Welcome to the World of the Pastons

The Pastons were one of Norfolk’s most prominent families from about 1380 to 1750, rising up from a rural manor to become nationally important members of the aristocracy and key figures in the dynamic power-play and politics of the Tudor and Stuart courts. What makes the Paston family truly unique is that they left the earliest and largest collection in the country of documents detailing their everyday lives – the now famous ‘Paston Letters’. These accounts tell stories of their tumultuous lives, as well as the intrigues of the wider events of the world. Valuing education for their children, using the newly emerged law courts alongside dramatic sieges, and the female Pastons playing key roles in their estates and family management, they were, in many ways, the first modern family. This site is your portal to the Paston story, with lots of activities to engage with – from digital visualisations to creative storytelling, research opportunities to donning walking boots.

Footprints
Be part of the exciting Paston Footprints project
Paston People
Begin exploration of the Paston Family
Exploring the Paston Letters
Understanding the letters & documents across the centuries
Places & Topics
Paston links & events across Norfolk, Suffolk & further afield
3D Landmarks
Explore 3D visualisations of Paston homes, past & present
Education
Teacher resources for students of all ages

Events

Paston Footprints events coming up. Check events details below:
The Fenns of Hill House & the Paston Letters
Footprint Events
29 Apr, 2022 - 1 Oct, 2022
Dereham
The Fenns of Hill House & the Paston Letters Bishop Bonner's Cottage Museum, St Withburga's Lane, Dereham NR19 1ED Fridays 10 am - 1 pm; Saturdays 10 am - 4 pm
The Pastons and Great Yarmouth
Online - click picture below
1 Aug, 2022 - 31 Jul, 2025
The Pastons and Great Yarmouth Dr Rob Knee of the Paston Heritage Society takes us through the rise and fall of the Paston family and their influence over the hinterland of Great Yarmouth. Runtime 57 mins.
That Shakespeare Life
Online - click picture below
1 Aug, 2022 - 31 Dec, 2025
That Shakespeare Life Dr Rob Knee of the Paston Heritage Society joins Cassidy Cash for a podcast on the Paston Letters in relation to Shakespeare's 'Henry' plays - and tackles the Fastolf-Falstaff question. Runtime 30 mins.