Eastern – Yarmouth & the Norfolk Broads

top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in eastern england

6. Great Yarmouth Row Houses and Greyfriars’ Cloisters

Top 10 ten places to visit in Eastern England – Norfolk Broads

Old Merchant’s House, Great Yarmouth

Living space was very much at a premium in early 17th-century Great Yarmouth, then among the most prosperous fishing ports in England. Inhabitants crowded into the town’s distinctive ‘Rows’, a network of narrow alleyways linking Yarmouth’s three main thoroughfares. Many ‘Row houses’ were damaged by World War II bombing or demolished during post-War clearances, but two surviving properties show what these characteristic dwellings looked like at various stages in their history.

The Old Merchant’s House, which has spectacular Jacobean plaster ceilings in two of its rooms, is presented as it was in about 1870, when the Atkins and Rope families of fishermen – represented by models of family members at work or rest – shared the property.
The adjacent Row 111 house is shown as it was in about 1942 (just before it received a direct hit from an incendiary bomb). Both houses also display a wonderful collection of fixtures and fittings – including painted panels, elaborate wall-tiles and door-knockers – rescued from other now-demolished Row dwellings, a treasure trove for lovers of period decoration.

Nearby stands Greyfriars Cloister, the remains of a 13th-century friary of Franciscan ‘grey friars’, later swallowed up by Row development and converted into a number of dwellings large and small. Traces of their interior features can still be seen on the brickbuilt walls of parts of the cloister and church, laid bare by wartime bombing. Early 14th-century wall-paintings were discovered here in the 1960s. (Enquire at Row 111 for arrangements to view the paintings.)

Great Yarmouth Row Houses Address:                  
No 8
Row 117
South Quay
Great Yarmouth
NR30 2RG
England, UK

Great Yarmouth Row Houses Opening Times:       
1st April – 30th September, 12.00pm – 5.00pm, Monday to Sunday

Free guided tour of Greyfriars’ Cloisters at 10.30am on the first Wed of every month. Please call for details

  Great Yarmouth Row Houses Admission:                
Adult £3.50
Children £1.80
Concession £2.60
English Heritage Members Free

Complementary displays can be visited at the Elizabethan House, 100 yards along South Quay T  +44 (0)1493 745526

T  +44 (0)1493 857900

W  Great Yarmouth Row Houses Website 

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