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Discover Elizabethan House Museum

wooden kitchen table laid with ingredients for making a fruit cake, cupboard doors are open and stained glass windows on the back wall
ready to bake in the kitchen at the Elizabethan House Museum | © National Trust Images / John Miller

The 16th-century quayside Elizabethan House Museum reflects the life and times of the families who lived here, from Tudor to Victorian times. Decide for yourself if the death of Charles I was plotted in the Conspiracy Room.

This charming merchant’s house, on the quayside in Great Yarmouth, was built around 1596 by Benjamin Cowper. Over the years the building has been subject to various alterations and changes of use until it was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1949.


You’ll find information about the house and the individual rooms on display and knowledgeable staff and volunteers can tell you more about the history of the local area. There is also a virtual DVD tour of the house for less mobile visitors.

Oliver Cromwell

The house is famous for its connections with Oliver Cromwell who is said to have frequently visited his friend, John Carter, a prominent local merchant who purchased the house from Benjamin Cowper in 1635. The premises became a regular meeting place for Parliamentarians during the Civil War, and it is here, allegedly, in November 1648 that the fate of Charles I was decided.

The museum today

From 1667 some 14 different families lived in the house. In 1870, it was bought by the Aldred family and remained in their possession until the eldest daughter Mary Aldred bequeathed it to the National Trust. Her sister Blanche remained the tenant until her death in 1949. Norfolk Museums Service now manage the museum.

Delve deeper

If you’d like to find out more about the museum or explore our archives at this and other museums in Great Yarmouth visit the Norfolk Museums Service website or email the team.

Please note: Elizabethan House Museum is managed by Norfolk Museums Service.

inside a dining room with wooden panelling, floor, table and four chairs at the Elizabethan House Museum
inside the dining room at the Elizabethan House Museum | © National Trust Images / John Miller
A volunteer in costume at Elizabethan House Museum, Norfolk

Discover more at the Elizabethan House Museum

Find out when Elizabethan House Museum is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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