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Bressingham Steam and Gardens

The Bressingham story could not have begun without Alan Bloom who first acquired Bressingham Hall in 1947. The successful establishment of a thriving nursery and the creation of the Dell Garden were the preliminaries to Alan's developing interest in steam. Alan's passion for steam led him to gather at Bressingham one of the most comprehensive collections of steam engines and artefacts in England. The collection has been formally established as the Bressingham Museum Trust to promote an understanding of steam power through the operation and development of a live steam museum.

Glorious Gardens

The unique Bressingham Gardens are renowned worldwide for their horticultural excellence. Privately owned by the Bloom family, Alan Bloom and his son Adrian have each created a six acre garden, the Dell and Foggy Bottom. Together with three linking gardens there are now over 8000 species and varieties on display. Regardless of the season, garden enthusiasts and casual visitors alike will find these gardens an inspiration.

The Power of Steam

Travel back to the golden age of steam. Ride through the glorious gardens on one of the three working railways, or visit the steam engines including the working Victorian steam carousel. In 1965 the first of the narrow-gauge railways, the Garden Railway was laid. Different routes were tried, finally culminating in the four railways as they are today. By 1968 Alan Bloom had erected the first of the locomotive sheds to house standard-gauge engines, soon also to be in steam giving footplate rides. During this time the Gallopers roundabout arrived and on the 18th August 1968 'Oliver Cromwell' and 'Thundersley' arrived. In 1972 four further locomotives arrived, including the famous 'Royal Scot', initially on loan from Butlin's. Development has continued with the building of the museum to house the traction engines, the Royal Coaches and railway memorabilia, the stationary engine display and to complement the steam pumps and engines, the Fire Museum.

Dad's Army Collection

You'd be a "stupid boy" (or girl!) not to visit the national Dad's Army collection. Walmington-on-Sea has returned to life in Bressingham. Walk down the high street, visit Captain Mainwaring's bank or inspect original uniforms and props from the series. And don't forget Jones' Butchers Shop and Fraser's Funeral Parlour! The series was filmed in and around Thetford (including the Stanford training area) and included many local residents of the surrounding countryside. Some of the vehicles from Bressingham Steam Museum were used in the series including the Leyland fire engine in 'Brains versus Brawn' (episode 50, 1972). The steamroller 'Boxer' and traction engine 'Bertha' also took part in the series.

General Information:
  • No dogs allowed except guide dogs
  • Café
  • Picnic and play area
  • Accessible for wheelchair users
  • Garden Centre for plant sales.

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  • Directions

    The steam centre and gardens are brown tourist signposted and easy to find, just 2.5 miles west of Diss and 14 miles east of Thetford on the A1066.

    Bressingham Steam and Gardens Postcode for SatNav: IP22 2AP


    +44 (0)1379 686 900
    +44 (0)1379 686 903 (info line)
    +44 (0)1379 686 907

    Thetford Road
    IP22 2AP

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