Great Yarmouth heritage trail, Elizabethan House Museum, Norfolk
Discover the rich maritime heritage of Great Yarmouth. Starting at the Elizabethan House Museum, visit some of the town's oldest buildings and find evidence of its intriguing history. The town has the best preserved medieval walls in the UK; In 1261 King Henry III granted Yarmouth the right to build a town wall and large sections of the walls, including some of the towers, still survive today. It also has the imposing monument commemorating Norfolk's hero, Admiral Lord Nelson.
Take an exciting journey into the past
Ideal walking trail for families.
Elizabethan House Museum, grid ref: TG523073
Start at the Elizabethan House Museum (3 on map).
Elizabethan House Museum
An amazing hands-on museum to enthral all ages. This 16th-century quayside building reflects the life and times of the families who lived here from Tudor to Victorian times. The house is managed by Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service.
Look at the outside of Greyfriar's Cloisters (1c), and the Town Hall (8). Greyfriar's Cloisters unfortunately are not accessible for the foreseeable future other than on organised tours. Row 111 Houses in the vicinity are also worth a visit. The delightful Row Houses at Row 111 and the Old Merchant’s House are rare remnants of Great Yarmouth’s original distinctive ‘Rows’ which were a network of narrow alleyways linking Yarmouth’s three main thoroughfares. A link to their website is provided at the bottom of the page.
This ruin is all that remains of Great Yarmouth's 13th-century Franciscan Friary. Inside, there are two stone-vaulted cloisters, two tomb recesses and some 14th-century wall paintings discovered in the 1960s. The friary thrived, even surviving an outbreak of the Black Death, until the dissolution of the monasteries, when the buildings passed into private hands. The Cloisters are now owned by English Heritage and have had restoration work undertaken. Tours are available by visiting Row Houses at Row 111 just around the corner, also owned by English Heritage.
Keeping the River Yare on your right, walk along South Quay until reaching the Nelson Museum (4). Take the next left along Nottingham Way and look over Row 111 and 117 Merchant's Houses (1a and 1b).
Norfolk 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. Discover what life was like below deck and play ship's games, or simply relax in the picnic area of the Maritime Courtyard and admire the Georgian herb garden (direction 3).
Now take the third right down Blackfriars Road, and cross the road to the Time and Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth Life (5).
Time and Tide Museum
Explore this museum housed in a converted Victorian herring curing works, and take an exciting journey into the past. Discover Great Yarmouth's fascinating history, its rich maritime and fishing heritage and some of the colourful characters who made their living from the sea. Lively hands-on displays, games, puzzles, free audio guides, film shows and children's activities bring the story of Great Yarmouth vividly to life (direction 4).
Now cross back over the road, take a look at the Historic Smokehouse at Great Yarmouth Potteries (6) and, turning left, head down Nottingham Way to the next junction. Taking the next right, walk along King Street, passing York Road on the right.
Great Yarmouth Potteries and smokehouse
Great Yarmouth Potteries is a fully working pottery; from liquid clay to finished ware and a herring smoking museum.
When reaching Yarmouth Way, make a left turn to have a look at the Tolhouse Museum (2), and then retracing your steps to King Street turn left and continue along until reaching the Market Place.
Enjoy the hands-on activities and find out about the history of this 12th Century medieval former merchant’s house, which was transformed into one of the town’s most important civic buildings - the jailhouse.
Now visit St Nicholas church (10). This is the end of our heritage trail, but do take the time to visit the Lydia Eva (9), a floating maritime museum.
Lydia Eva is the world's last surviving steam-powered herring drifter. Built in 1930 and based in Great Yarmouth, she fished along the East Coast and North Sea for nine years before the RAF brought her in 1939, using her in a variety of roles until 1969. With support from county and local councils, she was acquired in 1989 by enthusiasts in Norfolk and Suffolk (now known as the Lydia Eva Charitable Trust Ltd), with the aim of returning her to her home port. The Heritage Lottery Fund provided funds for hull repairs, and she's now based in Great Yarmouth as a floating museum (direction 7).
St Nicholas church
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