The Pastons were one of Norfolk’s most prominent families from about 1380 to 1750, rising from medieval peasants to becoming nationally important members of the aristocracy, and key figures in the dynamic power-play and politics of the Tudor and Stuart courts. They were, in many ways, the first modern family. What makes the Paston family truly unique is that they left a vast collection of letters and accounts of their lives in late medieval Norfolk – the now famous ‘Paston Letters’. These documents tell stories of their everyday lives, as well as the wider events of the medieval world, and the enemies they made during their rise from obscurity to power.

It is now 600 year since the first of the surviving Paston letters was written. The 600 Paston Footprints is a Heritage Lottery funded project that will, through community collaboration and detailed research, produce a range of new resources that will help local people connect with the remarkable story of the Paston family, as chronicled in the Paston Letters. 600 Paston Footprints is a collaborative project between numerous local partner organisations, including the Paston Heritage Society, the University of East Anglia, and the Norfolk Record Office. The three year project will highlight the remarkable story of the Paston family, the times they lived through, and make original resources available to the public for the very first time.

Hungate Talks

As part of the festival to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the writing of the earliest known Paston letter the Paston Footprints project has brought together a panel of experts to present a short series of lectures designed to explore the story of the Paston family, and their legacy, in more detail. All the talks are free to attend.

Date: Last Tuesday of every month
Time: open at 6:00pm, lecture at 6:30pm
Venue: Hungate Medieval Art, Norwich.

June 26th:
Elizabeth McDonald:
Sir John Paston’s guide to being a knight: John Paston II and his ‘Grete Boke’

July 31st:
Dr Rob Knee:
The Wars of the Roses and the Paston Letters

August 28th:
Dr Nicholas Groves:
‘a neat building of black flint’: St Peter Hungate, the Pastons, and the churches of Norwich.

September 25th: POSTPONED
Dr Jean Agnew:
The later Pastons: the 1st and 2nd Earls of Yarmouth

October 30th:
Dr Victor Morgan –
‘A Cabinets of Wonders’ and the Seventeenth-century Paston Collection



Robert Paston’s Whirlpool of Misadventures

June 12th & June 19th Performances at 2pm and 7pm 600 Paston Footprints and Collision Theatre Present ROBERT PASTON'S WHIRLPOOL OF MISADVENTURES A Heritage Performance at Oxnead Hall Tickets £8 & £4.50 Concessions (Under 14s Free) Oxnead Hall, Norwich, NR10 5HP...

read more

Paston Treasures

July 28th Castle Museum: 1-4pm The Paston Treasure exhibition at the Norwich Castle Museum celebrates the legacy of collecting found in a powerful Norfolk family, the Pastons, in the 17th century. Created shortly after the restoration of the monarchy in the 1660s, the...

read more

A Life Through Letters

June 28th The students of Paston College present - ‘A Life Through Letters: the Paston Family’. The students researched the Paston family of the 15th Century through their published letters and various historical sources as part of their BTEC Performing Arts in the...

read more

Entertaining the Tudors

Saturday July 7th The early music trio, Hexachordia presents an informal concert which brings to life the musical scene under Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Playing on a wide range of authentic copies of original instruments from Tudor era such as the harp, recorders,...

read more