Welcome to Aylsham Heritage Centre's Website
Located in the old church rooms in the grounds of St Michael's Church, Aylsham Heritage Centre is a resource for the local community to find out more about the heritage of the area. We are also one of the Tourist Information points in the town.
From the Marketplace, head into the churchyard and walk down the path keeping the church on your left. The centre can be found at the end of the path next to the War memorial.
Market Place Aylsham, Nr11 6EH
Opening Times (March to December)
Monday 10.30am - 1pm
Tuesday - 10.30 am - 3.30pm
Wednesday 10.30am - 3.30pm
Thursday 10.30am - 3.30pm
Friday 10.30am - 3.30 pm
1st Saturday of each month 10.30am - 1pm
Find us in the grounds of St Michael's Churchyard.
Entry is free - although donations are always welcome!
Well behaved dogs on leads are also more than welcome
Donate to the Heritage Centre by visiting our BT Donate page.
The current exhibition is called "What's in a name" and is all about the people who have had streets named after them in the town. There are many interesting stories about the contribution these people have made to the town. These include Humphry Repton the renowned landscape gardener and Joseph Clover the pioneering anaesthetist. There is a fascinating leaflet to accompany the exhibition too which has been produced by the History Society which is available in the centre. The exhibition is open until November.
Children's Website - written for and by children
Over the last couple of years we have noticed that all the information about the history of the town is aimed at adults. So, in order to put this right, we managed to gain some funding from the Jubilee Trust to create a website for children, written by children. A team from Bure Valley helped us out and the results can be found at https://aylshamhistoryforchildren.weebly.com/ They really have done a cracking job!
We have an exhibition of Roman Artefacts in the centre, from the finds made at Woodgate Nursery. We even have some Roman pottery you can handle too!
There are always lots of things happening at the centre.
Follow the links further down the page to find out more!
Events and News
Hare Crafts - Sunday 24th June
Norfolk Day - Saturday 28th July
As part of the Norfolk Day celebrations, and linking with our street Names exhibition we are hosting a drop in workshop to make model Soame pumps to take home. Soame Close is named after John Soame who served on the Parish Council. The pump was built in his memory and opened in 1913.
The Workshop is free - Donations welcome. Pop along and see us.
Town Hall Saturday 28th July 9am - 1pm
Wednesday 1st August - Paper Batik. Create a beautiful paper batik design using wax crayons, paint and an iron! (Children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult - not suitable for children under 5)
2 - 4 pm £4 per child - Booking essential
Friday 3rd August- Scavenger Hunt. Call in and pick up a list of things to find as a family around the town. £4 per family, no booking required. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Pop in any time between 10.30 and 3pm.
Beginners Needle Felting Workshop
Learn the basics involved in needle felting and create your own fox to take home. All materials and refreshments provided.
Take home kit of basic tools available for a small fee.
Absolutely no experience needed!!
Friday 14th September 10.30 – 1pm
£15 per person
Wine Tasting - Saturday 6th October
Our annual wine tasting evening takes place on Saturday 6th October 7pm. A great opportunity to taste some wonderful wines with commentary from wine merchants Harper Wells of Eaton. A really relaxed and informal evening which is really good fun! £17 per person including testing of around 6 wines with cheese and nibbles too. Book early to avoid disappointment as places are limited.
We have a series of talks every Wednesday night in October, all starting at 7pm and costing £4 per person. Booking essential.
3rd October - Letters from After Peace.
A fascinating picture of life after the armistice, taken from beautifully preserved family letters written in 1945.
10th October - Pablo Fanque's Fair and the Victorian Circus
Pablo Fanque—real name William Darby, the first black British circus proprietor—was born in Norwich. He is immortalised in the Beatles song, Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite. This talk also celebrates the 250th anniversary of circus as an entertainment and fits in with the "Circus 250" national celebrations.
17th October - The Friendly Invasion.
This costumed talk is about the US Airforce in Norfolk in WW2 and how they and the local people experienced this meeting.
24th October - Life Beyond the Home Front - Women in WW2
Although women played a significant part keeping life and the home running during the war, many contributed by signing up to the Army, Airforce and Navy and the Women’s Land Army. This talk gives an overview of the varied roles women carried out during this time.
Hire the Centre
Tourist Information Point
Aylsham Town Archives