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 building featuring new exhibition galleries exploring ‘Voices from the Workhouse’

    • Museum of life on the land

    • Traditional farm with rare breed animals

    • Beautiful, unspoilt grounds and exciting adventure playground

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.

Now Open! Discover the Voices from the Workhouse

Come and discover the exciting new galleries at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse which are now open following a major redevelopment! Hear real stories of those who lived and worked within its walls and explore the impact of this intriguing institution.

Can’t wait to visit? Take a look at the new Workhouse galleries with the help of Mr Bilham the Workhouse Porter. Click here or on the image to view the film.

Voices from the Workhouse film

Take an immersive journey through the new galleries and find out more about the workhouse regime and what inmates had to eat. Discover how they worked, rested and even how they played – you may be surprised by some of things you will find!

“Voices from the Workhouse” is a three-year Heritage Lottery Fund project which is transforming the museum displays, enabling us to tell the real stories of the people who lived and worked in the workhouse. To learn more about the wider project, events, activities and forthcoming digital resources, please visit our Voices from the Workhouse webpage.

Upcoming events

Schools Out!

Summer Holiday family fun at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse
Thursday 21 July to Sunday 4 September 2016

A Home Front Mystery

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Monday 15 August to Sunday 4 September

Become a World War two detective and unearth the mystery of the crashed Heinkel plane on Gressenhall Farm. The plane is empty but someone must have seen it crash, use your detective skills to locate the suspect who knows what happened.

Find the hidden clues and discover the pilot’s secret stash! Will you be able to “do your bit” for the War effort and help save the day? Be sure to keep an eye out for a member of the Home Guard on 16,17,18,23,24 and 25 August, he may also require your assistance!

Family volunteering at Gressenhall

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Would you like the opportunity to work with the museum’s collections as a family?

Over the summer holidays there will be a unique opportunity to discover behind the scenes and help us with the re-display of the Museum.

We are packing up the Collections Gallery ready for refurbishment and would like your help.

Over the last two weeks of the summer holidays Monday 22 August to Friday 2 September 2016 we will be running eight one hour sessions for families to get hands on with the collections.

The session will include:

    • A basic introduction to handling and packing collections

    • Packing museum objects into boxes

    • Auditing of collections

    • Working with museum staff and volunteers

    • A look at museum stores

Advance booking is essential and spaces are strictly limited. To book or for more information, please telephone 01362 869251.

Village At War

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Sunday 28 August and Bank Holiday Monday 29 August 2016

Experience life on the home front during the Second World War and discover how you can “do your bit” for the War effort this August Bank Holiday

The annual Village at War event once again promises to deliver an impressive display of home front history. Stroll around military and civilian vehicles and meet costumed characters from both the British and American forces, enjoy toe tapping 1940s music and live radio shows from the talented ‘Timescape’, and see just how far the rations can be stretched with cooking in the farmhouse kitchen. Pick up your ID card and make sure you have it to hand in case you are stopped by the Home Guard!

Be sure to keep an eye out for the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, who will be visiting the Village for the weekend, to help boost morale. Meet military enactment group the ‘Royal Norfolk Regiment’ on manoeuvre and chat with costumed servicemen to find out about active duty.

Experience the life of a war time child from school lessons to leisure activities and see how children were able to ‘do their bit’ for the war effort with the Girl Guides and Southern Norwich Scouts camping 1940s style. There may be a war on, but that’s no excuse to be late for school! Attend a special lesson in the school room, or play ‘Air Raiding’ – a brilliant game discovered in the museum collections.

Get creative in Art Attack! and make your own model airplane and don’t forget that all children can also pick up their ration card and collect their weekly allocation of sweets from the Village Shop.

Discover farm machinery on Gressenhall Farm and witness the spirit that helped win the Second World War, keeping the country fed.

All eyes will be on the skies on the afternoon of Bank Holiday Monday 29 August as we watch out for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flypast (weather permitting!). To raise money to support the continuation of these flypasts, specially commissioned badges will be available for a suggested donation of just £2 during the event, with all money received going to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Please note, Special Event ticket prices apply for Village at War. All activities are included within admission. Free admission for Norfolk Museums Pass holders. For full details, please see our admission page.

Free Observation Opportunities at Gressenhall - NEW!

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Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, in partnership with GEM, are offering learning professionals, students and volunteers the opportunity to observe school events at our site.

Gressenhall is a sector leader in providing Living History and Theatre in Education events for schools and delivers a wide range of hands-on, exploratory and exciting events for children aged 4-16 years. Click here to view our full events programme.

This opportunity will suit learning practitioners, museum professionals, teachers, students and volunteers interested in finding out more about the use of costumed interpretation, role play and hands-on learning to explore literacy and historical themes. The team are also happy to discuss their ‘diversification’ away from the topic of Victorians after recent changes to the National Curriculum.

We offer up to 8 observation spaces per school event as well as the chance to discuss our approach with a member of our team afterwards. It is free to attend this training opportunity. Currently, GEM also offers a limited number of travel bursaries to help support this initiative.

Please contact Katie Smith (Learning Officer) on 01362 869256 or katie.smith3@norfolk.gov.uk to discuss availability and to book a place.

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