‘A National Treasure’

The only surviving town gasworks in England and Wales

Welcome

The Fakenham Museum of Gas and Local History is the only surviving town gasworks in England and Wales, complete with all equipment used for the manufacture of gas from coal: retorts, condenser, purifiers, meter and gasholder.

The museum is housed in the town’s former gasworks, which ceased production of gas from the heating of coal in 1965 following the discovery of Natural Gas in the North Sea. The gas works is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, a prestigious and rare distinction for an industrial site and, as such, is a National Treasure, providing an insight into our cultural, social and industrial heritage with displays of lighting, heating, cooking and domestic equipment.

The gas works buildings and the museum collection held within them allow a glimpse into the past where one man, William Murdoch changed everyday living, bringing light to the darkest corners of our country.

The museum is run entirely by volunteers and members of The Friends of the Museum.

2019 Opening times

June: Thursday between 10:30 and 13:00

July to September: Thursday between 10:30 and 13:00. Friday between 10:30 and 13:00

October: Thursday morning between 10:30 and 13:00.

Group Visits

Can be arranged outside of these hours please email enquiry to enquiries@fakenhamgasmuseum.com or telephone 07909 890484

We look forward to seeing you at the last remaining complete Town Gasworks in England and Wales

‘An insight into our cultural, social and industrial heritage’

About the museum

OUR HISTORY

The gas works produced town gas from 1846 to 1965. After closure and the demolition of all other gas works in the country, Fakenham’s works was the only remaining. The Norfolk Industrial Archeological Society together with Norfolk Historic Buildings trust arranged for the works to be leased and converted into a museum. It was then opened in 1987 by the Duke of Gloucester.

The museum is housed in Fakenham’s former gasworks; the only complete town gasworks in the country; which produced gas from the heating of coal for 120 years before closure in 1965. The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, a rare distinction for an industrial site.

THE MUSEUM

The collections provide a huge insight into our cultural, social and industrial heritage with displays of lighting, heating, cooking and domestic equipment all housed in the surroundings of the former gas works, complete with equipment used in the day-to-day running of the plant when it was operational.

There are displays of domestics equipment including gas street lamps, water heaters, cookers, stoves, fires, domestic gas lighting and gas meters. It charts the first steps to light up homes and cities at night and to provide heating and domestic appliances. The museum, its contents and site are all unique, and will bring back memories even for younger visitors.

The gas works buildings and the museum collection hold a true look into the past lives, not just of the people of the beautiful Market Town of Fakenham and the surrounding county, it also offers a glimpse at the lives of the 1 million people who worked in this industry between 1800 and 1970.

The museum houses exhibitions relating to Fakenham Town itself, including its printing industry, sporting past and wartime stories.

Visiting us

OPENING TIMES

The museum is open from approximately Easter to Halloween, Throughout the season we are open every Thursday between 10:30 and 13:00, from July to September we are also open on Friday between 10:30 and 13:00, and in October Thursday between 10:30 and 13:00. We close for the winter season from the end of October until Easter.

ADMISSION

Admission is Free. Donations however are always most welcome, we really value your support.

Please allow approximately one hour for viewing. 

SPECIAL VISITS

We will however open the museum for group visits outside the usual opening dates and times, subject to adequate notice and agreement, please contact us via email or call 07470 341402 to discuss.


We aren’t idle while we are closed, we are currently entering into various programmes of work, general maintenance and development of both the site and the displays. We are also improving accessibility for visitors, and planning for the future.

Groups and schools

Group visits outside normal opening times are possible the museum will require adequate notice. Please get in touch for more information.

Hirings and events

We have an area that is available for hirings and events, whether you are a local history society or a larger organisation looking to put on a talk or show, please get in touch.

For further details please contact us by telephone on 07909 890484 or email enquiries@fakenhamgasmuseum.com.

How to find us

DIRECTIONS BY ROAD

From the South: M11, A11, A1065. From the West: A47, A1065. From the North: A1, A17, A148, A1065. From the East: A47, A140, A1067, A148, A1065.

All approaches from the South into Fakenham. Follow A1065 into town past Jewson the builders merchants (on your left) 200 metres on your right you will find the Museum just before the bridge. Turn right into Industrial Area and (bear left) in front of Wensum Engineering and Fakenham Tyres (on your left) then right into Aldiss Community car park.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Buses from Norfolk Green run from both Norwich (X29) and King’s Lynn (X8) to and from Fakenham, The Coasthopper service is also available from Cromer, Sheringham, Hunstanton and King’s Lynn. Various other services are available from Sanders Coaches

The Fakenham Town Gas Works Museum Trust, Hempton Road, Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 7LA

Supporting us

FRIENDS OF THE MUSEUM

At Fakenham museum of gas and local history we have just a handful of volunteer staff who form the working committee, making sure that the museum functions. This working committee is backed up by a faithful group of ‘Friends’ who provide additional help during longer opening hours and work with us on special events.

If you would like to volunteer or feel you have skills you can offer us, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
To contact Friends of the museum please get in touch here or call 07470 341402.

TRUSTEES

The Board of Trustees provides direction and takes responsiblity for the decisions regarding the longer term plans and future of the museum.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

We will continue to offer free admission to the museum. Donations of any amount are very welcome and we are always grateful for any financial support we receive which helps in both the running and maintenance the site.

If you wish to support us financially you can send any donations to: Fakenham Town Gas Works Museum Trust (1996354), Hempton Road, Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 7LA.

Volunteering

Both in our open and closed seasons the museum is always looking for volunteers to work on the site or for stewarding, helping with maintenance and assisting in the running of the museum. We are also looking for people interested in joining the Friends support group.

Perhaps if you would like to join us as a volunteer put you hard earned experience to good use in helping to preserve this unique and Nationally Important piece of our Industrial Heritage. We are constantly on the look out for anyone with any skills which may help us and are keen to both help people develop skills and foster partnerships which help us and help you.

For further details please contact us by telephone on 07909 890484 or email enquiries@fakenhamgasmuseum.com.