Horse Power

Visit Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse on Sunday 30 September for a special event day to celebrate the work of heavy horses.

A day with a difference, visitors will be able to explore a variety of crafts and trades needed to enable a farm such as the one at the Gressenhall to be run with ‘horse power’.

Horse Power! will see the museum’s own team of Suffolk Punch horses working together with visiting teams to carry out all the seasonal tasks on the farm, ploughing and cultivating the soil in readiness to being sown.  Take a horse drawn cart ride to see the working horses in the fields, watch as the farrier making horse shoes and discover art inspired by such animals with displays from local painter Frances Sullivan and veterinary illustrator Samantha Elmhurst.

The recently refurbished horse “gin” will be working, revealing how to harness the forward power of a horse to drive mechanical machines.  Professional Forester Mark Tasker uses his heavy horses to extract timber.  Watch the team demonstrating their skills and see how the wood is processed with a hand-powered pit saw which turns the logs into planks.

Explore the skills needed to craft wood to produce the component parts of a wheel with demonstrations from wheelwrights Robin Hill and John Goldsmith.  John will be making new wheels for the museum’s own seed drill during the day.  No piece of wood is wasted - discover the art of making charcoal in the kiln.

A horse needs a collar to be able to work.  Master harness maker Terry Davis will show the materials and skills needed to make a horse collar and how to ensure it fits the horse perfectly. Explore the story of how Norfolk Horn wool goes from the sheep’s back to become woven cloth. This material can then be used to cover the inside of the horses working collars so they don’t get sore shoulders.

Be entertained with music and song from local horseman Ray Hubbard, one of the last horsemen in East Anglia.  Ray will also be exhibiting some of his extensive collection of horse memorabilia and talking about his time working with these impressive animals.

A horseman needs a hearty meal.  Visit the farmhouse kitchen with its traditional range and discover the art of bread making – the stable of any ploughman’s lunch.  Visitors can relax and enjoy vintage films of horses working the land, or get creative in Art Attack and make a horse-themed memento of the day.

All activities are included within admission.

Please note we do not allow dogs, other than assistance dogs, on site.  We would also strongly recommend that animals are not left in locked cars.