Upcoming Events

2020 Talks and Visits

We are in the process of arranging our 2020 programme; we will add events to this page as soon as each is confirmed (even if the date and venue are not quite finalised) so that you have an idea of what’s in store. Any gaps will be filled in in due course. And of course we welcome suggestions from members!

Monday 27 January, 10.00 am
Cold War Research Visit to Swaffham Museum

This is a research visit to the Museum, as part of the Cold War In The Brecks Lottery-funded project. We will be looking at the Museum’s Cold War material, in particular the CND protests against the building of the THOR missile site at RAF North Pickenham. If you plan to come along, and/or if you wish to be involved in the Cold War project, and help with our research, please email secretary.brecsoc@gmail.com

Thursday 30 January, 7.00 pm – 8.45 pm
“From Beachamwell to Bharatpur”

** FULLY BOOKED ** We can accept waiting list requests in case of cancellations.

Venue: Beachamwell Hall, Beachamwell, PE37 8BQ. By kind invitation of the owner, Mrs Jane Bonning.

Cost: Private event. Members and their guests only. £10.00 each, including drinks and canapes which will be served after the talk.

Mary Ann Prior will talk about the work of Constance Villiers Stuart, former owner of Beachamwell Hall, as both a garden designer and researcher of Indian Mughal gardens.

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

Venue: The Engine House, Brandon.

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. Booking details to follow soon.

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

Friday 6 March, 7.30 pm
“Stoke Ferry – Breckland’s inland port”

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.

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.

Early April, date to be confirmed, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Recording Cold War Structures

Venue: Gorse Industrial Estate, near Barnham

A 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 nuclear bomb store and assembly site at the former 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. Booking details to follow soon.

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)
Grime’s Graves. A Private Evening of Archaeology and Wildlife

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.