NORFOLK Museums Service
Ancient House

Ancient House collections

The Thetford Museum provide evidence for the highly distinctive history of Thetford and the Brecks.

The collections have been built up since 1924, the foundation year of the Ancient House Museum. A few items formed part of the predecessor Thetford Mechanics' Institute collection of the late 19th century.

In its early days the museum was associated with local antiquarians and natural historians including WG Clarke (1877-1925) (author of In Breckland Wilds), H. Dixon Hewitt FGS (1878-1966) and Prince Frederick Duleep Singh (1868-1926), the Museum's benefactor, and second son of the Maharajah Duleep Singh (1838-1893).

During the 1950s and 60s staff from the Norwich Castle Museum provided curatorial advice to the Museum. Since 1974 the Ancient House Museum has formed part of the Norfolk Museums Service (now known as the Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service), with professional curators employed.

The Museum collections are wide-ranging, including social and industrial history, archaeology, natural history, fine art, photographs and ephemera. There are small collections of costume, arms and armour, and ethnography. There are over 7000 items in total, mainly of local significance with some items of regional if not national importance.

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