greene king bury st edmunds


The Greene King story starts back in 1799, when Benjamin Greene moved to Bury St Edmunds to set up his own brewing business. By 1806 he had entered into a partnership with William Buck, an elderly yarn-maker, and acquired the 100-year-old Wright’s Brewery in Westgate.

By 1868 Benjamin had handed the reins over to his son Edward, who was one of the first employers to introduce employee benefits, including a pension scheme and accommodation for staff. In 1887, local competitor Frederick King amalgamated with the King business and formed the Greene King we know today.

In 1888, the wife of the Managing Director set up the ‘Mothers Meeting’, a chance for the wives of employees to get together, and occasionally provide financial assistance. Remarkably, the Mothers Meeting is still going today.

Greene King continues to grow to this day, acquiring new pubs each years and still brewing award-winning ales.

You can visit the brewery in Bury St Edmunds and take a guided tour.

Plan a trip to the surrounding area with Visit Suffolk.

norwich city hall, norwich 12


Norwich City Hall is one of the finest municipal buildings of the inter-war period in England.

Built between 1936 and 1938 to accommodate the increasing size of Norwich City Council, the hall featured an art deco interior and a number of fine architectural features, including a top-floor cupola, mahogany panelling and one of the country’s longest balconies, and a pair of stylised bronze lions, sculpted by Alfred Hardiman, greets visitors to the building.

Designed by S. Rowland Pierce, the plans were held in high esteem and were shown at the Royal Academy in 1933 and 1934.

Norwich City Hall is also one of the Norwich12 buildings. The reception areas are accessible to the public, and the Tourist Information Centre runs full building tours during the summer months. For more information, see Norwich Tourist Information.

Explore the rest of Norwich with Visit Norwich.

Photo: Alex Liivet
maid's head hotel, norwich


Nestled in the heart of historic Norwich, The Maid’s Head Hotel has many literary links. Originally built for bishops travelling to the adjacent cathedral, the hotel has welcomed many famous (and fictional) people throughout its life, including Thomas Wolsey, Catherine of Aragon and poet Philip Larkin.

The hotel is best known for its links with L.P. Hartley’s The Go-Between. In the novel, two characters share a lengthy lunch there after exploring Norwich. The film version was actually shot in the hotel, making it especially significant for Norwich literary enthusiasts.

The hotel is also featured in two detective novels, P.D. James’ Devices and Desires and Francis Beeding’s The Norwich Victims, though, a stay there today is guaranteed to be less mystery-filled!

You can follow in the footsteps of these illustrious guests. Book a trip to The Maid’s Head Hotel.

And now that you’re staying in Norwich, you need to find something to do. Fear not, Visit Norwich has hundreds of suggestions.

avenue theatre, red rose chain


The Avenue Theatre is the home of theatre company Red Rose Chain. The Avenue offers a year-round programme of events, from Red Rose Chain’s own productions to stand-up comedy and music. Gippeswyk Hall, which The Avenue adjoins, is a Grade II listed property.

The theatre opened in 2014, after securing a £1 million Heritage Lottery Fund Grant, and pays homage to the barns that would have occupied the land when Gippeswyk Hall was first built.

The work of Red Rose Chain is community focused and driven, so, the company operates the theatre with an open door policy. They are keen to share this unique heritage site with the people of Ipswich, and beyond.

We explored Red Rose Chain’s Christmas show, The Tale of Mr Tod earlier in Culture365.

For more information, and the find out what’s on, visit Red Rose Chain.

There’s always something to see in Ipswich. All About Ipswich is the perfect guide to the town.

lacons great yarmouth sign


Nestled in the heart of Great Yarmouth, the Lacons Brewery dates back to 1760. At its peak it operated over 300 pubs across East Anglia and London, and produced over 80,000 barrels of beer annually. The brewery was floated on the stock market in 1952, and by 1952, Whitbread, a fellow brewer, held 20% of the shares.

By 1965, Whitbread bought the entire brewery, in a deal that equated to approximately £50 million and in 1968, the original Lacons Brewery was closed. Over the following decades, all of the brewery buildings were demolished, but their legacy remained visible, with Lacons emblems on buildings to this day.

These emblems intrigued local businessman Mick Carver who, after 18 months of negotiations, secured the registered trademarks of the brewery.

The new Lacons Brewery opened in 2013, brewing a range of new ales using the brewery’s original yeast. The brewery has gone from strength to strength, winning numerous national and international awards in 2014 and 2015.

Today, curious beer connoisseurs can take a trip to the brewery’s Visitor Centre, featuring a museum dedicated to the brewery’s history, and a shop.

To plan a trip, visit Lacons.

Pop to Great Yarmouth for a pint, and explore the rest of the region with Visit Norfolk.

Revisit the previous Culture365 post about Southwold-based Adnams.



One of the Norwich 12, The Forum is the landmark Millennium building for the East of England and a marvellous example of 21st century design.

The Forum sits on a pre-conquest settlement, inhabited by French settlers after the Norman invasion. During the Reformation the site was home to immigrants from the Low Countries – known as ‘Strangers’ they contributed significantly to Norwich’s textile trade. We explored the Strangers in a previous Culture365 post.

More recently Norwich Central Library was located here. Destroyed by fire in 1994, it provided the opportunity for massive archaeological excavations of the site.

Designed by Sir Michael Hopkins, The Forum is a £65 million project, built to mark the millennium in the East of England.

The main section forms an enclosing horseshoe, made from handmade load bearing bricks with several windows. The glass façade forms a stunning entrance and embraces the marvelous Gothic church tower of St Peter Mancroft.

For more information, visit The Forum.

Explore the other sights in the area with Visit Norwich.



Immortalised in John Constable’s work, the landscapes of Flatford are one of Suffolk’s best-loved features. Flatford Mill sits at the heart of this area, and is the perfect starting point for any Constable-inspired visits.

The Mill was owned by Constable’s father, Golding Constable, and ground grain for flour.

Today, it’s occupied by the Field Studies Council (and has been since 1946), though visitors are still able to enjoy the views from the front and back of the property, the same views that inspired Constable centuries ago.

The Mill is the starting point for plenty of self-guided walks, too. We explored Suffolk walking routes around National Trust properties in a previous 365 item.

Immerse yourself in Constable Country, starting with Flatford Mill, at the National Trust.

Plan a trip to the surrounding areas with Visit Suffolk.

Photo: National Trust / Ian Shaw


On January 19 1915 Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn became the targets of the first fatal air raids of the German’s fearsome Zeppelins during the First World War. The terrifying German Zeppelin raid on the two towns killed four people, including two civilians, 53-year-old shoemaker Samuel Smith and 72-year-old widow Martha Taylor. They were killed when the L4 Zeppelin dropped bombs on Bentinck Street, King’s Lynn.

The giant airships had already been used to strike the Belgian cities of Liège and Antwerp in the opening weeks of the First World War, killing a number of civilians during the siege of Antwerp.

The Ancient House Museum in Thetford has on display an unusual object in the form of an aluminium frame from a Zeppelin that came down in 1916. It came from a German Zeppelin, the L48, belonging to the German Navy.

To find out more, visit the Ancient House Museum.

Explore the rest of the county packed full of history. Plan a trip with Visit Norfolk.

Photo: Norfolk Museums

suffolk stargazing


On 17th January 2016, astronomers ran a Suffolk Stargazing workshop at RSPB Minsmere.

The evening began with an introductory talk, followed by the opportunity to view planets, galaxies and more from a variety of telescopes on show.

This was particularly fitting, as Suffolk’s night skies have amazed people for centuries. English poet Jane Taylor wrote the favourite nursery-rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star whilst in Lavenham, inspired by the village’s breathtaking night skies.

For more information about Minsmere, visit the RSPB.

Plan a trip to the inspiring area surrounding Minsmere, and find the perfect place to warm up after stargazing with The Suffolk Coast.

abbot's hall


Abbot’s Hall is a Queen Anne House in the grounds of the Museum of East Anglian Life.

Now over 300 years old, the house and its inhabitants have long played an important part in Stowmarket’s history.

The name ‘Abbot’s Hall’ originated in the 12th century when King Henry II granted the manor of Stowmarket to the Abbey of St Osyth in Essex. Following the Abbey’s dissolution in 1539, a variety of families went on to own the estate.

Today, the Hall houses a series of exhibitions as part of the Museum of East Anglian Life. Find out what’s on at the moment at the MEAL website.

Plan a trip to Stowmarket, and explore the rest of West Suffolk with Visit Suffolk.