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Elizabethan House

Published date: June 2020

Elizabethan House

The Elizabethan House is a National Trust site managed by Norfolk Museums Service and is a historic 16th century house situated on Great Yarmouth’s quayside.

Built around 1596 by Benjamin Cowper, this charming merchant’s house is a fascinating building with a rich history. Once home to merchants and prominent locals, it has seen several changes over the years to its physical shape, evidence of which can be seen throughout the building. View its wood panelled rooms, richly decorated ceilings and imposing stairway, which all help to tell the story of the Elizabethan House.

Famous for its connections with Oliver Cromwell, who is said to have frequently visited his friend, John Carter, a prominent Yarmouth merchant who bought the house from Benjamin Cowper in 1635. During the Civil War, the premises became a regular meeting place for parliamentarians, and it is claimed that within these walls, in November 1648, the fate of Charles I was decided.

From 1667 14 different families lived in the house and 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 a tenant until her death in 1949.

Visit the Elizabethan House and discover fascinating collections from Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service. Visitors can try on replica costumes in the bedroom and find out about life both upstairs and downstairs when it housed its Victorian inhabitants. On special event days, you may be lucky enough to see the range in the kitchen being fired up and watch as food is created using period recipes.

Find out about families who lived in this splendid quayside house from Tudor to Victorian times and what it was like to work in the kitchen and scullery. Decide for yourself if the death of Charles I was plotted in the Conspiracy Room of the Elizabethan House and dress the family in Tudor costumes – don’t miss the photo opportunity! Children can play in the activity packed toy room and take a wander around the small walled garden. The Elizabethan House contains a large and extensive collection of antique furniture that dates from as far back as the 1500s and has an impressive art collection.

To find out more about the Elizabethan House, including opening times, admission costs and special events, please go to their website.

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