Norwich Castle

One of the City’s most famous landmarks, Norwich Castle was built by the Normans as a Royal Palace 900 years ago. Used as a prison from the 14th century, the Castle became a museum in 1894.

Now the County’s principal museum, the Castle is packed with treasures to inspire and intrigue visitors of all ages. Its outstanding collections of fine art, archaeology and natural history are of national importance and include the best collections anywhere of paintings by the Norwich School of Artists and the world’s largest collection of ceramic teapots.

The Castle Keep

Enter the keep through the Bigod Arch, the original entrance to the Royal Palace, and see elaborate carvings in the stonework. Explore the garderobes (five ‘four-berth’ toilets), walk around part of the original fighting gallery and descend a 900 year old spiral staircase.
Find out what life was like in the Norman keep through touch screens and computer animation. Peep through the windows of a giant model of the keep and see King Henry I and his courtiers at a ‘crown-wearing feast’ in 1121 when he spent Christmas in Norwich.

 Walk round a special display about life at the Castle when it was a prison and read original graffiti made by prisoners. Feast your eyes on impressive displays of Norwich Silver and the Norwich Civic Regalia. Say hello to ‘Snap’, our famous snapdragon, who was once part of the Norwich’s historic pageantry. See him set against a colourful re-creation of a medieval street scene.

In the keep basement, models show what the Castle looked like when it was being built. Try the hands-on exhibits to understand the challenges facing the Norman masons and architects.

Anglo-Saxons & Vikings

Norwich Castle has one of Britain’s most important collections of Anglo-Saxon treasures. Our new Anglo-Saxon and Viking Gallery tells the story of life in East Anglia after the collapse of the Roman Empire.

See a fascinating reconstruction of an Anglo-Saxon grave site, revealing how archaeologists gather evidence to piece together the social, economic and political life that existed a thousand years ago. Discover our wonderful collection of jewellery, including a stunning gold ‘Thor’s Hammer’ and the Bathilde seal, a tiny double-sided gold ring with an intriguing erotic scene on the reverse.

 Boudica Gallery

Find out about East Anglia’s very own Queen Boudica and her Iceni tribe. Admire breathtaking displays of Iceni treasure and 2000 year old gold torcs or neck bands. Climb aboard a re-creation of an Iceni chariot and see what it was like to ride into battle against the Romans.

The Egyptian Gallery

Step even further back in time and experience the atmosphere of an Egyptian tomb with its ancient mummies. Find out more before you visit, by clicking on the link to view our themed online exhibition and collections database.

The broad spectrum of 17th – 20th century paintings on show demonstrates the rich cultural heritage of East Anglia. Immerse yourself in stunning English watercolours, Dutch landscapes and modern British paintings.

Enjoy fine examples of paintings by three generations of Norwich School artists, including its most distinguished members, John Crome and John Sell Cotman.

Discover wonderful collections of Lowestoft porcelain, glass and English silver. And trace the history of Britain’s favourite drink in the Twinings Teapot Gallery with its colourful displays of ceramic teapots.

Please Note: Occasionally, they have to remove objects from display or close galleries for essential maintenance. If you are travelling to see a specific object, please telephone 01603 493625 before you set out. Our Visitor Services team will be happy to confirm if the object is on display.