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.

Horse Power!

This is an image

Visit Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse on Sunday 28 September for a special day with a difference, celebrating the work of heavy horses.

Horse Power! will see the museum’s own team of Suffolk horses working together with members of the Eastern Counties Heavy Horse Association to carry out all the seasonal tasks on the farm, including ploughing, harrowing, potato lifting and muck spreading.

Professional Forester Mark Tasker uses his heavy horses to extract timber. Watch the team demonstrating their skills and see how the wood is processed to make logs. What happens next?

Be entertained with music and song from local horseman Ray Hubbard and his band, accompanying a jig dance. Ray will also be exhibiting some of his extensive collection of horse memorabilia.

Chat to horsemen and discover the experiences of lives spent working with these animals. Want to know more? DVDs of conversations with local horsemen will be available to purchase from ‘Legends of the Horse World’. Meet the different breeds of heavy horse, from Suffolks to Shires, Percheron and working Cobs.

See art inspired by such impressive animals with displays from local painters Frances Sullivan and Joe Godderidge.

Sir Alfred Munnings was known as one of England's finest painters of horses. Find out more about his life the inspiration for one of his most famous paintings Sunny June with Katie Phillips Events Trainee at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery. Feeling inspired? Get creative in our special horse themed craft activities.

Enter our Wildlife Photography Competition!

This is an image

Be inspired by Gressenhall’s beautiful surroundings and enter our wildlife photography competition for the chance to win a great voucher to spend at WEX Photographic Warehouse Express, Norwich and to have your work on show at our Apple Day!

Photographers under 18 - a £30 WEX voucher
Adults - a £50 WEX voucher

PLUS! Winners have the opportunity to have their pictures printed and displayed in WEX Norwich Showroom! Send us your wildlife images by 12noon on Wednesday 1 October 2014 for the chance to win and have your photograph on display at Apple Day on Sunday 19 October 2014. Please provide contact details and your age if under 18.

The competition will be judged by local wildlife photographer Simon Litten and member of WEX photographic team. Photographs must be taken within the grounds of Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse.

Email entries to in JPEG format (maximum size 3MB). Maximum of 3 images per applicant.

Postal entries can be sent to: Photography Competition, Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, Gressenhall, Dereham NR20 4DR

Voices from the Workhouse

This is an image

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!

This is an image

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

This is an image

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.

Read more