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Museum of Norfolk life

Past generations of Norfolk people have left us thousands of objects to help tell their stories.

The Collections Gallery

Once the men’s dormitory, this gallery contains over 2,000 objects which help reveal more about rural life in Norfolk.  All of these items were owned, used or made by people in Norfolk.  They tell us about how the people of Norfolk lived their lives during the last two hundred years.  There is also a temporary exhibition space, which changes every year.

Look out for the workhouse clock mechanism which powered the courtyard clock.  Jeremiah Rust was a clock repairer from Dereham.  It was his job to keep all the workhouse clocks working.  In 1841 he was sacked because he could not get the clocks to ‘work with regularity’.  We still have issues with the workhouse clock today!

The First Farmers Gallery

The First Farmers Gallery explores the early history of farming.  There are displays of artefacts of bone, antler, flint, stone and bronze used by Norfolk’s early farmers from around 6000 years ago.

1950s Room

A recreation of a mid 20th century home.  Take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about the time when the BBC’s Light Programme crackled out Mrs Dales’ Diary from bakelite wireless radios.

Engineering Galleries 

A selection of stationary steam and diesel engines once used to power many aspects of life, from washing clothes to bringing in the harvest.

Rural Life Gallery 

From fire engines, to tricycles, carts and bullock wagons, explore how people and products were moved around Norfolk.  Look out for the 1908 circus showman’s caravan and a coach from Raveningham Hall which used to take guests to Haddiscoe railway station.

Women's Land Army Gallery 

The Land Girls and Lumber Jills gallery tells the story of the Women’s Land Army and Timber Corp and the real life stories of land army girls in Norfolk.  It's an enduring tribute to the forgotten heroines of the British Home Front during two world wars.  The museum has a long association with the Women’s Land Army, and held reunions from the 1980s.