The original Leiston Abbey was built in 1182 by Ranulf de Glanville, but the original site was prone to flooding so it was moved to a new site three kilometres away.

The new abbey, pictured here, was built in 1365 using many of the same materials from the original abbey. The remains include the walls of the abbey church and associated buildings, with earthworks and a moat. The most impressive remains are probably the 16th century brick gatehouse. The original Lady Chapel has been restored and is occasionally used for worship.

The nearby RSPB reserve, Minsmere, which was the home of the 2015 series of BBC’s Springwatch, offers perfect viewing of the abbey and its surrounding area.

If you’re interested in exploring the region (and are an avid birdwatcher), visit Minsmere.

Explore the rest of the coast at The Suffolk Coast.



The village of Wighton in North Norfolk is home to this school house, which regularly had a notable visitor.

The house has links to the family of celebrated sculptor Henry Moore. In the early 1920s, Moore spent holidays here with his headmistress sister who taught here year round. It was during these holidays that Moore discovered the sculptural form of flint nodules, which were used in a lot of his work, including the 1922 piece Dog.

Examples of Moore’s work can be found across the region, most notably at Snape Maltings, the temporary home for Moore’s own copy of Large Interior Form.

The school house was occupied by American artist Alfred Cohen until his death in 2001. It now houses regular public exhibitions of his work as the ‘School House Gallery’.

Learn more about the variety of art and culture across Norfolk at Visit Norfolk.

Explore the areas that inspired Henry Moore with Visit North Norfolk.

joe kennedy


Joe Kennedy, the older brother of John F. Kennedy, was a decorated U.S. Navy Lieutenant who served with distinction on motor torpedo boats, and was expected to become president of the United States.

While undertaking a mission as part of Operation Anvil on August 12th 1944, Joe Kennedy’s aircraft exploded above Blythburgh, Suffolk, killing both Joe Kennedy and his co-pilot Lieutenant Wilford John Willy.

The reason for the accident is not known, but it is suspected that insufficient electrical shielding on an on-board camera could have caused the unstable cargo to explode.

Find out more about Joe Kennedy and aviation in the region at the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum.

Delve deeper into the Kennedy’s involvement in the region at Visit Suffolk.

west runton mammoth


This remarkable jaw bone from the famous West Runton mammoth was put on display in the Humans in Ancient Britain exhibition at the Time and Tide Museum, Great Yarmouth in August 2015.

The mammoth’s semi-fossilised remains were discovered by local residents at West Runton on the North Norfolk coast in 1990 following a storm which exposed part of a large bone at the foot of cliffs. After a full excavation, around 85% of the mammoth’s skeleton was uncovered, the most complete specimen of its kind to have been unearthed anywhere in the world, and the biggest mammoth ever to have been discovered in the UK.

This particular mammoth belongs to the species known as Steppe Mammoths, Mammuthus trogontherii, which were the ancestors of the later, smaller Woolly Mammoths of the Ice Ages. It was the largest species of elephant that ever lived (4m at the shoulder, and when alive weighed twice as much as a modern African bull elephant – up to 15 tonnes) and dates from around 700,000 years ago, making it the oldest mammoth skeleton to have been found in the UK.

See what’s on at the Tide and Tide Museum.

There’s lots more waiting to be unearthed in marvellous Great Yarmouth. Plan a trip here.

Photo: Norfolk Museums Service, Alison Fisher

bury st edmunds


In August 2015, wolves took over a number of locations at Bury St Edmunds.

The original story of Edmund the Martyr, or Saint Edmund, had a very grisly conclusion. The legend says that Viking invaders decapitated Edmund, who was king of East Anglia at the time, and his dismembered head was thrown into a nearby forest, where a wolf protected it. Since then, wolves have been tied to the town’s history (as with Norwich and dragons, explored in a previous 365 item).

Until November 2015, 26 wolves of varying sizes could be found in prominent locations around the town centre.

Plan a trip to Bury St Edmunds and explore the surrounding area via Visit Suffolk.


Photo: Our Bury St Edmunds
Waveney Sculpture Trail


Every summer, in the heart of the lush Waveney Valley that forms the border between Norfolk and Suffolk, a trail is unveiled which features some of the best sculpture by local artists.

Amongst the work featured is site-specific art, 3D structures and sculptures, that can be seen on land, in the air, and in the river Waveney itself.

The curator’s vision is to encourage public interaction with contemporary art in a rural setting. To find out more and plan your visit, take a look at their their website.



Orford Castle, in the heart of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has one of the most complete keeps in the country. Built by Henry II between 1165 and 1173 to consolidate royal power in the east, it has been described as ‘one of the most remarkable keeps in England’ due to its unique, Byzantine-inspired architecture.

The fact that the castle is still intact allows visitors to explore a maze of tunnels and passages across a number of floors, from the basement to the roof, where there are magnificent views of the nearby Orford Ness.

To explore the keep, including the original chapel and kitchen, visit Orford Castle.

Discover a multitude of historic sites around the county at Visit Suffolk.

Photo: Jon Mitchell


The Corn Hall, in the historic Norfolk town of Diss, has been a central part of the community since it was built in 1854. Originally the economic centre of the town, where corn would be traded, the Corn Hall (like many others across the country) was repurposed for use as a public cultural venue.

In 2015, the building became an important part of Diss’ Heritage Triangle, a project that aimed to restore and regenerate three historically and culturally significant sites around the town centre. Whilst these important renovations took place the corn hall was closed until Autumn 2016, but a series of live events took place in a number of locations across the town, as a ‘Diss Corn Hall on Tour’ series.

Want to explore the heritage triangle of this historic town and its surrounding area? Plan a trip at Visit Norfolk.




This door knocker, shaped like a horse’s head, is very appropriate considering it is on the door of the house that Anna Sewell was born in.

Born in Great Yarmouth on March 30th 1820, Sewell is most famous for writing the 1877 children’s novel Black Beauty. She lived in a number of locations across England, including Stoke Newington and Brighton, but returned to live in Norfolk as an adult.

Over the years, the building has been used for a number of different purposes, but most recently it was opened as Kirsty’s Cakery by Great Yarmouth-born chef Kirsty Fielder.

Take a trip to the ‘Old English Tea Room’ Kirsty’s Cakery.

Feeling inspired by the history of Great Yarmouth? Plan a trip at Greater Yarmouth.



This tide clock, a 20th Century reproduction of an ingenious 17th Century timepiece, can be found on the tower of St. Margaret’s Church in the historic town of Kings Lynn. It faces towards the quays on the Great Ouse so that ships’ captains could see when the next high tide would arrive.

The single ‘dragon’ hand makes a full rotation every lunar month. The dial ring represents the 24 hours of the day (the even hours from 12 noon – L on the dial – are the letters; the odd hours are the ‘dogs-tooth’ markers or the red dots between the words). The moon-phase function is self-evident. Reading from 12 noon, the letters spell out LYNN HIGH TIDE.

The original clock was installed in the 1680s by Thomas Tue, a clockmaker and churchwarden, but was damaged when the spire collapsed during a gale in September 1741, causing extensive damage to the church.

This isn’t the first Kings Lynn tower to be featured in Culture365 – we took a look at the Kings Lynn Minister, part of the Lynn Lumiere, back in Culture365 – 27.

If you want to explore historic Kings Lynn, plan a trip at Visit West Norfolk.

Extend your trip and visit the surround area at Visit Norfolk.