Welcome to the World of the Pastons

The Pastons grew from small beginnings in a Norfolk village to become a family of considerable influence across the county for the next three centuries. They are best known because about two thousand letters and other documents to and from family members have survived from the 15th to the 17th centuries, to tell us many details of their lives.

Paston People
Begin exploration of the Pastons & Norfolk

Sir William Paston, family patron at the height of its power and influence

Understanding the Paston Letters
Explore Paston Letters & documents across the centuries

Margaret Paston writes angrily to her elder son John about the defence of Caister castle

Paston Places
Visit Paston links across Norfolk, Suffolk & further afield

The 30 metre tower stand guard over Caister castle to this day

Virtual Pastons
Explore 3D visualisations of Paston homes, past & present

Judge William Paston stnads in the garden of the 21st century recreation of his home, Paston Hall

Paston Footprints
Be part of the exciting Paston Footprints project

Members of the Paston Historical Society host a dinner at the Maid's Head Hotel, Norwich, a hotel mentioned in the Paston Letters

Resources for Teachers
Introduce students of all ages to the Pastons

Children of Bacton Primary School take part in a living history lesson

Whilst we're unable to hold events out and about, we're pleased to provide some online:

Events

The Usefulness of the Pastons
Online - click picture below
21 Mar, 2020 - 31 Jul, 2020
The Usefulness of the Pastons

Dr Rosemary Horrox of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, puts the Paston letters in the wider context of medieval history and explains how useful they are in understanding life in those times. October 2019, the Great Yarmouth Footprints conference, runtime c. 55 mins.

The Gardens at Oxnead
Online - click picture below
25 Mar, 2020 - 30 Jun, 2020
The Gardens at Oxnead

Professor Tom Williamson of the University of East Anglia draws on his wide knowledge gained through leading landscape studies and recent research on the Reptons – Humphrey and son John Adey – to consider the gardens at the Pastons' Oxnead Hall. Runtime c. 55 mins.

The Pastons and Great Yarmouth
Online - click picture below
25 Mar, 2020 - 31 Jul, 2020
The Pastons and Great Yarmouth

Dr Rob Knee of the Paston Heritage Society takes us through the rise and fall of the Paston family and their influence over the hinterland of Great Yarmouth. Runtime 57 mins.

Paston Footprints and Digitising the Paston Letters
Footprint Events
2 Sep, 2020 ~ 19:45
Norwich, Norfolk Heraldry Society
Paston Footprints and Digitising the Paston Letters

Peter Stibbons of the Paston Heritage Society demonstrates the work being undertaken to build a Paston world and put the Paston Letters into a searchable format on the world wide web. Norwich Central Baptist Church.

Rebuilding Norfolk's History - the Paston Properties
Footprint Events
20 Nov, 2020 ~ 19:30
Cromer, Community Hall
Rebuilding Norfolk's History - the Paston Properties

3D graphic artist James Mindham illustrates how photography, research, archaeology and on-screen modelling combine to bring back to life long-lost Norfolk buildings of the Paston family. Members of Friends of Cromer Museum £3.00, non-members £4.00.

Paston Footprints - Digitising the Paston Letters
Footprint Events
13 Jul, 2021 ~ 19:30
Sedgeford Parish church
Paston Footprints - Digitising the Paston Letters

The Pastons in the lecture programme of the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project for their summer excavation season. Click for the full SHARP 2020 schedule.

The Pastons & the Peasants Revolt
Footprint Events
16 Jul, 2021 - 18 Jul, 2021 ~ 09:00-18:00
North Walsham Memorial Park
The Pastons & the Peasants Revolt

The "battle of North Walsham" of 1381 brought to an end the Peasant's Revolt. Join the reenactors and visit the many stalls and displays - as in 1381, the Pastons will be represented.