Demonstrating traditional farming techniques and showcasing rare breeds
Gressenhall’s farm was once used to grow produce for the inmates at the workhouse. Today we use the farm to demonstrate traditional farming techniques to visitors.
Take a peek into the farmhouse and see how farming families used to live. The kitchen has an old-style range cooker and on event days is filled with the aromas of traditional farmhouse cooking.
In the St Nicholas’ Barn are displays of farming implements from the last 200 years. You can also peek into the lives of the wild birds and animals who live at Gressenhall with our nature watch cameras.
The animals on the farm are all East Anglian breeds that would have been common in Norfolk farmyards 100 years ago:
- Red Poll cattle
- Norfolk Horn sheep
- Suffolk sheep
- Southdown sheep
- British White cows
- Suffolk Punch horses
- Marsh Daisy chickens
- Norfolk Black turkeys
- Large Black pigs
The Suffolk Punch is one of the oldest breeds of working horse recorded in the UK, going back to the 18th century. The breed was distinctive to East Anglia.
The Suffolk Punch was hard hit by the advent of mechanised farming and by the mid 1960s it had almost died out. Since then a concerted effort at breeding the giant horses has led to an increase in population in the UK, but the Suffolk Punch is still rarer than the giant panda.
At Gressenhall Farm, Suffolk Punch horses work the farm. Throughout the seasons they play a central role in planting, harvesting and ploughing.
Look out for the cart rides round the farm. Weather allowing, they depart from the farm yard most afternoons and are a relaxing way to look around the fields and see the animals grazing.
We also run two short courses for people who would like to learn more about work with heavy horses.
To find out more about Suffolk Punches visit the Suffolk Horse Society website.