The Muckleburgh Collection is a military museum sited on a former military camp at Weybourne, on the North Norfolk coast. Its extensive range of tanks and armoured cars are maintained in working condition. Exhibits include artillery, machine guns and missiles in addition to a fine collection of ships and land warfare models. The Museum incorporates the Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry collection of uniforms, weapons, photographs and documents, as well as RAF Reconnaissance and Air Sea Rescue and Marine Craft exhibits. The site, originally called Carvel Farm, was first used in 1935 by the Anti–Aircraft Division of the Territorial Army as a summer training camp. In 1937 and as a result of the growing threat of war, it was decided to make the camp permanent and more fixed structures and defences were erected.
During World War 2, the camp was surrounded by a perimeter anti-tank ditch and defended by a system of gun emplacements and barbed wire. The interior of the camp consisted of groups of Nissen huts, barracks and other military buildings. The cliff top to the north was covered by a line of heavy anti-aircraft guns and batteries, slit trenches and pillboxes. In 1941, the camp was visited by Winston Churchill, to view a demonstration of the Unrotated Projectile anti–aircraft weapon. As the war progressed, defences at Weybourne Camp became more complex and were altered regularly and significantly and a grass airstrip was laid out, which remains in use. After the war, the camp became known as the AA permanent Range and Radar Training Wing and gunnery training continued until 1958. The site still has a RAF radar receiving station and is the location of the University of East Anglia Weybourne Atmospheric Observatory and a Metrological Station.
Artillery development can be seen From the WW1 13 Pounder Field Gun to the current 105 mm Light Gun. Many of these weapons were used in WW2 and include a 2 Pounder Anti-Tank gun carried on a very rare Portee. The famous 25 Pounder Field Gun with its Limber and Quad are an example of the unit that saw action in North Africa in 1942. To one side, in a cabinet, are models of aircraft that were based with their Squadron at Norfolk's many airfields. Towering over the vehicles are the Bristol Bloodhound and English Electric Thunderbird Anti-Aircraft missiles used between 1960 and 1990. The hall also houses some of the museum's transport and recovery vehicles. Although they are over 50 years old they are still used in vehicle restoration. During the Cold War and up to the year 2000 the two aerial reconnaissance pods on display were one of the principal sources of intelligence information for the British Armed Forces.
In the hall close to the tank demonstration area are Heavy Battle Tanks that are seen in use by visitors to the Museum during school holidays. It also includes the Tracked Rapier missile and Swingfire missile launchers used in the 1990's. Above them hangs a Phoenix s UAV (drone) that was used in Kosovo and the Second Gulf War until it was replaced in 2004. A M29 Weasel and a Ford Amphibian Jeep are vehicles used for reconnaissance in WW2. After seeing the models visitors enter a Hall filled with a selection of original armoured cars from America, Britain and the Soviet Union. These are complimented by jeeps and a well recognised WW2 ambulance similar to the one driven by HRH Princess Elizabeth when she served in the ATS. Many of them have been recovered from military ranges and most have had to be restored. Although maintained in working condition these vehicles rarely get used but bring back memories of service in the Army by some visitors to the museum.
Anti-Aircraft: On entry to this Hall a visitor is greeted by a large 88 mm Anti-Aircraft Gun and is surrounded by a selection of Swedish, German and Soviet weapons. A British Rapier missile launcher is displayed together with a field radar system used to track missiles and mortar fire. One of the 20 mm Anti-Aircraft guns used by Argentina in the Falklands conflict brings home the reality of warfare. This is also reflected by boards showing the number of aircraft used and lost by Britain and Germany at the height of the Battle of Britain in August 1940. Light Tanks: Although titled Light Tanks most weigh upwards of 30 tons and look overwhelming. They include the Soviet T34/85 tank that helped win the largest ever tank battle in WW2. It remains in its original paint condition and is in excellent working order. The American Sherman and Chaffee and Stuart tanks are often displayed during biannual Muckleburgh Military Weekends. Amongst those restored is a British Comet tank with its powerful 17 Pounder gun and a 600 BHP Meteor engine.
Light Weapons: There are a very wide range of rifles, machine guns and pistols on display. They come from all over the world. Also displayed are gas, masks, bayonets, and items from both WW1 and WW2. A Diorama depicts life during the Blitz, the Home Guard and a Wartime home. Children can experience what it was like to be in an Anderson Shelter. The heroic actions of men and women can be appreciated in this Museum as you see some of the vehicles and equipment used to confront tyranny around the world. It is where their experiences are appreciated through an extensive display that captures the imagination. A number of the vehicles are demonstrated in action from time to time. Rare exhibits are preserved for historical posterity. Think of yourself as the pilot of an aircraft or the driver of a tank and then consider your grandson asking the question “What was it like?” This Museum is where it comes to life.
Free Superfast Broadband throughout the Museum. Free Smartphone and Tablet WiFi service with QR code links to see inside some of the tanks and videos of them in action. Disabled wheelchairs are available. The museum is fully wheelchair accessible. There are adapted toilets available for wheelchair users and the visually impaired. Assistance dogs are welcome. Other dogs are not permitted but there are kennels with water and a dog bed. Military Vehicle Rides (per person) £2.50. Tracked Military Vehicle Drive (per person) £100.00. There are tank driving displays daily.
Location : Weybourne Camp, Weybourne Road, Norfolk NR25 7EH
Transport: Cromer (National Rail) then bus. Bus Routes : The hourly Coasthopper from Kings Lynn to Cromer offers a ‘hail and ride’ service.
Opening Times : Daily 10:00 to 17:00
Tickets : Adults £11.00; Children (5 - 16) £7.00
Tel: 01263 588 210