Glandford Shell Museum

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The Shell Museum, Glandford, is the oldest purpose-built museum in Norfolk and houses the finest seashell collection in the UK. As well as thousands of exquisite seashells, the Museum also contains fossils, birds' eggs, pottery, local archaeological finds and much more. Glandford Church and the river Glaven, with a picturesque ford, wild ducks and foot bridge, are located close by.

The original purpose of the museum was to house a collection of shells made over a period of sixty years by the late Sir Alfred Jodrell himself and stored in boxes at Bayfield Hall until the museum was built. After completion, Sir Alfred and his sisters, Lady Seale, and Mrs Ind arranged the whole of the shells in their cases. These shells come from all corners of the earth, and the collection is constantly being added to. There are shells of every hue, shells as delicately coloured as butterfly wings; shells exquisitely carved.

But there are other exhibits besides the shells which form the main collection. There are lovely jewels, fragments of old pottery, a piece of Pompeii, a sugar bowl used by Queen Elizabeth I, some very fine specimens of agate ware, and a collection of items uncovered in the vicinity of Glandford including a very exceptional axehead. There is also an evocative tapestry executed by a local fisherman, John Craske, depicting the North Norfolk Coast. The Shell Museum remains one of the few descendants of the cabinet of curiosities. Every object in this unique museum of natural and contrived curiosities suggests a story. The most pleasing exhibits are those that stretch the shelly theme such as a tiny wooden barrel, no more than six centimetres high: "made from teak of HMS Warspite - a ship which was involved in the Battle of Trafalgar".

In fact, it would be difficult to describe fully the whole contents of the museum. A visit is essential to enjoy its unique flavour.

The Museum is a small private trust and receives no public grants of any kind. It depends on the income from visitors for which we thank you.

Guide Prices

Adults £2.50, Seniors £2.00, children £0.50,

Cash payments only at present



  • Children welcome


  • Facilities for educational visits
  • Facilities for groups


  • Free Parking

Property Facilities

  • Gift shop
  • Smoking not allowed

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted

Map & Directions

Road Directions

By Road:
Midway between Letheringsett and Blakeney.

Glandford Shell Museum


Glandford Shell Museum, Church House, Hurdle Lane, Glandford, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 7JR

Tel: 01263 740081

Opening Times

* Tuesday - Saturday (Plus Bank Holiday Mondays) 10am - 12:30pm & 2pm - 4:30pm
Museum open from Easter Saturday until the end of October.
Groups welcome out of season by prior appointment.

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