The Museum of East Anglian life

Inside the ‘Living Museum’ in Suffolk

The Museum of East Anglian Life, located in the small Suffolk town of Stowmarket, is well worth considering when renting a Barn or Barge in Suffolk.

It all started in 1903 when Ena and Vera Longe purchased Abbot’s Hall Estate – just off of the streets of Stowmarket – an estate that dates back to the medieval time. In the 1950s and the 1960s, whilst the country was seeing problems with skill trades and equipment, farmer Jack Carter and the Suffolk Local History Council went to collect and display objects from the depths of East Anglia and travelled to temporarily exhibit them across Suffolk. This all went swimmingly until, in 1964, the Longe sisters offered two acres of land for the museum, which was then opened in 1967. Following the death of the Longe sisters, the Hall itself was passed onto the Abbot’s Hall Trust and the museum and more land was offered to the Trust as well.

So, what does the museum have to offer today?

Today, the museum boasts a vast amount of land, with 75 acres in total, 17 historic buildings and nearly 40,000 objects for you to gaze at and to read into. In the Abbot’s Hall, you will find a vast amount on show, and it is where temporary exhibitions take place within the museum. You’ll also find an area dedicated to the trade of blacksmiths, a chemist display, showing how they used to be set up, a 13th century barn, rooms dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries, and displays of how shops and schools used to be arranged.

This museum is a perfect day out if you would like to go see how everything used to be run and set up during different times of history and see how much has changed.

So, what can you try at the East Anglia Museum?

Today, if farming takes your interest, you can have a go at tasks like bird scaring, hoeing and much more, as well as visiting the various different animals located on the site. You can take a guided tour throughout the vast estate and discover different objects and exhibitions, with the experts who will know even more knowledge about the estate as well. 

With such a wide range of different objects on offer at the museum, why not try visiting the East Anglian Life website to browse their collection online as well – this can help you if you would like to find a certain artefact which they have on offer but you may have missed.

So, what’s on? 

Throughout the year, a number of events take place at the East Anglia Museum. For example, temporary exhibitions often pop up throughout the year at the museum for everyone to explore. Around mid-December, you can take part in a Festive Luxury Wreath Making Workshop to see how great your arts and crafts skills are and to make a creative, hand-made decoration for the festive season. 

With so much to explore, as well as a fabulous café if you want a pit stop throughout your adventures of the vast, picturesque grounds, it’s easy to immerse yourself in a day of history and truly understanding what life was like for the people who had lived in Suffolk in the past!

Reasons to Stay at Woodfarm, Suffolk

We happen to think what we have on offer is pretty bloomin' good. However, we thought you might like a bunch of reasons to stay, other than we think you should!

beach huts illustration
all accommodation

Brilliant beaches! Suffolk has an incredible Heritage Coast, with great beaches, all in easy reach of us.

paw illustration
all accommodation

We don't just tolerate Dogs, we welcome them! We've built a strong reputation in this market, and we're proud of it!

fence illustration
at the barns

Pawesome, fully-enclosed two acre Pooch Paddock for your Dogs to go bonkers and make new friends in.

dog treat bones illustration
all accommodation

Free Doggy treats, Dog bowls, and Dog towels. Our furry friends even get Woodfarm branded poop bag holders!

trophy illustration
all accommodation

Visit England Gold Awards coming out of our ears, as well as their coveted ROSE Award for Service Excellence.

thumbs up illustration
all accommodation

Well in excess of 1,000 Five Star Tripadvisor, Facebook & Google Reviews. Over 25% of our guests come back!

hot tubs illustration
all accommodation

Private Hot tubs with seven of our eight Barns and Cottages. The ultimate in relaxation, just because you're worth it.

boots drawing
all accommodation

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Yes, plural. Two AONB's on our doorstep! Suffolk Coast & Heaths, and Dedham Vale.

river walks illustration
on the barges

Stunning river walks directly from your gangplank on either Barge! Wildlife and breathtaking scenery in abundance.

Fetch the latest news!

Escape to the country: where to find the prettiest villages in Suffolk

It’s not uncommon for guests at our Barns and Barges for rent in Suffolk to ask about the best villages to visit. The only challenge we have when answering this question is which one to …

Where to find Suffolk’s best photography hotspots

Budding photographer? A bit of a travel influencer? Just fancy having a nice photograph at home that you took yourself? You’re in with more than a little bit of luck when visiting Suffolk. From coastal …

Suffolk’s most historic homes, and where to find them

Occupying a rather impressive position in the annals of history, Suffolk is home to some pretty impressive houses. With many of them being open to the public, we thought it was high time that we …

Join our newsletter

Please provide a valid email address.
* indicates required