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Norwich Castle Museum Review

Updated on December 1, 2019

Norwich Castle Museum is situated in the heart of the city of Norwich in Norfolk, England. Set high above the city, it is in a prominent position overlooking the city. Built by the Normans over 900 years ago, the museum is a family friendly place with lots to see and do.

About the Museum

Norwich Castle is easily accessible. It can either be accessed by foot or there is a lift you can get which will take you to the entrance. Once you have paid the admission, you can walk down the short hallway to the main circular area. From here there is seating all around the centre with the cafeteria to the left. Then all around the large circular room are the galleries and exhibitions.

Boudica and the Romans

This section of the gallery is all about Boudica. She was the great warrior queen of the Iceni. This was a Celtic tribe that lived in the Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk area during the Iron Ages.

Anglo Saxons and Romans

This part of the museum is really interesting. There are over 900 objects on display here and shows you objects worn by the Anglo-Saxons and other objects they used to use like tools and weapons.

Natural HIstory

The Natural History section shows you a very interesting array of wildlife and specimens. The bird section is very interesting to see as you can see them in their natural wildlife. Some of the displays have like a 3D effect where the backdrop of the cabinets are circular giving you the perception that the birds are on the beach with the sea in the background. There are also large animals on display which have been stuffed and preserved.

Royal Norfolk Regiment

This part of the museum highlights the 300 year history of this Regiment in Norfolk. You can find out about the lives of the soldiers and also the displays also shows you the uniforms they wear and the medals word and also with the weapons they used.

Decorative Arts

This gallery is also quite interesting as it reflects the styles beginning from the year 1400 to the present day. There is so much on display here from the many potteries and textiles.

Fine Art

The Fine Art section of the museum has many paintings on show from artists like John Sell Cotman and John Chome. The Colman Art Galleries is also very interesting with the world's largest public collection from the Norwich School of Arts. This gallery is quite large and takes a while to look at all the lovely paintings.

Upstairs is the Keep which is a large room. There is a balcony area around the room so you can walk up there and look round. What is interesting here is there is a well which is about 41 foot deep. Of course this has been covered up, but still visible to the public. And you can throw a coin in the well and see how long it takes to reach the bottom. There is also a small part of the museum dedicated to Lord Horatio Nelson who was born and bred in Norfolk. There are guided tours of the Castle too at certain times and can be booked on the day. These tours include the Battlement Experience, where you can climb the 62 steps to the top of the castle to get a view of the city. There are also the Castle Keep Tours which can be booked by special arrangement.

Throughout the year there are special events and workshops for children and adults. There is also a study centre for researchers. But because demand is so high, you can only access it by appointment only.

The Castle Museum

Click thumbnail to view full-size

My thoughts

Although it may seem a little expensive to get in here, especially if you've got a family, I still think it's well worth a visit. If you've got a Museum Pass which currently costs £34.20 a year, then you can get in for free, and children under the age of 4. I don't own one of these, so paid full admission price. I did, however, spend about 1 and a half hours in here. It's been several years since I have visited this museum and it's changed quite a bit over the years. This museum holds special memories for me as I remember my parents taking me there as a child. I love the fact that there is so much to see and do. There's the art galleries and I particularly enjoyed the natural history part of the museum. I can't comment on the cafeteria as I didn't use this part. But there is a gift shop which I did look in. There is some nice gifts in here and souvenirs to purchase.

As you wander around the different exhibitions and galleries you learn so much about the history of Norfolk and the people, animals and social aspect of Norfolk. I would highly recommend this museum if you haven't visited it already. Visiting the Keep upstairs is quite good as you get to see how big the Castle is from up there.

How to get to the museum & admission prices

The museum is open from Monday - Saturday from 10am - 4:30pm. On Sundays it is open from 1pm - 4:30pm. It is closed on 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January.

The Castle Museum is situated on the Castle Mound in the centre of Norwich. The address is Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Castle Hill, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 3JU. The nearest car park is in the Castle Mall Shopping Centre, which is virtually next door to the Castle. There is also the trains and bus services with regular timetables into the city.

Admission Prices

  • Adult - £9.90
  • Concession - £9.40
  • Child (4 - 18) - £8.50
  • Family with 1 adult - £26.10
  • Family with 2 adults - £34.85
  • Twilight Ticket (1 hour before closing) - £2

Concessions are over 65's, people with disabilities, students and adults receiving benefits. Visitors with disabilities can bring one companion for free. Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult. You can buy tickets on the door or online through the official website.

© 2019 Louise Powles


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