Places to visit in and around Dereham


Bishop Bonner’s Cottage Museum

55 years of the Bishop Bonner's Cottage Museum 1963 - 2018

Virtually untouched by the 21st century, this beautiful timber-framed, thatched building is particularly noted for its unusual coloured pargetting. Originally three cottages, it is the oldest surviving domestic building in Dereham, and with its original sloping ceilings, tiny rooms, twisting staircases and wooden beams, it is easy to imagine how the many previous inhabitants lived here in the past. It is now the town’s Museum, with the building itself being perhaps the Museum’s single most important resource.

The museum is now closed until 2019: for opening times, probably from May, check on our website and go to opening times.

Dereham and District Allotment and Gardeners Society

The Society's aims are to protect Allotment Land and to provide a friendly help and support group for allotment holders and gardeners alike. Whilst we are a Membership Group, we welcome non members to take part in and enjoy our regular talks and events. Our annual Summer Show, usually held in August, is a wonderful opportunity for Members and others to showcase their flower, fruit and vegetable growing, alongside baking, preserving and craft skills.

Dereham Blues Festival

Dereham Blues Festival takes place every July, during the second full weekend. Each year, more than 120 bands apply to play at the festival and about half of these will play at least once over the course of a long weekend, from Thursday to Sunday. That adds up to over 100 free entry performances that are hosted in local bars and cafes. Apart from the ticketed launch concert, all the gigs are free to enter and close to the centre of Dereham town, in walking distance of free car parks. It is a real feast for lovers of live music and blues music. Several venues have music in their gardens and offer barbecues and hog roasts or craft ales on sale in the garden.

Dereham Carnival

Sometime in 2015 an idea started to grow. On paper it seemed simple. 'Let's bring the Carnival back to Dereham and let's create a day that would make memories'. We knew we wanted to bring something to our town that would live on in the memory and serve as a bedrock for future events. We knew from the beginning that these things don't get magicked out of thin air and cost money...so we turned towards the business community.

To say the community stepped up is an understatement. Over 30 locally based companies supported the event by purchasing sponsorship packages which allowed us to grow the event at a far faster pace than we first anticipated. Other support flooded in over the 12 months prior to July 2016 and we started to realise we were on to something massive. With this support, our dedicated army of volunteers have been able to make this an annual experience and also took on the organisation and revival of the Christmas lights switch-on.

The response from the public was phenomenal. The streets were lined with 1000's of happy smiling faces as was the Rec after the parade had led people there. We could only have dreamed of the sheer number of people who turned out on that glorious sunny day firstly to enjoy the daytime activities and then stay late into the evening to enjoy the live music. It was a joy to see.

This is now a well established annual event in July. But, just like in 2015 and 2016, we need everybody's help to make it happen again. It began in 2015 as a seed of an idea, now we just need to nurture it and watch it grow into something even better year on year.

Dereham Memorial Hall

Dereham Memorial Hall was built in 1818 and was originally a coachworks. During the First World War it was turned into the Picture Palace, showing silent films. In 1934 it was converted into a heated swimming pool, which is still underneath the Hall’s floor to this day. In the winter the pool was boarded up and the Hall became a dance and concert venue.

During the Second World War it became a cinema again; now known as the Pool Cinema. The Urban District Council purchased the Hall and, in 1949, it was renamed the Memorial Hall in honour of those who lost their lives in the two World Wars.

In December 2011 the hall was reopened by Dereham Town Council after an 18 month and £2.3 million refurbishment and extension as a multi-use community facility capable of accommodating professional shows and community activities.

A separate, voluntary organisation, 'the Friends of Dereham Memorial Hall', promotes a wide range of shows and produce a 6 monthly brochure of all public events.

Tickets for current events on sale at www.ticketsource.co.uk/fodmh

Website http://derehammemorialhall.co.uk/
Email info4fdmh@email.com
Phone 01362 696900
Dereham Windmill Charity

Enjoy a visit to a Grade 2 Listed Windmill built in 1835. No longer used as a working mill, it has been restored by the Dereham Windmill Charity Trustees, Volunteers and Friends and reopened as a popular Exhibition Centre.

There are five floors and although the steps are steep and not suitable for all, a video presentation on the ground floor tells the story of the windmill and includes footage of the upper floors and exhibitions. The latest addition is a hologram of a Miller on the first floor who talks about life in the Windmill years ago! The windmill is set in extensive grounds with a detached Coffee Shop serving coffee/tea and delicious home made cakes. Full disabled facilities are available within the coffee shop and grounds, including a specially adapted picnic bench.

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse

Enjoy a fascinating journey through the story of rural Norfolk, at this museum and traditional farm set in 50 acres of beautiful countryside.

Stand in the evocative workhouse settings, face to face with projections of staff and inmates and listen to first hand stories, often tragic, sometimes inspirations, from the people who once walked these whitewashed corridors.

Visit ‘Land Girls and Lumber Jills’, old village shops, recreated cottage garden, orchard and traditional farm with rare breed livestock.

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse makes a superb setting for a great day out for all the family. You’ll need a whole day to begin to discover all its wonders.

Mid Norfolk Railway

The Mid-Norfolk Railway is owned and operated by the volunteers of the Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust. From our base in Dereham, Norfolk, we operate Heritage Rail services along the 11 mile line to the market town of Wymondham, just outside Norwich. We are also working to extend services north from Dereham towards North Elmham and County School, with an aim of reaching Fakenham in the future.

The Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust was set up in 1995 to buy the line from Wymondham to Dereham. The station at Dereham was cleaned up, and open days held. After building a platform at Rash’s Green near Dereham, passenger trains were run between there and Yaxham in 1995. This was a huge success and provided tangible evidence of the Trust’s achievements and its ability to operate the line. After relaying track into Dereham station in early 1997, the first train ran from the station in the summer

Website http://www.mnr.org.uk/
Email info@mnr.org.uk
Phone 01362 851723
St Nicholas Parish Church

St Nicholas Church at Dereham is the largest church within the Team. The mission of St. Nicholas is to bring the Christian message to the people of Dereham. We do this through regular services, Messy Church, working with other Christian denominations in the town, holding huge numbers of weddings and baptisms, and much more besides.
St. Nicholas runs several groups, including 'Tea n Tots', 'Hymn-sing' and 'Thursday men'. Details can be found on our website.

The Church is centrally placed just off the Market Square and aims to be a central part of the community. In addition to the usual weekly services, special services such as the annual Festival of Remembrance in November and the Battle of Britain service in September provide civic occasions for the whole community. The magnificent building is also ideal for concerts and recitals with many musicians making use of the facilities.

St Withburga’s Well

St Withburga's Well is a holy spring located in the churchyard of St Nicholas in the centre of East Dereham. The water sprang from the grave of St Withburga when her bones were removed.

A plaque records that "The ruins of a tomb which contained the remains of Withburga, youngest daughter of Anna, King of East Angles, who died AD 654. The Abbot and monks of Ely stole this precious relic and translocated to Ely Cathedral, where it was interred near her three royal sisters, AD 974"

Trinity Methodist Church

The story of Methodism in Dereham may well have begun on the very site of Trinity church! The Rev. John Wesley made over forty visits to Norfolk and passed through Dereham frequently on his travels between Norwich and King’s Lynn, along the route of the old A47. Word of his coming went ahead of him and crowds gathered to see the once abused but now venerated evangelist. He records in his journal that, on 3rd October 1788, having come from Lynn on the coach called ‘Expedition’, which held four people, “Going through Dereham about noon I was desired to preach, which I willingly did."

Nowadays, we have numerous clubs and societies. We have our wonderful flower ladies who make sure there are beautiful floral arrangements every Sunday. We have coffee mornings, sales, fetes, plays, musicals, concerts, meals and a 3 day flower festival, as well as all the special services that are important in the church calendar,; Christmas, Easter, Harvest Festival.

Wellspring Family Church

Wellspring Family Church is a friendly, lively, growing Christian Church serving the community of Dereham and the surrounding villages since 2002.
Called to be Salt & Light to Dereham and the surrounding area through worship, prayer, proclamation and service.

Through our Wellspring Family Centre charity we are committed to helping those in need in our local community. We host local community groups like the Mid-Norfolk Foodbank and we also operate our own projects.

Come and join us, a warm welcome awaits.