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Bishop Bonner's cottage opens for season

PUBLISHED: 18:22 30 April 2009 | UPDATED: 15:12 07 July 2010

One of Dereham's oldest buildings has opened its doors again to visitors for the summer season.

Bishop Bonner's cottage, an early 16th century timber framed thatched building, was once three cottages.

One of Dereham's oldest buildings has opened its doors again to visitors for the summer season as work men carry out repair work to it.

Bishop Bonner's cottage, an early 16th century timber framed thatched building, was once three cottages.

It is now the oldest domestic building in Dereham and used as a Museum.

This week, as it opens for the summer season, work has started on repair work and improvements.

Work starts this week on repair work to Dereham's historic Bishop Bonner's cottages.

The town council has commissioned works which will include removing a brick plinth from the back of the cottage - put in place when the footway was created several years ago.

Material it was made from have been found to not be compatible with that used to build the original building and has been retaining damp, so it needs to be removed.

The cottages were named after Bishop Edmund Bonner, who was a Rector of Dereham from 1534 to 1540.

He then became Bishop of London in 1540 and was nicknamed Bloody Bonner for his persecution of Protestants during the reign of Queen Mary.

They were later owned by numerous interesting characters such as the Victorian antiquarian Walter Rye in the 18th century. In the 1950s they were occupied by the much loved local character One Armed Jack.

And in the 1960s the cottages then became the property of the Urban District Council.

Today, the museum celebrates the history of Dereham. It has been leased from the town council by Dereham Antiquarian Society who allow the public in.

It is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2pm to 4.30pm, Fridays 11am to 2pm and Saturdays 11am to 4pm.

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