Wymondham Heritage Museum

Wymondham Heritage Museum This delightful museum brings together daily life in Wymondham with great events from the town's past. Wymondham Heritage Museum tells the story of Wymondham, Norfolk, the daily lives of its inhabitants, the town’s heroes and villains and great events from its past.

Situated in the Bridewell (which has served as a prison, police station and courthouse) the museum is full of history that can be enjoyed by all the family. Explore Wymondham’s colourful history and learn about its people from Prehistoric times, the Iron Age, the Romans and Saxons to Wymondham’s beautiful medieval Abbey. Learn about the Bridewell from its beginning in 1785 as a 'model prison' and

Situated in the Bridewell (which has served as a prison, police station and courthouse) the museum is full of history that can be enjoyed by all the family. Explore Wymondham’s colourful history and learn about its people from Prehistoric times, the Iron Age, the Romans and Saxons to Wymondham’s beautiful medieval Abbey. Learn about the Bridewell from its beginning in 1785 as a 'model prison' and

Operating as usual

BOOK SALE              SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 11th, 1pm-3pmThe nights are pulling in, time to stock up on your autumn readin...
05/09/2021

BOOK SALE
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 11th, 1pm-3pm
The nights are pulling in, time to stock up on your autumn reading. Come along to our book sale at the museum. Enjoy a cuppa and a slice of homemadde cake in The Bridewell Tearoom.

BOOK SALE
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 11th, 1pm-3pm
The nights are pulling in, time to stock up on your autumn reading. Come along to our book sale at the museum. Enjoy a cuppa and a slice of homemadde cake in The Bridewell Tearoom.

18/08/2021
Some restrictions will be lifted from Monday July 19th, but we want to make sure our visitors and staff continue to feel...
16/07/2021

Some restrictions will be lifted from Monday July 19th, but we want to make sure our visitors and staff continue to feel safe. We will retain some of the measure we already have in place, including Perspex screens in reception and the tearoom, and hand sanitisers. While face coverings and social distancing will no longer be mandatory, we know that these practices provide reassurance to some so you may choose to wear a mask and we ask that you respect those who would like some additional space when viewing displays.
As we edge towards a normal way of life, come and see what was normal for our ancestors!

Not long to go now! The museum opens on Monday. We’ve been busy making sure it’s safe for both visitors and staff. So co...
17/06/2021

Not long to go now! The museum opens on Monday. We’ve been busy making sure it’s safe for both visitors and staff. So come and enjoy a leisurely journey round The Bridewell and learn about Wymondham’s rich heritage. If you thought lockdown in the pandemic was isolation, visit the dungeon and see what life was like for prisoners locked away below ground. Round off your visit with a cuppa and a slice of homemade cake or a scone in The Bridewell Tearoom.

Don't forget the date. The museum opens on MONDAY JUNE 21st,  daily 1pm to 4pm - yes, we'll be open on Sundays too! Pop ...
04/06/2021

Don't forget the date. The museum opens on MONDAY JUNE 21st, daily 1pm to 4pm - yes, we'll be open on Sundays too! Pop in and delve into Wymondham's historic past.
The Bridewell Tearoom will be open Monday to Friday 1pm to 4pm. Have a cuppa and a slice of homemade cake and relax in the courtyard garden.

Don't forget the date. The museum opens on MONDAY JUNE 21st, daily 1pm to 4pm - yes, we'll be open on Sundays too! Pop in and delve into Wymondham's historic past.
The Bridewell Tearoom will be open Monday to Friday 1pm to 4pm. Have a cuppa and a slice of homemade cake and relax in the courtyard garden.

A DATE FOR YOUR DIARY, MONDAY JUNE 21st. That’s the day we will be welcoming visitors to the museum once again. Make sur...
16/05/2021

A DATE FOR YOUR DIARY, MONDAY JUNE 21st.
That’s the day we will be welcoming visitors to the museum once again. Make sure your roadmap takes you to The Bridewell. Find out how the folks of Wymondham in the past worked, rested and played. The Damgate Stores and The Little Dustpan give a nostalgic insight to what was in the shopping baskets at the turn of the last century. Displays include the Robert Kett story, Wymondham Women of World War 1, the history of the local Fire Service and a celebration of the town’s brush industry.
The museum will be open Monday-Saturday 1pm-4pm, and we hope to open on Sundays too - watch this space. The Bridewell Tearoom will be open Monday-Friday 1pm-4pm.

Last year we asked for your Covid experiences so we could build an archive. Christine Watts told us she was making scrub...
26/02/2021

Last year we asked for your Covid experiences so we could build an archive. Christine Watts told us she was making scrubs for the NHS and care homes. We are renewing our appeal. We have teamed up with Olive Carrick, a student at City College, who is producing a film documenting peoples experiences of lockdown, from mental health decline and isolation to home schooling kids and cutting the families hair, to finding hobbies and skills. We will have the finished film to show in the museum and on our social media platforms.
If you can help Olive with her project and to build the museum’s archive, please email your Covid story and photos to [email protected]

Last year we asked for your Covid experiences so we could build an archive. Christine Watts told us she was making scrubs for the NHS and care homes. We are renewing our appeal. We have teamed up with Olive Carrick, a student at City College, who is producing a film documenting peoples experiences of lockdown, from mental health decline and isolation to home schooling kids and cutting the families hair, to finding hobbies and skills. We will have the finished film to show in the museum and on our social media platforms.
If you can help Olive with her project and to build the museum’s archive, please email your Covid story and photos to [email protected]

The Heritage Society's first meeting of the year is tomorrow (Thurs 25th) at 7.30pm via Zoom - the subject is 'Wymondham...
24/02/2021
Wymondham Heritage Society Programme

The Heritage Society's first meeting of the year is tomorrow (Thurs 25th) at 7.30pm via Zoom - the subject is 'Wymondham Walks' by Georgette Vale. Members should have received an email with details.
Any non-members who are interested, please see details here: https://www.wymondhamheritagemuseum.co.uk/?p=programme

Due to the continuing pandemic restrictions, it is not possible to hold the Society's regular monthly meetings at the Fairland Hall. Therefore until the current restrictions are eased, the meetings will be held virtually as Zoom meetings. All Society members should receive a Zoom meeting link by ema...

See article in the Mercury - at Easter we could possibly start planning for reopening, whenever restrictions allow.Sadly...
29/01/2021
Date for museum's reopening 'pencilled in' after missing whole 2020 season

See article in the Mercury - at Easter we could possibly start planning for reopening, whenever restrictions allow.

Sadly, actual reopening may be a little while off yet.

A museum which has documented the history of a Norfolk market town has "pencilled in" a potential date for reopening to the public after a "frustrating"...

21/01/2021

Due to the continuing COVID-19 restrictions, we've had to delay the start of our 2021 season. Hopefully we can welcome you back later in the year to enjoy our collections and displays showcasing Wymondham’s rich heritage.

The Wymondham Winter Wanderland Trail is open. The festive trail around the town includes the museum. Don’t miss our win...
07/12/2020

The Wymondham Winter Wanderland Trail is open. The festive trail around the town includes the museum. Don’t miss our window display of toys and Christmas decorations. Perhaps some of the toys were in your stocking when Santa slid down your chimney.
Pick up a map from one of these locations around Wymondham. Each location has a map box and donation pot: Norwich Road (next to alley leading to Browick Road), Rightup Lane (opp track to the Lizard), Applegarth, Bellrope Lane, Margaret Reeve Close, Willow Herb Walk. Or order a map online to download. PayPal your £3 donation to [email protected] then email that address you have made a payment to receive a link to download the map.

Our archive is growing with the experiences local people managing their lives through the coronavirus pandemic. Oli Spar...
25/08/2020

Our archive is growing with the experiences local people managing their lives through the coronavirus pandemic. Oli Sparrow told us how his family coped and enjoyed a glass of bubbly in their bubble!
“My family relocated from Manchester to Wymondham in March, just days before the government-ordered restrictions were enforced. We didn't know the area or anyone that lived here. One week later I was furloughed from my new job, never to return, and my wife Isabelle was still on maternity leave with our 9-month-old daughter. As a result, we had almost 8 weeks isolated together in a strange new town but exploring Wymondham inch by inch on our daily exercise walks (thanks Boris), grew to love the place. When the Town Green Café reopened, we were quickly welcomed as regulars with the staff learning our ‘usual’. We felt fortunate moving from such a highly affected area as Manchester to a relatively untouched part of the country but remained concerned about all the friends we'd left behind. Our daughter Nina turned one year old shortly after garden visits were allowed, so we invited the grandparents to come and spend the day celebrating. The picture shows us all raising a glass of champagne to Nina, spaced at 2m apart, of course.”
If you have an experience like Oli’s you’re happy to share email us at: [email protected]

With the museum sadly closed, find out about the history of Wymondham with a virtual tour. Wymondham Walks and Talks is ...
16/08/2020

With the museum sadly closed, find out about the history of Wymondham with a virtual tour. Wymondham Walks and Talks is offering “A guided tour” of the town’s history by means of Zoom and PowerPoint on Tuesday 18th August 7.30 p.m., Wednesday 19th August 2.00 p.m. and Sunday 23rd August 2.00 p.m. The session will last about an hour and a half, Tickets cost £4 and are available via Eventbrite.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/wymondham-walks-and-talks-virtual-guided-tour-tickets-114468311802
For more information email [email protected] please include a phone number. Alternatively, you can telephone 07867 681839.

We are living through challenging times, but they are history in the making. To build an archive for the future the muse...
03/08/2020

We are living through challenging times, but they are history in the making. To build an archive for the future the museum has launched a project to capture the human stories of the pandemic and we are appealing for Wymondham’s residents to tell us their Covid-19 experiences:
• How did you keep in touch with family and do your shopping?
• Were you comfortable wearing a face mask?
• What about local heroes who delivered food and medication?
• And how about working from home, home schooling, social distancing and managing without a visit to the hairdressers?
Our first contribution comes from Christine Watts who has been making scrubs for the NHS.
If you have a story to tell, with a photo if possible, please email it to: [email protected]

Wymondham Heritage Museum's cover photo
26/07/2020

Wymondham Heritage Museum's cover photo

Following careful consideration, we have decided, sadly, the museum will not be able to reopen this year. The enormous a...
17/07/2020

Following careful consideration, we have decided, sadly, the museum will not be able to reopen this year. The enormous amount of work involved to make the building safe from covid-19 for both visitors and stewards proved prohibitive.
However, prior to the pandemic, the committee had already discussed exciting plans for 2021. So, we look forward to welcoming you back next year to enjoy our collections and displays showcasing Wymondham’s rich heritage.

In 1921 the prestigious cigarette company, Carreras, launched the Craven "A" brand that would go on to become a househol...
21/06/2020

In 1921 the prestigious cigarette company, Carreras, launched the Craven "A" brand that would go on to become a household name in 120 countries. No Government health warning on the packet, Quite the reverse. Available in the Damgate Stores it was advertised with the slogan: “Will Not Affect Your Throat.” Craven ‘"A" was the first machine-made cork-tipped cigarette and named after the Earl of Craven whose family were close friends of the company. It was a massive success in the UK and other cork-tipped brands were launched by the other major to***co companies. The competition eventually faded away, as did Craven "A".

Although dentists are finally opening it will be sometime before routine appointments become available. Perhaps you want...
11/06/2020

Although dentists are finally opening it will be sometime before routine appointments become available. Perhaps you want your teeth whitening. Teeth whitening was discovered quite by accident. In the past, dentists tried to treat gum disease with mouth rinses containing hydrogen peroxide. They noticed teeth became whiter over time. Back in the 1930s, you could have popped in to the Damgate Stores and picked up Britannia Peroxide Dental cream. It claimed to be: “The most perfect dentifrice invented for the hygiene of the teeth.” In case you’re wondering, dentifrice is another word for toothpaste.

June 2nd is the 67th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. In May 1937, the country was celebrating the c...
01/06/2020

June 2nd is the 67th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. In May 1937, the country was celebrating the coronation of her father, George VI. He came to the throne when his brother, Edward VIII abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson. If you were of a sober nature, you could raise a glass to the new king filled with Coronation Cheerio Champagne. The poster hanging in the Museum’s Damgate Stores advertises the non-alcoholic bubbly as a “Kingly Drink”. It features a picture of King George with his wife Elizabeth, the late Queen Mother.

During lockdown some people are going back to their roots. With salons closed, hair colours that haven’t seen the light ...
20/05/2020

During lockdown some people are going back to their roots. With salons closed, hair colours that haven’t seen the light of day for ages are emerging as our mops grow longer. To keep your hair in good condition in the 1930s, you could have dropped in to the Damgate Stores and bought some Evan Williams Henna Shampoo. It was made between 1910 and 1940. There was a shampoo to suit every hair type as these adverts from 1933 claim.

We’re probably having more brews than normal during lockdown, so kettles will be taking a bit of a hammering - and some ...
11/05/2020

We’re probably having more brews than normal during lockdown, so kettles will be taking a bit of a hammering - and some won’t last the course. Maybe you have an old kettle that doesn’t plug into the mains such as these from our Victorian hardware store, The little Dustpan. Pop it on the hob or fire up the primus and you can still have a hot cuppa. Based on the blowtorch, the first primus stove was invented in Stockholm in 1892. It proved effective in everyday use as well as adverse conditions. Sir Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing took one on their ascent of Everest in 1953.

If you popped into the Damgate Stores in the 1930s you could buy a bag of Mackintosh’s Toffee Deluxe. Just one of the pr...
26/04/2020

If you popped into the Damgate Stores in the 1930s you could buy a bag of Mackintosh’s Toffee Deluxe. Just one of the products on display in our refurbished shop. It was created in Halifax in 1919 by John and Violet Mackintosh. It was included in the first ever box of Quality Street in 1936. Nestle scrapped the Toffee Deluxe in 2016 but were forced to bring it back after a social media storm called for its return. However, early last year Nestle admitted that it had removed the Toffee Deluxe from the assortment. You can still get it – if you go to New Zealand!

If you were locked down in the 1930s and inactivity was making the joints a bit stiff, you would have been wise to have ...
18/04/2020

If you were locked down in the 1930s and inactivity was making the joints a bit stiff, you would have been wise to have stocked up from the Damgate Stores with Fynnon Salt. It was a saline treatment used to relieve the symptoms of rheumatism and, according to the advert, several other aches and pains. Strangely it also worked as a laxative to help the kidneys filter certain poisons. In fact, you can use it during the current lockdown. Another name for Epsom Salts, it is still sold as a treatment for aching muscles and rheumatism.

If you were stocking up in the 1930s the museums Damgate Stores reveals what was on offer. Like marmalade on your toast?...
10/04/2020

If you were stocking up in the 1930s the museums Damgate Stores reveals what was on offer. Like marmalade on your toast? Frank Cooper’s Oxford Marmalade was first made in 1874 by Frank’s wife Sarah to her own recipe. Scott took it on his expedition to the South Pole. Many years later a jar was found buried in the ice. Frank Cooper’s Original Oxford Marmalade is still available although the recipe is not the same as Sarah’s.
Or how about Chivers? The Chivers family opened a market garden in Cottenham in the early 19th century before moving to Histon, near Cambridge. In 1873 they began making jam, introducing marmalade a few years later. After the Second World War sales declined. The company was eventually sold but the Chivers brand remains.

The museum is, of course, closed at present but to give you a taste of what to look forward to when we can open, we thou...
05/04/2020

The museum is, of course, closed at present but to give you a taste of what to look forward to when we can open, we thought we’d show you some of the products in our two new shops. First, here’s a glimpse of a couple of items in Chas H Standley, our Victorian ironmongers; also known as The Little Dustpan.
Everyone must know the Two Ronnie’s sketch about four candles/fork handles. Well if that had been written in the late 1800s they could have performed it in The Little Dustpan where both were on sale.

Wymondham Heritage Museum's cover photo
17/03/2020

Wymondham Heritage Museum's cover photo

17/03/2020

Following the Government's and NHS latest advice the museum will be closed until further notice. The Heritage Society's Thursday talks have also been suspended. The situation will be reviewed over the coming weeks as further guidelines are issued.

THE MUSEUM HITS THE AIRWAVESTune in to the Matthew Gudgin show on BBC Radio Norfolk this Wednesday March 11th at 4pm to ...
10/03/2020

THE MUSEUM HITS THE AIRWAVES
Tune in to the Matthew Gudgin show on BBC Radio Norfolk this Wednesday March 11th at 4pm to hear the recording of Mike Hicks visit to the museum. Mike was shown round by volunteers Amanda Oelrichs, Jaybee Brown and Neil Haverson. Mike was impressed with our new shops display and was fascinated by the Gane machine in the Brushroom.

In a 1930s shopping basket…In 1876 Camp Coffee was the world's first instant coffee. It’s an essence of coffee-beans, ch...
07/03/2020

In a 1930s shopping basket…
In 1876 Camp Coffee was the world's first instant coffee. It’s an essence of coffee-beans, chicory and sugar and believed to have come following a request from the Gordon Highlanders for a coffee drink that could be used easily by the army on field campaigns in India. Originally the picture depicted the Sikh carrying a tray of coffee then a version with the Sikh standing with the tray missing so he didn’t appear to be a servant. But the label now shows the Gordon Highlander soldier and a Sikh soldier sitting down together outside a tent. You can still get Camp Coffee in supermarkets, though more for flavouring cakes. Come in and see what else was in a 1930s shopping basket in the Damgate Stores.

Address

10 The Bridewell, Norwich Road
Wymondham
NR18 0NS

Opening Hours

Monday 1pm - 4pm
Tuesday 1pm - 4pm
Wednesday 1pm - 4pm
Thursday 1pm - 4pm
Friday 1pm - 4pm
Saturday 1pm - 4pm
Sunday 1pm - 4pm

Telephone

01953 600205

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Our Story

Wymondham Heritage Museum tells the story of Wymondham, the daily lives of its inhabitants, the town’s heroes and villains and great events from its past. Situated in the Bridewell, which has served as a prison, police station and courthouse, it is full of history that can be enjoyed by all the family. Explore Wymondham’s colourful history and learn about its people from Prehistoric times, the Iron Age, the Romans and Saxons to Wymondham’s beautiful medieval Abbey. Learn about the Bridewell from its beginning in 1785 as a 'model prison' and see what life would have been like for a prisoner in the recreated dungeon. Follow the story of Robert Kett, leader of Tudor England's most inspiring rebellion. Find out about Wymondham's Great Fire of 1615 and how a new Market Cross was built. Learn about farming and shopping before mechanisation and supermarkets and visit a recreated Wymondham 1930s grocery and general store. Hear the story of Wymondham’s brush industry and operate a working brush-making machine. There are also displays on Victorian Wymondham and the two World Wars, interactive displays and sound presentations and a variety of things for young visitors to do. Open March to October Mon - Sat 10am - 4pm and Sun 1pm - 4pm. Check website for exact dates. Run entirely by volunteers who will be pleased to welcome you. No trip to Wymondham is complete without a visit to this remarkable museum.

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Comments

An eclectic art exhibition in the tea room by Wymondham artist Elizabeth Reed. On until September 30th.
By the way, what an excellent website, very nicely designed. www.wymondhamheritagemuseum.co.uk
My son had a fabulous time at the Heritage Museum this afternoon. Such helpful and knowledgeable staff too. He particularly enjoyed comparing the drawing to the real market cross!
Have your followers noticed this event at NRO in November? I've ordered my ticket....
Yummy cheese scones, freshly made today 😊 Pop in to the museum and look at the new displays and have a cuppa & a yummy homemade cheese scone ☕😉
Our plan for 2018 is to take every Old English Village back to how they would have looked in the post war period of the 1950's by simply reintroducing our classic black and white painted cast metal or seasoned hardwood finger post signs. We supply many conservation groups with spare parts to make their existing signs complete, as we have a massive collection of signs from the 1930's roadside heritage of the golden age England, of all of our yesterdays. Please Like, Share & Follow our Finger Post Signs Page: https://www.facebook.com/oldfingerpostsigns/
Next year Wymondham Heritage Museum will be having a display on Wymondham Women in the First World War and we need your help please . Do any of you have any photos, information and anecdotes of what your female ancestors from Wymondham were up to during the conflict. For instance my Nanny was a postlady and her sister went and worked at an army base near Brandon. On my Dad's side one of his aunt's was a nurse at Abbotsford. Did they run the shops and pubs, work on the land etc whilst the men away. It doesn't matter whether they worked in Wymondham or away just as long as there is a connection to the town. We would love to use and share any information you can give . Please post here ,message me or email the museum Many thanks