Mousehold Heath is one of Norwich’s best beauty spots to sit in nature and relax – but it can also be a bustling event space filled with fun.

Whatever you’re looking for, here’s our guide to the history of this lovely wood and heathland.


Mousehold Heath was first used in Tudor times

It was one of the backdrops of the infamous Kett’s rebellion – a large revolt against the fences that had been put up by local landowners, which made it hard for local farmers to keep their livelihoods.

Robert Kett, leader of the rebellion, placed his artillery on the slopes of Mousehold Heath and opened fire on the city before they charged down and began swimming down the river to attack. City defenders fired arrows at the rebels, but the rebels finally took hold of Norwich.

But not for long.

Eventually Kett was captured and taken to the Tower of London to await his trial.

Once found guilty, he was hanged from the walls of Norwich Castle.


Mousehold Heath has been in the hands of Norwich City Council since 1880

Up till the end of the Victorian age, Mousehold was open countryside without many trees, used mostly for livestock.

Farming traditions gradually died out, until the open heath was taken over by scrub and woodland – which now dominate the site.

In WW1 it was used as an aerodrome, taken over by the Royal Flying Corps, and was again used for planes as a decoy airfield to trick German aircraft attacking Norwich.

Nowadays, Mousehold Heath is known as a haven for dog walkers and wildlife lovers.

If you’re lucky, you can spot creatures as exciting as lizards, frogs, birds, butterflies and even small mammals.

The heath regularly has wildlife events, such as Moth Walks, Fungi forages and wildlife workshops with experts on nature.