Gressenhall Farm Workhouse Ghost Hunt
Dating back to 1777, it is no wonder that this location is riffed with paranormal activity and is known to be one of the earliest buildings in the area, purposely built for industry. Ghostly sightings of women dressed in period clothing and doors heard opening by themselves, heavy footsteps and the child's laughter. This vast location later became a workhouse after laws were changed in 1834. Gressenhall workhouse was known for its harsh conditions. Men, Women, and children were all separated, and working conditions were ruthless. Previous Ghost Hunts here at Gressenhall Workhouse have been a terrifying experience, with many guests refusing to stay alone in the laundry. The museum area is known for its ghostly happenings, as many believe these to be children who once lived and worked here. Who will you encounter as we unlock the gates of this former workhouse? Join the team after dark to be part of this intense ghost hunt if you Dare!
The History of Gressenhall Ghost Hunt
Gressenhall opened in July 1777, the first Master and Matron being James W Moore and his wife, Margaret. The men were employed in cultivating the farm, combing wool, dressing flax and hemp, and weaving cloth mainly for use in the house and the women were employed in spinning worsted and hemp. Within the building was a factory making hemp sacks.
In May 1836, the building was modified under the new Poor Law Amendment Act to become a Union workhouse. The work was carried out by Mr Fuller Coker Junior from Shipdham and consisted of bricking up the arches of the arcade and converting the cottage rooms into dormitories. Also built simultaneously was the 14ft wall around the site and several outbuildings.
Although most inmates were housed in separate dormitories, the 1850s opinion had softened a little, and independent accommodation was built to allow ‘respectable’ elderly married couples to live together. This later became Cherry Tree cottage.
During the early years of the Workhouse, Sunday services were conducted in the dining room. In 1868, a chapel was built, paid for by public subscription and designed by R M Pinson.
In 1900, two boilers were installed to provide hot water and a steam engine in the laundry to drive washing machines and Spin dryers.
Robert Neville and his wife Laura were Master and Matron from 1899 to 1911. Neville was forced to resign by the Local Government Board in London for refusing to admit a pauper who had attempted to cut his throat. The resignation so upset the Guardians who felt their authority was being undermined, that at one point, they seriously considered resigning on mass, leaving the running of the workhouse to the Local Government Board.
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In 1930, workhouses were transferred to the control of the County Councils, becoming Poor Assistance Institutions. There was little noticeable difference to the regime at Gressenhall, although the inmates were now called patients. During World War II, Gressenhall housed many patients evacuated from other workhouses in Norwich and Essex.
The introduction of the National Health Service in 1948 finally saw the Workhouse system abolished. In 1975 the building was taken over by the County Museums Service to become the Norfolk Rural Life Museum. The North courtyard was enclosed, and the facilities were refurbished and fitted with displays and artefacts. In November 1979, Union farm was leased to the Museum Friends to be cultivated as a 19th-century early 20th-century farm worked by Suffolk Punch horses was formally added to the Museum in 1989.
Today, the Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Museum is a significant tourist attraction in Norfolk, with over 80,000 visitors a year. Primary displays show life in the workhouse, rural crafts and an entire working farm. In 2000, a significant upgrade was undertaken with more space being open to the public. A further display was added in 2006, including the opening of the original steam-powered laundry and the work yards.
Ghost Hunting Experiences at Gressenhall Workhouse
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Investigating with the Paranormal Eye UK Team throughout the evening
Exclusive access after dark
Spiritual Medium during the investigation
Working in Small Groups, Using an array of different equipment and techniques
Complimentary Tea, Coffee,
Complimentary light snacks
During your paranormal exploration at Gressenhall, you will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of those who once lived and worked at the workhouse. You will be able to investigate various areas, including the main museum, the chapel, Cherry Tree Cottage, the schoolhouse, and the laundry, which still houses some of the original equipment. Our past investigations have revealed numerous spooky happenings, such as strange lights moving around the building, doors opening on their own, the sounds of children's voices and laughter, footsteps, and even reports of being touched by unseen hands. Additionally, paranormal electronics have been triggered, and many have captured photos of what appears to be a young boy in the grounds of the workhouse. Join us for a thrilling paranormal experience unlike any other.