There are plenty of ways to get involved with the history and archaeology of Norfolk. Why not visit a museum or join an archaeological society?
Many Portable Antiquities Scheme finds can be seen on display at museums around the county (see the links below).
The Ancient House was built c. 1500 AD and was given to Thetford in 1921 by local antiquary Prince Frederick Duleep Singh (son of the famous maharajah). Inside the Ancient House, a whole room is dedicated to the archaeology of Thetford, with objects recorded by the PAS including ….. objects dating from prehistory, the eras of the Celts, the Romans, the Vikings, through to the 1960s.
The museum at Gressenhall houses vast collections relating to the ordinary people of Norfolk, particularly those who worked on the land.
The Lynn Museum opened in 1844 and moved to its present home, a former Union Baptist Chapel and schoolroom, in 1904. The galleries tell the story of West Norfolk using many finds recorded by the PAS, such as the North West Norfolk hoard of late Bronze Age swords, spears and axes (NMS-37F7D3), the extraordinary ‘cow-bone’ hoard of 39 Iron Age coins from Sedgeford (PAS-B1F065), and the remarkably detailed gold Roman phallic pendant from Hillington (NMS-94CA46).
Work began on Norwich’s stone keep in 1094 or shortly after and was finished by the time King Henry I visited in 1121. In 1894 Norwich Castle opened as a museum, and a huge new project is now under way to restore the medieval interiors. Today the Museum holds an impressive archaeological collection, including hundreds of finds recorded by the PAS. Among the most famous are the Happisburgh handaxe (NMS-ECAA52), and the Balthilde seal matrix (PAS-8709C3).
Societies & Organisations
The NNAS is the main county-wide society for archaeological research. It publishes the county journal, Norfolk Archaeology, every year; this includes a round-up of the most important PAS-recorded finds from Norfolk. The Society organises monthly lectures and excursions and has a useful library.
NARHG is a club for all those interested in local history and archaeology, and has a practical focus. There are talks and field trips, and NAHRG helps encourage members’ fieldwork and publication as well as running some fieldwork itself.
The Federation co-ordinates many smaller local history and archaeology groups, as well as county-wide groups covering heraldry and historic buildings. It has contact details for all of them, and co-ordinates a diary so that you never miss a talk or outing. You are bound to find something just right for you!
The Young Archaeologists Club (YAC) is the youth branch of the Council for British Archaeology. YAC operates across the country with local groups of young enthusiasts. In Norfolk there are branches in Norwich and Great Yarmouth.