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Heritage Open Days -who's open

PUBLISHED: 14:44 04 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:56 03 July 2010

THEY are only a stone's throw away and are stepped in history.

But as people walk along Great Yarmouth's seafront and streets they may not notice a host of important heritage sites amid the colourful attractions, shops and arcades.

THEY are only a stone's throw away and are stepped in history.

But as people walk along Great Yarmouth's seafront and streets they may not notice a host of important heritage sites amid the colourful attractions, shops and arcades.

But the resort's prime historical sites were the centre of attention on Monday as the Pleasure Beach was the launch pad for the East of England's Heritage Open Days 2009.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary, the Pleasure Beach with its rollercoaster and Gallopers carousel is the perfect example of the region's heritage which can sometimes be taken for granted by neighbours and visitors alike.

From September 10 to 13, more than 100 sites will be opening their doors for free across Norfolk and Suffolk for the English Heritage showcase event.

Building openings and guided tours in the Borough of Great Yarmouth are listed alphabetically by name of building or tour. Some tours require visitors to book their place in advance, call 01493 846346 to reserve a space.

All Saint's Church, Billockby

Partly ruined medieval church dating from the 13th century open on request

Open: Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 10am-4pm. Key available at Billockby Hall on 01493 369326.

Berney Arms Windmill

One of Norfolk's best and largest marsh mills still in existence, built to grind a constituent of cement and in use until 1951, finally pumping water to drain surrounding marshland. A Norfolk Wherry will also be moored nearby.

Open: Sunday 13 September 11am-4pm. Access by train, foot or boat only.

All Saint's Church, Filby

All Saint's has a lovely 15th century roodscreen dado, painted with eight figures featuring St Cecilia with her floral wreath, St George killing a dragon, St Catherine with her sword and wheel, St Peter with his keys, St Paul with his sword and book, St Margaret killing a dragon, St Michael weighing souls, and St Barbara holding a tower.

Open: Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 10am-4pm.

Blackfriar's Brewery

Court Yard Turn off South Parade to Maincross Road. Now a brewery with sampling bar and brewery museum, Scottish fish girls used to gut and pack herrings in the courtyard and surrounding buildings. Irvines of North Shields also used the buildings to dry and repair wet nets, drainage slabs can still be seen.

Open: Thursday 10 - Friday 11 September 9am-4.30pm. Saturday 12 - Sunday 13 September 12.30pm-2pm.

CitySightseeing, Great Yarmouth Departure outside Leisureland on Marine Parade.

Open top tour of Great Yarmouth lasting 1 hour with commentary highlighting heritage of town

FREE to explore: Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 9.30am tour only.

Great Yarmouth Row Houses

(Row 11 & Old Merchant's House) Off South Quay

Originally built in the early 17th century as a wealthy merchants residence, but later sub-divided into tenements. Row 111 house is shown as it was in about 1942 just before it received a direct hit from a WWII incendiary bomb.

FREE to explore: Saturday 12 - Sunday 13 September 12pm-5pm.

Friend's Meeting House Howard Street South

A simple yet imposing early 19th Century Quaker meeting house built above the remains of a 14th Century cell of the Augustinian priory of Gorleston which can still be seen below ground level.

Open: Saturday 12 September 10am-4pm.

Greyfriar's Cloisters Off South Quay

Remains of a 13th Century Franciscan Friary tucked away in Row 92. Tour will give an overview of the site and how it reflects the changing face of the town.

Open: Thursday 10 & Friday 11 September 10.30-11.30am.

Guided Walk - Glorious Gorleston Starting from Gorleston Library on the High Street

Explore Gorleston-on-Sea's history and historical buildings.

FREE to explore: Sunday 13 September 2pm.

Numbers limited to 25, pre-booking useful on 01493 846346.

Guided Walk - Victorian loos, the Empire and the Windmill to the Circus!

Meet outside Great Yarmouth Tourist Information Centre, Marine Parade.

Whoever would have thought history would be made by the toilet! A fascinating guided walk looking at a number of important heritage buildings on Great Yarmouth seafront.

FREE to explore: Friday 11 September 11am. Numbers limited to 25, pre-booking useful on 01493 846346.

Guided Walk - Fish 'n' Ships on South Quay

Meet at Great Yarmouth Town Hall, Hall Plain. Discover Great Yarmouth's fishing and maritime history and many important buildings associated with fishing from Great Yarmouth's past.

FREE to explore: Thursday 10 September 2pm. Numbers limited to 25, pre-booking useful on 01493 846346.

Hippodrome, Great Yarmouth

Britain's only surviving complete circus building built in 1903 by George Gilbert including a sinking ring water feature. Special behind the scenes guided tours with Peter Jay.

Guided Tours: Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 11am & 2.30pm. Numbers limited to 25 per tour. Pre-booking essential on 01493 846346. Minimum age for tour: 15yrs.

Holy Trinity & All Saints Church, Winterton-on-Sea

Magnificent medieval tower and church built by Sir John Falstolff of Caister Castle. Fisherman's corner, lifeboat boards and gravestones recall Winterton's past history as a fishing village.

Open: Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 9am-6pm.

Masonic Lodge Royal Assembly Rooms

Originally designed to be Assembly and Reading Rooms in 1863, the building was bought from the Norfolk Militia by the Masons in 1919 and has undergone significant refurbishment.

Guided Tours: Thursday 10 - Friday 11 September & Sunday 13 September 10.30am & 2.30pm.

Saturday 12 September 10.30am only. Places limited to 25 per tour, pre-booking useful but not essential on 01493 846346.

Lydia Eva, South Quay

Great Yarmouth's last steam fishing drifter built in King's Lynn boatyard in the 1930's.

Open: Thursday 10 September & Saturday 12 - Sunday 13 September 10am-4pm.

Special talks by the Hawsman 11am & 2pm on Thursday only.

Numbers for talks limited to 25. Pre-booking useful on 01493 846346.

Merrivale Old Penny Museum & Arcade

Fabulous collection of vintage old penny slot machines.

FREE to explore: HODs Happy Hour Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 10- 11am only.

Quote 'Heritage Open Days' for FREE bag of old pennies.

Nelson Museum South Quay

Explore Nelson's career, from his Norfolk childhood through his famous battles to his tragic, heroic death, his mesmerising personality, his terrible wounds and his many illnesses - not to mention his scandalous love life.

FREE to explore: Friday 11 September 10am-5pm.

Pleasure Beach Guided Tour

Guided tour and talk about the Scenic Railway Rollercoaster with optional ride, guided tour and talk about the Gallopers with optional ride and exhibition of pictures of site throughout the years.

Guided Tours: Sunday 13 September 11am & 3pm

Numbers limited to 20 people. Booking essential call 01493 846346.

Nelson's Monument Monument Road

144ft monument built in 1819 to celebrate Lord Horatio Nelson's life. Does not include tower ascent.

FREE to explore: Thursday 10 & Friday 11 September 11am-3pm.

Royal Naval Hospital Queens Road

Completed in 1811 and used firstly as a Royal Navy Hospital and subsequently as a barracks, the building's four magnificent terraces enclose a rare example of a perfectly symmetrical, car-free Georgian square and a chapel.

Open: Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 11am-3pm.

St Andrew's Church, Stokesby

Dating from the 13th Century, but various Norman mouldings point to an even earlier building on this site. Rear pews have original 'poppy heads' from the middle ages.

Open: Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 10am-4pm.

St Margaret's Church, Burgh St Margaret

One of only 53 thatched churches in Norfolk, south doorway dates from the Norman period but porch, nave and chancel are 14th Century.

Open: Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 10am-4pm.

St Edmund's Church, Thurne

Dating from the 13th century this medieval thatched church has a squint through which lepers were able to view holy communion without entering the building.

Open: Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 10am-4pm.

St Mary's Church, Hemsby

Medieval church and tower built by the monks of Norwich Cathedral Priory with medieval bosses retained in roof and porch.

Open: Thursday 10 - Saturday 12 September 10am-6pm & Sunday 13 September noon-6pm.

St Mary's Church, Martham

Known by some as the Cathedral of the Fleggs, this large medieval church has a 15th century seven sacrament font, medieval stained glass and carved angels in the ceiling.

Open: Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 10am-4pm.

St Mary's Church, Thrigby Park

At Thrigby Wildlife Gardens and walk back carefully along road and grass verge.

Medieval church featuring a 14th century doorway with carved heads and unusual mullions in the windows.

Open: Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 10am-4pm.

St Mary's Church, West Somerton

A 13th century thatched roof church famous for it's medieval wall painting and for the tombstone of Robert Hales, the famous 'Norfolk Giant.'

Open: Saturday 12 September 10am-noon and 2pm-4pm.

St Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Great Yarmouth

Designed by Mr J.J. Scoles in the 1840's and opened in September 1850, the church has more than 800 carved wooden bosses, the Sacred Hear chapel with a limestone altar, beautiful stained glass in the Lady Chapel and a 112 year old organ with 1032 pipes.

Open: Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 9.30am-2pm

(Mass at 10am Thursday - Saturday, Mass at 11am on Sunday).

St Nicholas' Church

Built in 1101, interior destroyed in WWII, walls and tower left standing. Restored by Steven Dykes Bower in 1961. Fabulous Victorian organ dating from 1875 with more than 3,100 pipes. Fascinating history complete with body-snatchers told on guided tour which includes optional tower ascent.

Open: Thursday 10 - Friday 11 September 10am-4pm, Guided Tour: 11am

Saturday 12 September 10am-2pm, Guided Tour: 11am,

Sunday 13 September 1pm-4pm, Guided Tour: 2pm.

Numbers limited on tower ascent to 12. No limit on tour. Pre-booking essential for tower tours on 01493 846346.

St Peter's Church, Repps-with-Bastwick

A mixture of architectural styles dating from Saxon, Norman and the perpendicular period with a roundtower and octagonal belfry, interesting rood screen and font.

Open: Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 10am-4pm.

St Peter's Church, Clippesby

Attractive church with round tower base and octagonal top, main church dates from 12th century with Saxon origins, special stained glass window by Margaret Rope.

Open: Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 10am-4pm.

St Peter & St Paul's Church, Runham

Medieval church dating from the early 14th Century with impressive 15th century tower with pinnacles and battlements.

Open: Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 10am-4pm.

St Peter & St Paul's Church, Mautby

Possibly built as early as the Norman conquest, the church has a thatched roof, round tower with carstone banding and 15th century font. It is also the burial site of Margaret Paston of the famous 15th century Paston Letters.

Open: Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 10am-4pm.

Tolhouse Museum, Tolhouse Street

Prior to becoming a museum, the Tolhouse was one of the oldest prisons in the country where smugglers, pirates, witches and

murderers met their fate. Special HOD's access to the basement not usually open via trap door!

FREE to explore: Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 September 10am-5pm.

St Spyridon's Greek Orthodox Church

Previously the parish church of Great Yarmouth, this large church building was built by Mr J.J. Scoles in 1831 with the impressive four dial clock added in 1876. It was rededicated to the Greek Orthodox church in the 1963.

Open: Thursday 10 - Saturday 12 September 10am-3pm.

Town Hall

Tour of Town Hall and public rooms, including the Mayor's Parlour, Council Chamber and Assembly room with some of the town's

regalia and charters.

Open: Thursday 10 & Friday 11 September 9am-4.30pm.

Guided Tours: On the hour 9am-noon, 2pm-4pm. Pre-booking essential on 01493 846346.

ends

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