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“Iceni Village has disappeared” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Iceni Centre

Iceni Centre
Cockley Cley, Swaffham PE37 8AG, England
+44 1760 724588
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Ranked #6 of 7 Attractions in Swaffham
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Specialty Museums, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Iceni Centre is a recently refurbished private collection of historic buildings, artifacts and farm implements in a beautiful, remote and rural setting. Visitors need to be aware that the old replica Iceni Village itself was in disrepair and was criticised extensively on Tripadvsor. It has been demolished. All our literature makes this totally clear. This should not detract from your visitor experience as we now have much, much more to explore and discover.
Swaffham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Iceni Village has disappeared”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

After living in the area for 10 years we decided to visit the Iceni Village recently. Unfortunately it has been take down by the present owner we were informed by staff on duty. All that remains is a rather small agricultural museum. We were rather disappointed and would not recommend paying to see things as they are at present.

Visited April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sam r, Owner at Iceni Centre, responded to this review, May 30, 2014
We are trying really hard to tell everyone that the Iceni Village itself fell into a terrible state and we had to demolish it. It was 40 years old and we had numerous complaints.This will be clear on our leaflets and website.

What we have now is far better, and I am sorry you didn't mention the Cottage and Saxon Church as they are fascinating.

In future we will try to make it as apparent as possible that the replica village is no more, but we will have an Iceni Room where all you could ever want to know about Queen Boudicca will be on display.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Norwich, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Iceni village with no village!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

We drove quite a way to visit this attraction after checking the website. No mention was made on the website or before we paid that the Iceni village (which is the only part worth paying for) had been dismantled. Instead there were piles of wood and spaces where the village had been. Tatty and not safe or suitable for children.
The barns and old equipment are shabby and although there is a nice nature walk you could do that anywhere.
Very disappointing and on contacting Sir Samuel Roberts to express our disappointment he did not even bother to reply.
Do not waste your time visiting this 'attraction'.

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sam r, Owner at Iceni Centre, responded to this review, May 30, 2014
So sorry you had a bad experience here. We are trying really hard to tell everyone that the Iceni Village itself fell into a terrible state and we had to demolish it. It was 40 years old and we had numerous complaints.This will be clear on our leaflets and website.

What we have now is far better. The Cottage and Saxon Church as they are fascinating.

In future we will try to make it as apparent as possible that the replica village is no more, but we will have an Iceni Room where all you could ever want to know about Queen Boudicca will be on display.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisburn, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Beautiful location, so much to see!!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2014

I went to the Iceni village years ago, and it was a very rural (maybe veering close to run down) attraction in a beautiful backwater of Norfolk. I returned a few weeks ago as I was passing through with the children and was delighted to see it had been sharpened up. It is a wonderful way to spend some hours with the children with long walks and a brilliant Elizabethan cottage. I spoke to the owner who was passing through and he mentioned some exciting plans for the Iceni village itself. I'm pleased to see love and care is being spent on such a stunning area. Well done.

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sam r, Owner at Iceni Centre, responded to this review, May 30, 2014
So sorry you had a bad experience here. We are trying really hard to tell everyone that the Iceni Village itself fell into a terrible state and we had to demolish it. It was 40 years old and we had numerous complaints.This will be clear on our leaflets and website.

What we have now is far better. The Cottage and Saxon Church as they are fascinating.

In future we will try to make it as apparent as possible that the replica village is no more, but we will have an Iceni Room where all you could ever want to know about Queen Boudicca will be on display.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brentwood, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Disappointing! £31 to use your imagination!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014

If you're expecting to enjoy an experience or gain knowledge of the Iceni people and their way of life when you visit the "Iceni Village and Museums".. you'll be disappointed! After paying £31 for the family (3adults 2OAP and 1child) we browsed the large dilapidated barn looking at a display of poorly restored 19th century farm equipment and horse-drawn carriages. We complained. Only to be told that the village had been dismantled and was awaiting changes. Why we were not informed of this prior to payment and entrance can only be guessed at. We've written a complaint to the owner Sir Samual Roberts of Cockley Clay Hall requesting a fair refund and are awaiting a reply.

Visited April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“A sad disgrace, avoid at all costs”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014

I suppose it is generally kinder to assume ineptitude before malice, but I'm still undecided as to whether this place is merely dreadful quality (but well intentioned) or is actually a borderline fraud in which the owner is liberating passing tourists of £6 per adult and offering, in return, possibly the worst tourist attraction in England.

First up, there's no Iceni Village here now. It has been rebranded as 'Iceni Centre'. This means you just get the dusty side-attractions that used to be attached to a reconstructed Iceni Village, and seemingly at the same price as was previously charged to enter the whole, intact attraction.

That leaves us with what is actually here, some of which I shall describe in detail below:

The Iceni Picnic Site: I suppose that this is what remains of the previous Iceni Vilage. It's a small patch of ground next to a ditch, with wicker-fencing around it and two picnic tables. There's a kind of wicker tower at one end of the fence, half of which has fallen down.

The Nature Trail. This is about 2/3 of a mile walk around a weedy, over-grown field. There is no nature of any note, nothing that couldn't be seen growing on a motorway verge.

An exhibition of farming equipment. This is a collection of numerous carts, ploughs and, if I recall correctly, about three old tractors dispersed through some drafty barns. There are labels on a few of them, but that's the only way in which they constitute a display. Otherwise it looks more like a case of farm-equipment hoarding and subsequent abandonment. Alarmingly one sign explained that the Man-Trap had been stolen from the collection of snares. My walks through the Brecks will be a little more cautious now. There's a thick layer of dust on most things. This whole section is cheapened even further by the fact that outside there are open barns where hundreds more rusty bits of farm equipment are scattered amongst weeds and collapsing outbuildings. The items inside are merely the least dilapidated elements pulled from this larger junkyard.

A Battle of Waterloo exhibit. Bizarrely out of place, this is a diorama built out of cotton wool, straw and cheap thin-stamped tin soldiers. Over-loud battle sound effects play relentlessly on a loop. A verbose description of the battle is written up on a few small wall plaques. Strangely in the corner of the same room there are two display cabinets full of teeth, bones and rocks, and what appears to be a model of the old Iceni Village built by the local community centre.

The Bronze Age Giant: This last section has the potential to be an interesting and significant little exhibit, sadly let down by a lack of proper presentation. In a small room near the entrance is the skeleton of a Bronze Age man who grew to the astonishing height of 5'10". This made him taller than average for his contemporaries and so he gets the title of 'Giant'. Some laminated printouts on the walls show (in super-simple terms) the results of research studies on the skeleton, the conclusion of which is that he led an active but uneventful life. Another laminated card stuck directly to the skeleton's glass case acknowledges the work of the person who did the research, seemingly glued on as an afterthought. The glass case really could do with a clean, and perhaps some better lighting.

The visit was a very sad, disappointing affair. This place needs a lot of work before it is worthy of it's own entrance fee.

Visited April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sam r, Owner at Iceni Centre, responded to this review, May 30, 2014
So sorry you had a bad experience here. We are trying really hard to tell everyone that the Iceni Village itself fell into a terrible state and we had to demolish it. It was 40 years old and we had numerous complaints.This will be clear on our leaflets and website.

What we have now is far better. The Cottage and Saxon Church as they are fascinating.

In future we will try to make it as apparent as possible that the replica village is no more, but we will have an Iceni Room where all you could ever want to know about Queen Boudicca will be on display.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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