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Glandford Shell Museum

October 8, 2009 Leave a comment

 
Most of us have a collection of one sort or another. Some of us collect old postcards or perfume bottles, others collect Dinky Toys, Elvis records or china teacups. Many collections live in dusty cupboards and drawers, and rarely see the light of day. Some collectors annex a couple of shelves in a corner of the sitting room, and show off their treasures with inordinate pride. Others amass so many items that they need a dedicated garden shed to house them. But country squire Sir Alfred Jodrell went one better to display his collection of shells from across the world: he built a museum. Martyn Oliver goes to visit.
 
The Glandford Shell Museum is on the bank of the river Glaven, between Blakeney and Holt in the very north of North Norfolk. Jodrell was a true late Victorian philanthropist. He completely rebuilt the village of Glandford, so that while many agricultural labourers in Jodrell’s lifetime lived in squalor, the farmworkers and their families on his Bayfield estate had warm and comfortable cottages. The cottages and barns were built in the Dutch style, with rounded gables, a legacy of the engineers from Holland who drained much of East Anglia’s wetlands, and Jodrell used the same style for the Shell Museum.

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