magistrates and miscreants who have shaped King's Lynn, one of England's most important medieval port town's, over more than 800 years of history.


Custom House
Tourist Information Centre, Purfleet Quay PE30 1HP Tel: 01553 763044
www.visitwestnorfolk.com/explore/kings-lynn/history/maritime-kings-lynn
Tourist Information Centre on the ground floor and Maritime exhibition upstairs.

Elizabethan House Museum
4 South Quay, Great Yarmouth NR30 2QH Tel: 01493 855746
www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
Experience the lives of families who lived in this splendid Quayside house from Tudor to Victorian times. Dress in Tudor costumes, let children play in the activity packed toy room. A National Trust site.

Time and Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth Life
Blackfriars Road, Great Yarmouth NR30 3BX Tel: 01493 743930
www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
The Time & Tide museum occupies the premises of the Tower Fish Curing Works and tells the story of Great Yarmouth and its herring industry.

The Tolhouse
Tolhouse Street, Great Yarmouth NR30 2SH Tel: 01493 743930
www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
Built around 800 years ago the Tolhouse has a turbulent history. From home to pirates, robbers and murderers, it has been attacked by rebels and rioters and gutted by enemy bombs. Since the 1880s, the building has housed a museum and today tells it story and of crime and punishment in Great Yarmouth through the ages.

Norfolk Nelson Museum
26 South Quay, Great Yarmouth NR30 2RG Tel: 01493 850698
www.nelson-museum.co.uk
A Grade II listed Georgian Merchant's house where you can find out about Nelson and the times in which he lived.

Also look out for the Lydia Eva a steam powered herring drifter museum ship at Great Yarmouth

Other museums include

The Shell Museum, Glandford
Glandford, near Holt, NR25 7JR Tel: 01263 740081
www.shellmuseum.org.uk
This charming Victorian museum built by Sir Alfred Jodrell houses the finest seashell collection in the UK as well as fossils, birds' eggs, agate ware, local archaeological finds and many more fascinating items. Adjacent St Martins Church with its bells playing hymns every three hours between 0600-2100hrs.

Peter Coke Shell Gallery
West Cliff, Sheringham NR26 8JT. Tel: 01263 824343
sheringhamsociety.com/peter-coke-shell-gallery
The Gallery contains a unique collection by Peter Coke of more than 180 colourful, delicate and stunningly realistic sculptures and arrangements formed from seashells from around the world.

Norfolk's Golden Fleece Heritage Museum
Worstead Baptist Church, Worsted Tel: 01692 406725
www.heritage.norfolk.gov.uk
Displays cover spinning, weaving and dyeing which were so important in Norfolk prior to the Industrial Revolution.

Walsingham Shirehall Museum
Common Place, Walsingham NR22 6BP Tel: 01328 820510
www.walsinghamabbey.com
The museum has a comprehensive display on Walsingham as a place of pilgrimage since 1061, as well as local artefacts and photographs. Walsingham Bridewell, or House of Correction is only a 5 minute walk from the Shirehall Museum. Set up as a House of Correction in 1598, the prison stands on the site of the former leper hospital and is almost unaltered since the last prisoners were let out!

Museum of the Broads
The Staithe, Stalham NR12 9DA Tel: 01692 581681
www.museumofthebroads.org.uk
Situated on the site of an ancient Norfolk wherry loading quay and led and staffed by volunteers to welcome visitors and give them a taste of Broadland's heritage. The Museum on its tranquil riverside setting has four buildings: the Wherry, Marshman's, Origins and the Boat Shed. Further boats outside include the steam launch, Falcon used for river trips.

Caister Castle Motor Museum
Castle Lane, Caister-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth NR30 5SN Tel: 01664 567707
www.caistercastle.co.uk
A large private collection of motor vehicles from veteran to classic cars and motorcycles along with bicycles, horse-drawn vehicles, pedal cars, agriculture equipment, etc. Admission to the castle built in 1432 includes entry to the museum, 90 foot castle tower and grounds.

Fakenham Museum of Gas and Local History Museum
Hempton Road, Fakenham NR21 7LA. Tel: 01328 851166
www.fakenhamgasmuseum.com
The Fakenham Museum of Gas and Local History is the only surviving town gasworks in England and Wales, complete with all equipment used for the manufacture of gas. The gas works is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, a prestigious and rare distinction for an industrial site.

RAF Langham

Langham Dome

Langham Dome

Former RAF station, recognised by it's iconic Dome, a Scheduled Ancient Monument reputed to be the youngest ancient monument in the UK. Langham Dome was built as a state-of-the-art anti-aircraft gunnery trainer in 1942. At 25 ft tall and 40 ft wide it is one of six remaining out of the 40 originally built. Gunners were schooled in accuracy using ground-breaking stop-frame film technology, developed in 1940, which 'simulated' air attacks by projecting images of enemy aircraft onto the interior walls of the Dome. North Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust and The Friends of Langham Dome have with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and others including NCP's Sustainable Development Fund worked to repair, restore and reopen the Dome as a visitor centre to tell its fascinating story. A visit to the Dome offers a unique opportunity to journey back in time and experience what life was like for those who used the Dome and served at RAF Langham. Find out more about Langham Dome

Most historic houses, parks and attractions have displays of artefacts and hold exhibitions and events i.e. Holkham Hall with its farming exhibition. Tourist attractions such as Bircham Windmill (mill and breadmaking), Muckleburgh Collection (Military),  Thursford Museum (steam engines and organs); North Norfolk Railway (heritage and working museum), William Marriott Museum at Holt Station (collection from the age of steam in East Anglia) and Waxham Great Barn (exhibition of local life in the restored Elizabethan barn) to name but a few.