NORFOLK Museums Service
Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse is a truly unique museum. Visit its 50-acre site and discover the:

    • Historic workhouse

    • Museum of life on the land

    • Traditional farm with rare breed animals

    • Beautiful, unspoilt grounds

The museum is a great day out whether you want to learn about the lives of Norfolk people in the past or relax and have a good time with your friends and family. You’ll need a whole day to begin to discover all its wonders.

Use the navigation links to plan your visit, find out more about the museum and for details of events and exhibitions. To access a copy of the site map, please click here.

Apple Day – a simply scrumptious event!

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Come and celebrate the wonderful apple and all things autumnal as Gressenhall hosts its annual Apple Day on Sunday 19 October. Watch craftsmen demonstrating their skills, enjoy live entertainment and music as well as the chance to buy handmade country products and local produce including, foods, juice and cider.

If you’ve always wondered what that “mystery” apple tree in your garden or orchard is, then Gressenhall’s Apple Day is the event for you. Experts from The East of England Apple and Orchard Project are here to help. Join us and taste some of the very best apples in Norfolk, whole or pressed as juice or even cider.

Marvel at the skills of Sarah Jenkins and her Border Collies as they round up a gaggle of geese and discover the tale of the ‘Grayte Wyrm of Gressenhall’, a dragon that just loves to eat apples, with special performances from the ‘Fools Puppet Theatre Companie’.

The site will be filled with music, from ‘The Dude Coopers’ playing traditional bluegrass to English and Irish folk tunes from ‘Tarn’, and with lively performances from the dancers of Golden Star Morris there will be plenty to entertain the crowds.

Get crafty in Art Attack and make a headdress to wear as you join the Grand Apple Day Parade and wassail around the orchard with its 30+ varieties of apples discovered, raised or developed in Norfolk.

Watch chainsaw carver Luke Chapman expertly shaping some of his moon-gazing hares throughout the day and meet our Skills for the Future Landscape Management Trainees - Lee Bassett, will be revealing his green woodworking skills with wood carving demonstrations during the day, while Daniel Johnson will show you how to lay a traditional style hedge.

Watch the steam thresher separating the cereal grains from the stalks on Gressenhall Farm, or head to the engine rooms and meet the Steam Up team – Gressenhall’s own volunteer engineers – running the museum’s engines throughout the day.

Inspired by Gressenhall’s beautiful surroundings, browse the entries for Gressenhall’s Wildlife Photography Competition and find out who are the lucky winners of the WEX Photographic Vouchers, judged by wildlife photographer Simon Litten and WEX Photographic.

There are lots of opportunities to buy direct from local producers of apple juices, ciders, cakes and autumnal preserves and chutneys. See local artists and craftspeople demonstrating and selling their wares including metalwork, willow baskets, fleece products, paintings and original prints. Watch blacksmith demonstrations from Westfield Forge and discover the creations of Artist Blacksmith Toby Winterbourn. Join the artists from Print to the People and screenprint your own Gressenhall Apple Day poster – a brilliant reminder of a wonderful day.

Hit the Road! Half Term family fun

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Put your best foot forward and find out about travel and transport at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse this half term.

Journey around the 50-acre site and see if you can find all the different forms of transport. Discover how we used to get about and make your own moving model in Art Attack! Take a tractor ride and see what’s happening this autumn on Gressenhall Farm.

Explore a wide range of shoes from the museum collections – from fancy footwear for fine ladies, to a sheep’s welly boot! Can you work out which shoe belongs to which character?

On the afternoons of Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 October, come and discover a wide range of transport items in the Norfolk Collections Centre, where Norfolk Museum Service keeps some of the larger objects from its reserve collections. Meet the Shine a Light Project team and Colin, their mascot. Colin is a baby snap dragon and his parents are currently being looked after by the Conservation Department as they have hurt their wings. See if you can find the best mode of transport to get Colin’s mum and dad back home!

Book now and experience ‘Ghostly Gressenhall’ this Halloween!

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Tickets are now available for Ghostly Gressenhall - the perfect family party for your little Witches and Warlocks!

It’s time for the end of year test at Gressenhall Academy for Wizardry and Witchcraft. Unfortunately, Ermintrude Newtbottom is a bit of a klutz. She can’t seem to get anything right!

Her sister Helga Bootcackler is a complete know-it-all about magic. She does everything better than Ermintrude, but Halloween is a time of strange occurrences and the magical energies are at their most unpredictable. Will the final exam and end of term party go as planned or will you have to lend a hand, leg or tentacle?

Prepare yourselves for a frightfully good time and don your best Halloween costumes for a night of spooky fun at Gressenhall. A prize will be given to the wearer of the most terrifying outfit.

Attend mystical classes including ‘Care of Magical Creatures’ with Jurassic Encounters. Meet and handle Giant Rabbits, Pygmy Hedgehogs, colourful Chameleons, Bearded Dragons, Gargoyle Geckos and many more animals with marvellous magical abilities.

Report to the Headmaster for ‘Spelling Lessons’, and craft your own wand with the famous Wand Maker. Unleash your creativity in Sorcerer’s Art Attack! with invisible artworks. Learn from the Master of Enchantments and Potioncraft and blend a powerful potion mixture in Cherry Tree Cottage. Can you use what you have learnt to help Ermintude pass her BATS exam so that she can enjoy the end of term party?

The Mardler’s Rest Café will also be open throughout the evening, serving hot and cold snacks and drinks. Get your tickets now for this special after-dark opening!

Ghostly Gressenhall takes place on Thursday 30 and Friday 31 October 2014 from 6pm to 8pm. Entry is by ticket only. Advanced booking essential. To book, please telephone 01362 869251.

Voices from the Workhouse

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Thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, over the next few months we will be exploring how we can improve our workhouse displays. Using recently revealed original accounts, we will tell the real stories of the people who lived and worked in the workhouse.

Inspired by this, our Live Interpretation Officer, Rachel Duffield, spent three weeks this spring ‘Living the Workhouse Diet’. Of the 21 meals, 12 involved beer...and five meant beer at breakfast for Rachel. How did she get on? Find out more about Rachel’s diet and the wider project on our Voices from the Workhouse webpage.

Thank Goodness for Gressenhall!

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Calling all teachers! Are you worried about changes to the National Curriculum?

All, we can say is ‘Thank Goodness for Gressenhall’!

Our Learning Team have made two short films to highlight how Gressenhall’s formal learning offer fits into the new curriculum - they are well worth watching!

The films are available to view on You Tube by clicking on the following links:

For the Foundation and KS1 programme, please click here

For the KS2 programme, please click here

More to see with our special exhibitions

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This year Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse is proud have an exhibition dedicated to Norfolk’s Last Horseman, Ray Hubbard. Ray is a regular face at Gressenhall events, and has recently donated much of his fascinating collection, amassed during a life spent working with horses, to the museum. Come and explore the tricks and tools of the trade.

The First World War affected everyone. Discover the impact on the people of Norfolk in our special exhibition to commemorate the centenary of the start of this conflict.

For more information on these, please see our Exhibitions page.

Object of the Month

Each month, we pick one of the many fascinating items from our collection as our Object of the Month. With over 50,000 objects to select from, we are really spoilt for choice! You can find out more in our Collections Corner.

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