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Local Heritage in Great Yarmouth

Local Heritage

Great Yarmouth is on a thin stretch of land sandwiched between the North Sea and River Yare. For centuries the town’s links were as strong with maritime Europe as with Norwich and London. Early wealth came from the town's control of the River Yare, which leads inland to Norwich, while its herring industry saw a spectacular boom in the 19th century.
Famously, Robinson Crusoe-author Daniel Defoe thought Great Yarmouth 'infinitely superior to Norwich'.  Today, the quayside and the ‘little palaces’ he so admired, is at the heart of Yarmouth’s Heritage Quarter and also where you'll find the town’s excellent museums.

Time and Tide Museum

Set in a beautifully preserved Victorian curing works, Time and Tide tells the story of Great Yarmouth from its Ice Age origins to the present day.  Discover the town's rich maritime heritage and its development as a popular seaside resort. Hear gripping tales of wreck and rescue and meet colourful characters who made their living from the sea. One of Norfolk’s real treasures this superb museum is the best introduction you’ll find to the fascinating and historic town of Great Yarmouth.

Elizabethan House Museum

The Elizabethan House is probably one of the Yarmouth quayside houses Daniel Defoe described as looking like ‘little palaces’.  This handsome 16th century home invites to you to look into the lives of the families who lived there from Tudor through to Victorian times. 
It’s set up to give you a real feel for day to day domestic life with rich period settings and evocative sounds and smells – especially in the kitchen! There are clothes to dress up in and kids will love the action-packed toy room.

Nelson Museum

The Nelson Museum is a Grade II listed Georgian merchant's house in Great Yarmouth where you can discover more about Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson and the times in which he lived.

Explore Nelson's childhood in Norfolk, his career, famous battles and tragic, heroic death.  Find out more about his mesmerising personality, his terrible wounds and his many illnesses - not to mention his complicated love life!  Discover Life Below Decks, play ship's games or simply relax in the picnic area of the Maritime Courtyard and admire the new Georgian herb garden.

The Tolhouse Museum

Take a journey through crime and punishment in Great Yarmouth in one of England’s oldest prisons. Learn of the fates of thieves, smugglers, witches, pirates and murderers. Hear both gaoler and prisoners tell their stories of transportation, incarceration and execution.
There are plenty of hands-on activities for children and the basement prison cells are genuinely chilling.  Plus find out about the early history of this 12th Century medieval former merchant’s house which became one of Yarmouth’s most important civic buildings.


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