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Newmarket area

The tour starts from the High Street in Newmarket at 10.45am and weaves its way through Exning and Fornham.


Newmarket is known as the birthplace of British Horseracing and is home to the new National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and British Sporting Art. Why not pop in and look at the collection of paintings by Sir Alfred Munnings or discover the secrets behind Thoroughbreds in the Maktoum Gallery?

Like many other large houses, Severals House in Newmarket became a Red Cross Hospital during World War 1. The Walton Burrell photograph album (Ref K997) at the Bury St Edmunds branch includes a number of images of the hospital and patients.

If any of your family volunteered at the hospital or indeed at any other Red Cross hospital, you may want to look at the British Red Cross website. Their First World War Volunteers pages allow you to search for volunteers by name or search all the volunteer records for a particular hospital. The website includes digitised images of the VAD cards showing where and when people volunteered and what their duties were.


Did you know that the British Museum holds a late Medieval brass pyx or ciborium that was discovered in Exning Churchyard in 1845 and given to the Museum in 1851? The pyx and ciborium are used during the Eucharist to hold the consecrated bread and wine. The Suffolk Heritage Explorer website has digitised the Suffolk Parish Histories which summarise history of each parish in the county compiled from a variety of printed sources. In doing so it touches upon every part of local history including administration, landscape, social, religious and economic characteristics, and covers a time span from the earliest archaeology to modern times. Why not take a look at what it reveals about Exning? Alternatively see what you can identify from our late 19th century postcard of the High Street and the 1969 aerial photograph of Exning.


The tour pops briefly over the border into Cambridgeshire to visit Fordham, travelling past the site of Fordham Priory, which was dissolved during the reformation in 1538, and the Fordham Nature Reserve into the village. If you like sake you’ll need to return to Fordham Abbey in June 2018 when the first Japanese Sake brewery and visitor centre in the UK will open. Meanwhile in 2017, the route turns back to Suffolk, heading towards the Brecks.