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
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.
museum is run entirely by volunteers and members of "The Friends
of the Museum."
Old Lorries Slide Show
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 trusts arranged for the works to be
leased and converted into a museum.
It was then opened in 1987 by the Duke of Gloucester.
Admission is FREE but donations
are welcome to:-
Town Gas Works Museum Trust (The) (1996354)
MUSEUM CHAIRMAN STANDS DOWN
E. M. Bridges
in personnel are taking place at Fakenham's unique Museum of Gas
and Local History. Dr E.M. Bridges, who joined the museum Trust
in 2001, has expressed the wish to relinquish his duties after 12
years as Chairman. Following recent hospitalisation, Dr Bridges
feels that he can no longer give the museum the attention it deserves.
At a recent meeting the Trust accepted Or Bridges resignation and
is now seeking a successor. In the past twelve years, the number
of visitors to the museum has increased from an average in 2001
of around 400 to over 1200 per annum. Under the Chairmanship of
Dr Bridges the Museum has interacted with a wide range of local
organisations, providing facilities for infant, junior and secondary
pupils, and instruction for university classes and local authority
staff involved with environmental pollution. Lecture courses have
been provided on local history, national parks and industrial archaeology,
and individual lectures have been given to local History Societies,
The Fakenham Society, Fakenham Rotary, Fakenham Probus and many
other groups. Inside the Museum, Or Bridges has been responsible
for mounting a range of exhibits on topics such as lost villages,
origins of place names, local geology, the growth of Fakenham and
the river Wens urn, each accompanied by a booklet. Other publications
have included a short history of the museum for its 25th anniversary,
booklets about wartime Fakenham, the centenary of the Queen's Road
School buildings, and a history of Fakenham in a book entitled "Fakenham
Lancaster". Dr Bridges has also involved Fakenham's museum in national
activities, such as the Annual Science Week, Museum and Galleries
Month, and the annual Heritage Open Days, and also represented the
Museum on various Norfolk Museum committees. Whilst a new Chairman
is sought, the day to day running of the Museum will be undertaken
by a group of experienced volunteers, and as summer approaches any
additional volunteers will be welcomed to help maintain or even
extend the activities of the museum. During the winter months, the
Museum is open on Thursday mornings between 10.30 am and 1.00 pm.
If you have some time to spare' and would like to volunteer, please
drop in to discuss how you might be able to help. The museum's opening
times for the coming season will be announced shortly.
Chairman Dr E M Bridges
01328 863507 (Museum group visit enquiries)
At Fakenham Gas of Local History Museum, 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 special events.
The Board of Trustees provides direction and takes responsible
decisions for the long-term future of the museum.