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13 highlights as Heritage Open Days return to Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 12:23 09 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:33 09 September 2020

Dragon Hall in Norwich is one of the venues taking part in Norfolk Heritage Open Days Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Dragon Hall in Norwich is one of the venues taking part in Norfolk Heritage Open Days Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Explore Norfolk’s hidden gems for free as the Heritage Open Days festival, a nationwide celebration of history and culture, returns for 2020.

The Heritage Open Days festival returns this weekend and will feature online events too Picture: ContributedThe Heritage Open Days festival returns this weekend and will feature online events too Picture: Contributed

The Norfolk Heritage Open Days, which are coordinated by The Forum in Norwich, run from September 11 to 20 as venues across the county open their doors.

Due to coronavirus and social distancing restrictions, the festival includes online activities to accompany traditional in-person events for the first time.

It is a great chance to explore new buildings, visit places not normally open to the public and to learn more about the historical figures who shaped our communities.

From online tours to open gardens, here are just some of the brilliant events you can get involved in this year...

Bishop's House Garden Picture: Bishop of NorwichBishop's House Garden Picture: Bishop of Norwich

1. Bishop’s House Garden

Bishop’s House, Norwich, NR3 1SB

September 15 and 16, 10.30am to 4pm, booking required

Discover a four-acre walled garden dating back to the 12th century nestled in the heart of Norwich city centre. Visitors to the Bishop’s House Garden can admire the spectacular herbaceous borders, boxed herb garden and rose walk, as well as a large wild grass labyrinth and fruit orchard and extensive planting of many rare and unusual plants.

A previous heritage walk through Great Yarmouth outside The Fishermen's Hospital Picture: James BassA previous heritage walk through Great Yarmouth outside The Fishermen's Hospital Picture: James Bass

2. The Fishermen’s Hospital

Great Yarmouth Market Place, NR30 1ND

September 11 to 13 and 17 to 19, 11am and 2pm, booking required

A unique chance to visit The Fishermen’s Hospital and discover the 20 Grade I listed cottages built in 1702 for ‘decayed fishermen’ by the Great Yarmouth Corporation. Not normally open, visitors can see the courtyard and exterior of the buildings, as well as hearing a talk about the history of the site in the context of the town’s fishing industry.

Heritage Photo Walk at the former RAF Coltishall Picture Dibs McCallumHeritage Photo Walk at the former RAF Coltishall Picture Dibs McCallum

3. Heritage Photo Walk at the Former RAF Coltishall

Coltishall Airfield, Lamas Road, Badesfield, Scottow, NR10 5JR

September 12, 2.30pm until sunset, booking required

Capture the history of the Former RAF Coltishall site with a special walk through it. Participants will be guided to architectural and historic points of interest and get a chance to photograph areas including the Second World War pens, bomb stores, hangers, control towers, blast walls and runway in the lighting of the afternoon through to sunset.

Botanical Drawing for Beginners Picture: Isobel BartholomewBotanical Drawing for Beginners Picture: Isobel Bartholomew

4. Botanical Drawing for Beginners

Thetford Town Council, The Carnegie, Cage Lane, Thetford, IP24 2DS

September 17, 2.30pm, booking required

Learn the art of botanical illustration from an expert tutor. Perfect for beginners, participants at this special workshop will focus on natural still life and learn techniques to create beautiful and accurate pencil drawings of plants.

Flints! Green Man Masks Picture: Norwich Historic Churches TrustFlints! Green Man Masks Picture: Norwich Historic Churches Trust

5. Flints! Green Man Masks

St. Martin At Palace Plain, Norwich, NR3 1RW

September 13, 12pm to 4pm, no booking required

Be inspired by the medieval folklore of the Green Man, a symbol representing new growth which is often found in historic churches. Children will get the chance to explore nature in the churchyard of St. Martin At Palace Plain, before designing their own Green Man mask to take home at this family-friendly crafting event.

View from Brigg Street and Gentleman's Walk Picture: Jack RobertsView from Brigg Street and Gentleman's Walk Picture: Jack Roberts

6. Portraits of Life Exhibition

The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich, NR2 1TF

September 11 to 20, 11am to 4pm, no booking required

A second chance to see this unique exhibition displaying photographs of Norwich city streets in the 1950s and 1960s by photographer Jack Roberts. Premiered at last year’s festival, this year additional online events will showcase stories from those who once lived and worked in these streets.

Wherry Maud Virtual Tour Picture: Graeme TaplinWherry Maud Virtual Tour Picture: Graeme Taplin

7. Wherry Maud Virtual Tour, Great Yarmouth

ONLINE EVENT

September 11 to 20 (available anytime), access on the Heritage open Days website

Experience preparing a wherry for sailing with this exclusive video, Viewers will see the whole voyage process, from loading cargo, to memorising the names for parts of the vessel and using the rig, mast and ropes, before setting sail for a virtual trip through the peaceful Broads landscape.

Drawing of birds from the Eaton collection Picture: Norfolk Record OfficeDrawing of birds from the Eaton collection Picture: Norfolk Record Office

8. Not So ‘Hidden’: East Anglia’s Natural Habitats, Norwich

ONLINE EVENT

September 11 to 20 (available anytime), access on the Heritage Open Days website

Take a digital dive into the past and present of the county’s natural habitats through a special compilation film using footage from the East Anglian Film Archive and digitised maps and documents from the Norfolk Record Office. Online viewers will explore the history of the Fenlands, the species living in coastal salt marshes and the seasonal changes of the landscape, all through archive material from as far back as the 1930s.

Soundscape - Burnham Norton Friary Picture: Norfolk Archaeological TrustSoundscape - Burnham Norton Friary Picture: Norfolk Archaeological Trust

9. Soundscapes through Norfolk, King’s Lynn, Caistor St Edmund and Ludham

ONLINE EVENT

Times and dates vary per site, access on the Heritage Open Days website

Join the Norfolk Archaeological Trust online to experience a series of new, specially commissioned soundscapes. Participants will be immersed in the sounds contextualising three historic sites throughout the county: Burnham Norton Friary in King’s Lynn, St Benet’s Abbey in Ludham and Caistor Roman Town.

Jarrold 250 Years Picture: Jarrold Department StoreJarrold 250 Years Picture: Jarrold Department Store

10. Jarrold 250 Years: An Evening With, Norwich

ONLINE EVENT

September 17, 6.30pm, booking required

Celebrate local retailer Jarrold’s 250th birthday in the online company of Caroline Jarrold and local writer Pete Goodrum. Those joining this special evening event will get a behind-the-scenes peek of a new book tracing the history of the store, from its beginnings in 1770 right through seven generations to the company it is today.

There will be a self-guided walk, outdoor exhibition and short film at Heigham Park Picture: ContributedThere will be a self-guided walk, outdoor exhibition and short film at Heigham Park Picture: Contributed

11. Heigham Park

Avenue Road, Norwich, NR2 3HW

September 12 and 13, 10am to 4pm, no booking required

This beautiful inner city park was the first in Norwich to be designed by Captain Sandys-Winch and was completed in 1924. This coming weekend, visitors will have the chance to explore its rich history with an outdoor exhibition of key features of the park’s design and development plus events - like the day Dr Who and the Daleks were mobbed in the park. Changes to the park are shown through an illustrated self-guided walk and a short film features the words of Fred Greengrass, who started work as an apprentice in the park in 1950.

Dragon Hall in Norwich Picture: DENISE BRADLEYDragon Hall in Norwich Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

12. Dragon Hall Through The Ages - A Digital Tour

ONLINE EVENT

September 11 to 20 (available anytime), access on the Heritage Open Days website

Discover one thousand years of history and stories through an interactive tour of one of Norwich’s most fascinating medieval buildings – Dragon Hall in King Street, now home to the National Centre for Writing. A site of activity as far back as Saxon times, this iconic merchant’s hall was built in the 1420s on the bank of the Wensum on the trade route to the low countries. Since then it’s been everything from slums, a butcher’s shop, a rectory and pub, right through to a wedding and festival venue and now a centre for the national and international exchange of stories.

Weird Norfolk will be recording a series of podcasts for Heritage Open Days. Picture: BRITTANY WOODMANWeird Norfolk will be recording a series of podcasts for Heritage Open Days. Picture: BRITTANY WOODMAN

13. Weird Norfolk Podcast - Heritage Open Day specials

ONLINE EVENT

September 11 to 20 (available anytime), access on the Heritage Open Days website

Weird Norfolk will be releasing a selection of podcast episodes recorded especially for Heritage Open Days. Weird Norfolk hosts, Stacia and Siofra, will be visiting some of the spookiest locations taking part in this year’s event.

To ensure that visitors are safe and that events can keep to the latest government guidelines, all details are subject to change or cancellation - make sure to check back on the website before heading to an event.

To see the full programme and book events visit norfolkheritageopendays.co.uk


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