Paston Footprints Autumn Activities

Paston Footprints’ immersive well-being walks and historical activities are just one of the ways you can look after yourself this season. Their Autumn Activities and Events schedule can be found HERE.

A sunset background of an open field, reads, "New heritage walks: Explore historic Norfolk and uncover the remarkable story of the Paston family."

‘Outside academic circles, the story of the Paston family is largely undiscovered by the general public. Yet their letters and landmarks are the living history of Norfolk. The aim of the National Heritage Lottery funded Paston Footprints project is to empower people to experience and connect with the Paston legacy.

We have created heritage walks and cycle rides to help people explore Norfolk’s historic ‘Paston Country’.  We invite everyone to help us tell the Paston story and bring it to more people by taking part in family activities and creative challenges.

‘The Paston Family, a Norfolk Story’ from Paston Footprints website

Ever wanted to design your own Coat of Arms? Try out their fun virtual Coat of Arms Maker HERE!

A lady dressed in expensive Stuart period clothing looks out across the front garden of Oxnead Hall.
Photo Charlotte Warren, costume by Penny Knee

Like Minds Norfolk – Extraction

In our latest Like Minds Norfolk project, we have been looking at extraction in the local area, investigating the impact it has by visiting sites such as Blackborough End and taking part in an art workshop at the GroundWork Gallery.

What is Extraction?

The practice of taking resources out of the earth has become one of the biggest problems of the modern world. Everything we live in, walk on and touch daily is somehow extracted from the earth.

The built environment is made from stone extraction; oil, gas, coal for transport and industry comes from drilling, mining and fracking; a whole cocktail of extracted minerals are used in electronics. Mobile phones alone contain copper, nickel, lithium, tungsten, cobalt, tellurium and manganese. The scale of natural resource extraction, even for the so-called environmental technologies like wind turbines and electric cars, is staggering and imposing incredible and increasing stress on the earth.

‘Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss, Extraction: the context,’ GroundWork Gallery website

Blackborough End Extraction Reflections

Here is a video by artist Ian Brownlie, who we have been working with during these visits.

Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss

Currently, the GroundWork Gallery is running a programme about what we take from the Earth, involving an incredibly thought-provoking exhibition which we visited during one of our sessions.

‘This programme is part of Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss, a United States-based initiative begun in Montana. It is now a global coalition, a multimedia, multi-venue, cross-border art intervention which seeks to provoke societal change by exposing and interrogating the negative social and environmental consequences of industrialised natural resource extraction.’

‘Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss, Art on the Edge of the Abyss,’ GroundWork Gallery website

If you would like to learn more about GroundWork’s involvement and exhibition, you can visit their website HERE.

I saw how far we’ve come; In other ways, we haven’t – a Dr Hills’ Casebook evaluation report by Professor (Emerita) Karen McArdle 

Here is our latest evaluation report, I saw how far we’ve come, in other ways, we haven’t by Professor (Emerita) Karen McArdle, about our Change Minds collaborative theatre project, Dr Hills’ Casebook.


Special thanks to Karen McArdle and our partners Norfolk Record Office, the UpShoot Theatre Company, NORAH, South Norfolk Council, Broadland District Council and National Lottery Heritage Fund.

MY DR HILLS’ CASEBOOK (Entry 17) : A blog by Robert Fairclough

The seventeenth instalment of Robert Fairclough’s blog about our Change Minds project, Dr. Hills’ Casebook, uniting history, mental health, creative writing and theatre.

My Dr Hills’ Casebook (17)

I was staggered to see that my last post went up on 26 May i.e. nearly four months ago. Such a lot has happened since then. We had the online screenings of the ‘Dr Hills’ Casebook’ film which, apart from some initial technical hiccups, went really well. I think it’s a towering achievement by everyone concerned and should be seen by anyone remotely interested in local history and mental health (or both). The whole play can be seen here:

After that, I was more or less straight into the design of ‘Dr Hills’ Casebook – The Anthology’, a compilation publication of case studies which provided the basis of the characters seen in the play, photographs, essays, creative writing and interviews with the play’s cast and crew. It’s a celebration of the Dr Hills’ project, designed as a keepsake for the group members; an intimate memoir, if you like. Reading through it, it’s moving and humbling to see how, through the research experience, those involved have come to terms with their own personal issues, have turned positives into negatives and grown as people. I include myself among their number.

Continue reading “MY DR HILLS’ CASEBOOK (Entry 17) : A blog by Robert Fairclough”

New dates for Burgh Castle Almanac Experience

The Burgh Castle Almanac Experience continues next Tuesday 14th September as part of the Norfolk Heritage Open Days 2021!

New Session Dates and Times

Tuesday 14th September 2021
11AM – 1PM

Tuesday 11th January 2022
11AM – 1PM

If you’re interested in booking a place, please email or, for more information, you can visit our Facebook page by clicking the link below.

Visit our Burgh Castle Almanac Experience Facebook Page – CLICK HERE!


Please be aware that we will continue to be following Covid guidelines so you will need to bring a mask to enter the Village Hall, unless you have an exemption. We kindly ask that everyone respects social distancing and other people’s personal space when attending our events. Thank you.

History and Health at Caistor Roman Town

Introducing the start of another exciting project! Exploring Caistor Roman Town is about archaeology, creativity and wellbeing that invites you to be part of a small group of people from Norwich who take this journey together.

You will explore ‘Venta Icenorum’,once the biggest Roman town in East Anglia, with experts from Caistor Roman Project, and get creative with artist Ian Brownlie. It will be interesting, adventurous, safe and fun.

Our first session will be on Wednesday 25th August at 11am until 2pm. We will be holding five fortnightly sessions with Zoom catch-ups on the Wednesdays inbetween.

To find out more, you can visit the Caistor Roman Project website by clicking HERE:

If you’re interested in signing up please contact Darren France, Coordinator, by phone on 07905 517906, or by email at


Out of the Darkness into Light – a Human Henge Online evaluation report by Jane Willis

We’re delighted to publish Out of Darkness into Light, Human Henge Online, an evaluation report by Jane Willis, Willis Newson. 


A Human Henge Online Pantoum
Stuck indoors during lockdown, there isn’t much joy,
So, yes, this was the light out of the darkness.
Those packages were worth so much. Hugs in the post.
I felt like I was in the room with all of you.

So, yes, this was the light out of the darkness,
That beautiful connection that we had every week,
I felt like I was in the room with all of you.
I noticed how much other people were hurting.

That beautiful connection that we had every week.
I feel so small in the history of the world.
I noticed how much other people were hurting.
I won’t ever forget this.

I feel so small in the history of the world.
Those packages were worth so much.
Hugs in the post. I won’t ever forget this,
Stuck indoors during lockdown, there isn’t much joy.

Compiled from words shared during the Human Henge Online Evaluation Focus Group

Special thanks to Jane Willis and our partners English Heritage, Richmond Fellowship, Bournemouth University, Cultural Recovery Fund and National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Burgh Castle Almanac Experience Meet-Up

Not long now until the next Burgh Castle Almanac Experience meet-up on Tuesday 13th July 2021. We’ll be joined by local artist Sue Tyler for a captivating walk around the Burgh Castle Fort site – hopefully the weather will be as lovely as it was last time!

Burgh Castle Almanac Experience is an archaeology, creative and wellbeing programme based at Burgh Castle Roman Fort. If you are interested in signing up for our next session, please email For more information, you can visit the Burgh Castle Almanac website HERE:

We’re also on social media! You can find us on Facebook HERE: and on Instagram HERE:

Real patients, real stories…

What makes ‘Dr Hills’ Casebook’ such a moving narrative is the collection of real experiences from the patients of the Norfolk County Asylum. The characters are brought to life by the dedicated research of the participants paired with the remarkable story-telling of the UpShoot Theatre Company, as we get to experience what living in the Victorian asylum was truly like. The play reflects on mental health today through the lens of Dr Hills’ practice. Using history and theatre, it tackles vital issues about the quality of care available to people now, as demand grows and services retreat.

A Q & A at the end of performances is a chance to hear from participants about their experience of co-creation, from writer Belona Greenwood, director Laila France and lead researcher Richard Johnson. Other members of the project team, including Norfolk County Archivist Gary Tuson and the Restoration Trust’s Director Laura Drysdale will be on hand to answer questions about Change Minds.

To book your free tickets for the upcoming screening of ‘Dr Hills’ Casebook,’ please click here: