Our Aims

Our Club's aims are to:

Learn collaboratively about the history, heritage and archaeology of Norwich and Norfolk

Develop resources and activities that contribute to the wider community’s understanding of history and archaeology

Develop activities that enhance/maintain the wellbeing and emotional resilience of club members

Be actively inclusive – open, accessible and welcoming to all

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

The Case of Silas Chapman - 7th July 1856

Colin recently became aware of this bigamy case and thought it would be of interest to the group.  Here is the Old Bailey article:


Edward Boardman

George Skipper’s great rival was Edward Boardman.  His major works in Norwich include the refurbishment of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, converting Norwich Castle into a museum, building the notable Royal Hotel and the mortuary chapel in the city's Rosary Cemetery.  But did you know that he became Mayor of Norwich and he built How Hill House and lived in the How Hill Estate?  Find out more by selecting the following article and view more of his buildings in the Gallery section and a list of his buildings in the Works section:


James Minns - Behind Every Good Architect There Is a Good Carver!

From their association beginning at the design of Cromer Town Hall in 1890, George Skipper and James Mimms became famously linked.  Minns’s carvings adorned the former Daily Standard Office of 1899 in St Giles Street; Surrey House - The Norwich Union Building of 1904; and Commercial Chambers in Red Lion Street, 1901.  As an employee of Gunton’s brickyard in Old Costessey James produced numerous exhibition pieces of which a number are displayed in the Castle Museum and the Colman family private collection.   To find out more please select the following article:


George Skipper

I didn’t realise that he had designed so many buildings in Norwich; it is well known he designed the Royal Arcade but did you realise that he designed the Norfolk and Norwich Savings Bank (now Barclays Bank) in Red Lion St, the Norwich and London Accident Assurance Association (now the St Giles House Hotel in St Giles’ St) and his most expensive and sumptuous project, Surrey House for Norwich Union Life Insurance Society.  His trademarks were turrets and cupolas.  One of his great admirers was Poet Laureate John Betjeman.  Please select the following link to learn more:


Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Medieval Summer Picnic

There were picnics in medieval times often followed by a great feast all washed down with some mead and/or a flagon of wine!  What was maslin?  What cakes did they have and how were they seasoned?  They even ate sweet pastries containing fruit and a hint of liquorice and cloves. What was verjuice?  To find out more please select the following article written by author Carol McGrath:

Victorian Picnic

Here are some ideas for a picnic although they might be saturated in calories!  In her now-famous Book of Household Management published in 1861, the writer Mrs Beeton outlines her "bill of fare for a picnic for 40 persons”.  Meat, fish, and pies would be on the menu but what types of pie and what was in the sandwiches?  What did they have for dessert and did they drink alcohol?  All is revealed in the blow article:

The History Of The Picnic

From its French origins of refined indoor grandeur by the aristocracy to the simpler less extravagant gentle outdoor social experience adopted by the middle classes, this article covers it all.  What were the origins of a picnic? Did you know you could dance at a French picnic.  You could even go Dutch or gamble.  Why was Richard Brinsley Sheridan portrayed as a harlequin?  The answer to these questions are in the following article.  Please be aware there is a lady with no clothes on in the first image!