Photo gallery: House hunt launched by Paston Heritage Society

Paston Heritage Society open day at Paston Church and hall. Josephine Marston, a member of Paston He

Paston Heritage Society open day at Paston Church and hall. Josephine Marston, a member of Paston Heritage Society dressed for the re-enactments.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Apothecaries, calligraphers and a lutenist re-created the costumes and music of the golden era of one of Norfolk's most famous families at the weekend.

Scores of people visited the north Norfolk village of Paston on Saturday for a heritage society open day to celebrate the family behind the well-known Paston Letters.

Society members donned the costumes of the day as people visited the exhibition at the village church. There were also historic re-enactments and recitals of excerpts from the letters.

It was the first event financed by a recent £10,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant, designed to bring local history to a modern audience.

Visitors also saw a trench in the grounds of Paston Hall, part of excavations to find the original hall, after an engraving was found giving clues to its location.

Paston Heritage Society chairman Dr Rob Knee said the recent rise in TV local history programmes had encouraged people's interest in heritage.

He said: 'There are so many things that people can relate to. This is where people live. They know about the village. They know about Paston Sixth Form College.'

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Following Saturday's open day, SUnday saw attention turn to creating a DVD, with Peter Stibbons from Poppyland Publishing pulling together footage of the historical re-enactments and other scenes.

Dr Knee said: 'The Paston family were very important. They were a key family in Norfolk for 200 years until they spent up and the whole thing collapsed.'

The excavation in the grounds of the current 18th century Paston Hall followed the chance discovery of a coloured engraving by Josiah Boydell, dating from 1790, which came to light three weeks ago in a private Norfolk archive.

It shows the ruins of the old Paston Hall, which dates from the early 15th century.