Norwich makes most of Medieval past for debut Museums at Night campaign

By Culture24 Staff | 05 February 2010
A photo of a Medieval building

Dragon Hall (above) will be at the centre of Museums at Night in Norwich. © Wikimedia user MN

With an Anglo-Saxon heritage as rich as the vocabulary of famous local son Stephen Fry, Norwich's age-old historic sites instantly lend themselves to night-time enchantment.

This is the first time the city has taken part in Museums at Night, announcing twilight explorations of four of the finest local buildings to begin their campaign.

Towering over Norfolk with a 315-foot spire, the vaults of Norwich Cathedral have witnessed some stories during the past 900 years, from fleeing Bishops to saviour Kings.

A photo of the glowing inside of a tall cathedral

Norwich Cathedral

It's something of an understatement to say that the cloister and labyrinth will make for an "unusual" journey in the dark, preceded by soup and scary stories in the Cathedral library (8pm-10pm, £2.50 per child, adults free, suitable for over-8s, call 01603 218320 or 01603 218327 to book).

Dragon Hall was a marketplace during Medieval times, restored as a Grade I-listed gem in a £1.8 million project three years ago.

Candle-bearing tour guides will find a few of the ghosts of long-dead traders who haunt the timbers in Magic, Witches, Ghosts and Ghouls (Friday, 8pm-midnight, admission TBC).

A photo of an orange-coloured floor plaque

A plaque from St John the Baptist's Narthex building. © Paul Hurst, sjbcathedral.org.uk

The Cathedral of St John the Baptist is one of the country's best examples of Victorian gothic architecture with an imperious vantage point across the city.

Glimpse it on a guided tour with homemade refreshments (Friday, tours at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm, £3, call 01603 728936).

Norwich Guildhall is the largest Medieval city hall in Britain. A Protestant martyr burned for heresy was held there during its time as an important court and prison during the 15th century, and there'll be a mock trial there as part of a spooky Museums at Night sleepover (Saturday, 7pm-9am, admission TBC, call 01603 599577 from March 1).

A photo of the outside of a large historic brick hall

Norwich Guildhall. © norwich.gov.uk

Stories, a midnight feast, bedding in the Sword Room or Council Chamber and breakfast in the morning are also part of the plan.

To find out what’s going on in other cities, view full listings or find out more about getting involved, visit the Museums at Night homepage.

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