historyandheritage

With Norman castles, ancient churches, intriguing local museums and rich wartime heritage, delve a bit deeper into the Waveney Valley’s fascinating history, just waiting to be unearthed.

Explore the town’s Norman history & heritage at Bungay Castle. Dating from 1165, the castle was owned by the powerful Bigod family. Take a stroll to the top of Eye Castle for stunning views of the town. The medieval castle also holds the enchanting ruins of a Victorian folly.

For a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the people who have lived and worked in the Waveney Valley, why not visit one of the district museums. Situated in the historic Shambles, Diss Museum exhibits a variety of displays about the history of this fascinating market town. Equally absorbing are Harleston and District Museum, Laxfield and District Museum and housed in the historic Leman School, Beccles Museum.

Pay a visit to one of the Waveney Valley’s airfields and learn about the area’s intriguing wartime heritage. World War II saw American servicemen arrive in East Anglia in large numbers in what would become known as the ‘friendly invasion’. Learn about their stories at Seething Control Tower or 100th Bomb Group Museum. Delve a bit deeper into East Anglia’s aviation heritage at the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton.

The history and heritage of the Waveney Valley is fascinating to discover, witnessed in its impressive range of castles, ancient sites, churches, museums and wartime heritage.

Harleston and District Museum

History & Heritage

The Museum displays artifacts relating to the life and times of the people of Harleston and the immediate surrounding parishes from pre-historic times to the present day. More specifically these items illustrate; personal and domestic life, working life, costume, recreation, entertainment and the built environment of the town.

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Waveney Valley Community Archaeology Group

Archaeology

We are a community archaeology group for the wider Waveney Valley run on co-operative lines.  We want to spread the word about public engagement and involvement in archaeology throughout the area. Membership is open to everyone over 16 – no experience necessary, so come along and join us.  Email waveneyarchaeology@gmail.com or call Andrew on 07771 968641 or Lorna on 07795 461404.

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Laxfield & District Museum

History & Heritage

The museum’s collection includes early twentieth century shop interiors together with window displays, artefacts, costumes; information on domestic life of the same period and the Mid Suffolk Light Railway, which terminated in Laxfield; farming and rural life in Suffolk; local ‘field finds’, including fossils; special exhibitions changed annually and displayed in the Marchant Room.

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The Pennoyer Centre – History & Heritage

History & Heritage

The history of the inspirational Pennoyer Centre spans the Middle Ages, The Civil War, Victorian England and the 21st Century. What was once a spiritual centre has evolved through a history of trading, benevolence and schooling into a new, contemporary facility serving the needs of business and community through our area of South Norfolk.

The Heritage Gallery on the first floor houses an extensive archive of airship photographs and memorabilia from Pulham Air Station.  From here airships went on patrol over the North Sea during the First World War looking for enemy submarines.  Because of their shape they were nicknamed Pulham Pigs. 

 

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Diss Museum

History & Heritage

Diss Museum is situated in the Market Place in a building called The Shambles, formerly two butchers\’ shops. There are a variety of displays, frequently changed, about the history of the town and area.

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Bungay Castle Visitor Centre

History & Heritage

The Norman remains of Bungay Castle are to be found right in the centre of Bungay hidden behind the main shopping area next to the Buttercross. The castle dates back to around 1165 and is the second to be built on the site. Access to the castle is via jesters coffee shop. 01502 533600 Open daily 10am – 4pm Donations welcome

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100th Bomb Group Museum

History & Heritage

Housed in the original airfield control tower and other atmospheric buildings 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum is a moving testament to the Americans who came to Thorpe Abbotts in Norfolk to fight alongside the allies during World War Two.

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Seething Control Tower Museum

Museum

Restored WW 2 Control Tower.  Seething Control Tower was part of the 2ND Air Division flying the B24 Liberator and comprised 14 Bomb Groups of which Seething Control Tower is the only one restored and open to the public. Restoration started in 1984 and it opened to the public in 1987. 

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Eye Castle

History & Heritage

The castle has always had close associations with royalty since the Norman Conquest in 1066 and was probably used as a defensive site for many centuries before that. Now, rather than dominating the surrounding area with military might, the castle offers a tranquil setting for restoring them. Eye Castle stands on Castle Hill close to the centre of Eye. Parking is limited near to the site though it is an easy walk from the town centre car park

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Beccles Bell Tower

History & Heritage

It stands near the edge of a cliff overlooking the River Waveney. It dominates the town as well as the surrounding countryside. Tours take place at the tower on a regular bases from April to September, with beautiful views from the roof looking over the whole of Beccles. The tower also has a tourist information centre at the bottom available all year round.

Open April – October

Beccles
Suffolk
NR34 9HE


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Halesworth & District Museum

History & Heritage

When you visit Halesworth, make sure you visit the Museum, housed in the town’s Victorian Railway Station. For more than twenty years volunteers have been collecting and researching the history and archaeology of this fascinating corner of Suffolk. Spend some time with the displays which will take you across 10,000 years, from the earliest settlers in the Blyth Valley to the busy hub of malting, brewing and agricultural land which was the town in Victorian times.

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Norfolk & Suffolk Air Museum

History & Heritage

The Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum is recognised as East Anglia\’s Aviation Heritage Centre. Maintained and run by volunteers, with one paid staff member, the Museum celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2012. Constituting an impressive collection of aircraft and equipment, the Museum also displays in separate buildings themed collections for the Royal Observer Corps No. 6 Group, the 446th (H) Bomb Group USAAF, RAF Bomber Command, RAF Air-Sea Rescue & Coastal Command, and local aviation through the years. There are also numerous exhibitions on special subjects including WWII Decoy Crews, Boulton & Paul, RAF training aids, aerial photography, and the Home Front.

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Beccles Museum

History & Heritage

Leman House is a Grade 1 listed building, the museum houses a range of exhibits relating to Beccles, its surrounding villages and countryside, their industries, social life, health care and wildlife.

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