The Elizabethan House

The Elizabethan House, Number 4 South Quay. The house was built in 1596 for Benjamin Cooper, a wealthy merchant, and the town’s Member of Parliament and a Bailiff. John Carter, a Parliamentarian, purchased the house in 1635, where he was visited by Oliver Cromwell, General Ireton and Miles Corbet, and it is said, that the decision to execute Charles I was taken here. C. J. Palmer, the local antiquarian, lived in the house in the early 19th century. The house was originally one room deep, but between 1603 and 1610, it was extended to the rear. In 1610, Cooper was licensed to build over Row 83. On the ground floor, there are examples of 16th and 18th century panelling, and in the dining room, there is an arcaded fireplace with Benjamin Cooper’s initials and the date 1596. The central first-floor room has a 16th century plaster ceiling, and a further room has another arcaded fireplace with Cooper’s initials, and 17th century panels. The six-bay Georgian façade of gault brick dates from Palmer’s occupancy. The house is owned by the National Trust and is managed by Norfolk Museums Service. It is currently open to the public.

The museum is geared towards giving children a real hands-on feel of Elizabethan life, with a play area filled with historic and replica toys, and interactive activities. Exhibits trace the life and times of the people who lived in the house from Elizabethan to Victorian times. Explore the kitchens and find out what it was like to work as a scullery maid. Children can try on Tudor costumes. A small walled garden stands outside the house.

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