Elizabethan House Museum
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Within the Elizabethan House Museum is the 'Conspiracy Room', used by Parliamentary supporters planning the execution of King Charles I. Local tradition suggests that a group of Parliamentary supports met in this room in 1648 to decide what action to take with Charles I, who was about to be tried for treason in Parliament. His 'guilt' was a foregone conclusion, but what would the sentence be?
Present at the meeting was John Carter, a wealthy merchant and Mayor of Yarmouth, who owned Elizabethan House. With him was his friend and MP for Yarmouth Miles Corbet and several other army leaders. A tableau in the Conspiracy Room shows Corbet handing a list of those who support the idea of the king's execution to Carter.
Did the meeting take place as described? Possibly. Was Oliver Cromwell present? Again, possibly. We know that Cromwell left northern England fore London on 1 December 1648. The jourey should have taken him 2 days, but he did not arrive until 6 December. Did he stop in Great Yarmouth on the way and persuade military leaders to execute King Charles?
Miles Corbet was chosen by the Commons to tell Charles of his impending trial and the last man to sign Charles I's death warrant. He was brought back from exile abroad and executed when CHarles II regained his father's throne.
As for the Conspiracy Room itself, it is a remarble panelled chamber with a superbly detailed plasterwork ceiling created in 1603. The plasterwork design features a wealth of intricate foliage patterns, with scrolling vines and depictions of exotic fruit like pomegranates, figs, and melons.
Local Civil War artefacts are also on display, including a horde of buried coins and an exquisite embriodered waistcoat owned by Carter.
In complete contrast to the Conspiracy Room is the Victorian Kitchen. Though the room is actually much older than the 19th century it is shown as it would have looked in the Victorian period, with a cast iron stove typical of the 1890s, and labour saving gadgets like apple peelers, minncers, and green bean slicers.
One of the most interesting rooms is the richly panelled parlour, with a heavy oak table set for a meal.
VisitingElizabethan House is a fascinating glimpse into the past, and the Conspiracy Room gives an intribuing glimpse into one of the darkest hours of English history. The house is well signposted, and stands facing Yarmouth's historic quay. There is no dedicated parking. We managed to find a place to park along the street about 5 minutes stroll away. The museum is a short walk from the remains of the medieval Greyfriars friary, and the historic Row Houses and Merchant's House, owned by English Heritage.
About Elizabethan House Museum
Address: 4 South Quay, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, NR30 2QH
Attraction Type: Historic Building
Location: Signed off the A47 and A12. Parking at South Quay (free) or town centre.
Website: Elizabethan House Museum
National Trust - see also: National Trust memberships (official website link)
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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