Upcoming Events

For a 6-month trial period, all bookings and payments will be via Eventbrite. As soon as we are ready to take bookings, a “Book Tickets” link will appear beside the event. Please email secretary.brecsoc@gmail.com if you experience any problems.

Saturday 29 February, 10.00 am – 1.00 pm
Free Seminar: “The Cold War In The Brecks”

Venue: The Engine House, Brandon Country Park, IP27 0SU


A seminar putting the Cold War in the Brecks into the East Anglian and national context led by Dr Richard Hoggett, archaeologist. The session will have the themes of ‘Attack, Defence, Detection and Fallout’ and we will have the opportunity to look at some of the relevant maps and plans.

Everyone is welcome, both BrecSoc members and the general public.

This event is funded and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Friday 6 March, 7.30 pm
“Stoke Ferry, Gateway To The Brecks”

Venue: Wereham Village Hall, Church Road, Wereham, PE33 9AP

Cost: Members £7.00, non-members £10.00, including a glass of wine.

A talk by author Richard L. Coates about the history of Stoke Ferry and its importance as Breckland’s port and gateway.

Stoke Ferry owes its very existence to the river and its crossing. This, and the its location on the first ‘high ground’ at the edge of the fens have been highly significant to the wealth and development of the town, acting as a gateway to the Breckland area. The inland port, turnpike roads and later the railway enabled Stoke Ferry to become a major trading hub, particularly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Richard will examine this golden era, describing the rise and decline of the town in this period.

Richard spent much of his childhood in Stoke Ferry where his parents were school teachers. His mother researched and wrote about the history of Stoke Ferry and Richard has added to and updated her work. Copies of his recent book ‘A Farthing for the Ferryman – the surprising history of a Norfolk Village‘ will be available for purchase.


Friday 3 April, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Free Training Course: “Recording Cold War Structures”

Venue: Gorse Industrial Estate, near Barnham

A FREE training day in archeological recording of Cold War Structures with archaeologist Dr Richard Hoggett.  We will be based for the day at the Gorse Industrial Estate near Elveden which is the site of the 1950’s/60s “Blue Danube” nuclear bomb store and maintenance facility, next to Barnham Camp.  After an introduction to the theory we will put our skills into practice by recording some of the structures on the site, complementing the site survey carried out by English Heritage some years ago.

Everyone is welcome, both BrecSoc members and the general public.

This event is funded and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Friday, 15 May, 6.30pm
Guided visit to the ancient Church of St Mary at Houghton-on-the Hill

Venue: St Mary, Houghton-on-the-Hill

Cost: Members £7.00, non-members £10.00

The building has evolved through the centuries and was ultimately rescued from a state of dereliction in the last century.  Fortunately many of the original 11th century wall paintings survived and were rediscovered,along with others from later times, during the 1990’s.  The Church has a fascinating history, even including some rumours of satanic worship!

July (Date, Time and Cost all still TBA)
A Private Evening of Archaeology and Wildlife

Venue: Grime’s Graves

Cost: TBA

This will be the first time that English Heritage has ever opened Grime’s Graves out-of-hours for a customised group visit! As this is likely to be an extremely popular event, and ticket numbers are limited to 20, it is probable that tickets will be Members Only. More details to follow.

Sunday 13 September, 10.30am – 12.30pm
Tour of the remains of the monastic precinct of Bury St Edmunds Abbey

Venue: The Abbey grounds, Bury St Edmunds

Cost: Members £7.00, non-members £10.00.

In the early tenth century, the mortal remains of the martyred King Edmund were brought to the site of what grew to become one of the most important and powerful Benedictine monasteries in England – Bury St Edmunds. The Abbey, which was also a major European pilgrimage site, has played an important  role in the history of the Breckland as its charter gave it very significant land holdings in the Brecks.

Our tour guide Dr. Richard Hoggett is an old friend of the society and is an expert in the Abbey’s history. He has recently completed the Heritage Assessment for the site.