Ten of Norfolk’s most unusual museums
- Credit: Archant
It's no secret that Norfolk is home to many weird and wonderful things, including an array of museums filled with items such as seashells and straw. Here's a look at some of the quirkiest museums our county has to offer.
• John Jarrold Printing Museum, Norwich
Founded in 1982, this museum is intended to preserve traditional printing skills and is run entirely by retired printers. The JJPM is only open on Wednesdays from 9.30am to 12.30pm, during which time visitors can browse various machinery and printing relics, including a 19th century hand-operated printing press and lithographic hand presses.
• The Shell Museum, Glandford
Built in 1915 by Sir Alfred Jodrell, The Shell Museum is the oldest purpose-built museum in the county and is home to a large collection of seashells from all over the world, as well as jewels, a piece of Pompeii, and fragments of old pottery. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday between Easter and the end of October, including Bank Holidays.
• The Straw Museum, Colby
Attached to the side of Ella Carstairs' home, you'll find the free to visit Museum of Straw Works, her own unique museum featuring straw hats, corn dolls and Swiss straw lace as well as examples of other crafts such as beadwork and tatting.
• Dad's Army Museum, Thetford
Opened in 2007, the Dad's Army Museum in Thetford has attracted many visitors keen to learn more about the production of the iconic comedy show. The independently run business is open on Tuesday and Saturdays from 10am to 3pm and boasts a collection of memorabilia from the television programme and the recent film.
• Davenport's Magic Kingdom, North Walsham
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This unique attraction explores 500 years of magic history and features an exhibition of artefacts dating back to the 16th century. Take a look at a reproduction of Houdini's Chinese Water Torture Tank, a first edition of the 1584 book Discoverie of Witchcraft and learn all about the Davenport family and their magical journey that spans five generations.
• Fakenham Museum of Gas and Local History, Fakenham
Housed inside Fakenham's former gasworks which produced gas for the town from 1846 to 1965, the Museum of Gas and Local History provides visitors with a look at what life was like for those in the town between 1800 and 1970. It is the last remaining town gasworks in the country and is complete with gas street lamps, gas meters and water heaters.
• Hippodrome Circus Museum, Great Yarmouth
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The Circus Museum in Yarmouth contains over 100 years of performance memorabilia and is open to visit after every circus and water show. The museum includes vintage lighting and sound equipment, old costumes, props and a collection of clown heads.
• Wind Energy Museum, Repps with Bastwick
Located in Repps with Bastwick, close to Potter Heigham, The Wind Energy Museum is dedicated to preserving the heritage of wind power and thus has an extensive collection of wind pumps, steam engines and models of various mills.
• Colman's Mustard Shop and Museum, Norwich
For over 200 years, Colman's has been making mustard in Norfolk and this long running tradition is celebrated in the fine city in the Mustard Shop and Museum within the Royal Arcade. The shop is home to a range of memorabilia, such as wartime mustard tins and pots, and provides insight into the history and production of the mustard.
Inside the Old Skating Rink on Bethel Street, you'll find various exhibitions of objects and crafts from South Asia dating predominantly from the 19th to the 20th century. The SADACC is full of rugs, carvings, paintings, and furniture, but it's not just the collection that must be observed - the Victorian building it is housed within is a sight to behold as well.
• What's your favourite museum in Norfolk? Let us know in the comments below.