Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery
Norwich Castle
Norwich
Norfolk
NR1 3JQ
England

Website

museums.norfolk.gov.uk

E-mail

museums@norfolk.gov.uk

Telephone

All Tickets & Bookings

01603 493636

General Enquiries

01603 493625

24 hour Recorded Information

01603 493648

Fax

01603 495909

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
View of the Castle keep at Norwich Castle
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

One of the city's most famous landmarks, Norwich Castle was built by the Normans as a Royal Palace 900 years ago.
Now a museum and art gallery, the Castle is packed with treasures to inspire and intrigue visitors of all ages.

The entire collection of this museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery, Castle or defences

Opening hours

Low Season: 1 April – 1 July, 1 October – 30 June 2013
Mon – Sat: 10am – 4.30pm
Sun: 1 – 4.30pm

Peak Season: 2 July - 30 September
Mon – Sat: 10am – 5pm
Sun: 1 – 5pm

Please contact the museum for opening days over Christmas and New Year.

Admission charges

Castle Ticket (incl. Special Exhibitions)
Adult: £6.80
Concession or Adult (in family group*): £5.80
Young Person (4-16): £4.90

Special Exhibitions Ticket
Adult: £3.50
Concession or Adult (in family group*): £3.00
Young Person (4-16): £2.60

Museums Pass holders, Friends of Norwich Museums and under 4s free. Discounts for groups, ring 01603 495897 / 493636 for details.

Concessions are available for visitors with disabilities, over 60s and students.
Visitors with disabilites may bring one companion in free.
Admission to the shop, cafe and Rotunda information desk is free.
*A family group must include at least one child.

Additional info

Video presentation introducing the Castle with audio visual tour of dungeons and battlements.

Norwich Castle is home to some of the most outstanding collections of fine art, archaeology and natural history. The entire collections held at Norwich Castle are Designated Collections of national importance.

Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery reflects the importance of the city, one of England's richest and largest settlements from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. Some of the displays are in the magnificent Norman Keep, which was built as a royal castle, the most ambitious secular building of its generation in Western Europe.

The museum has comprehensive collections of the Norwich School of Artists, 18th century Lowestoft porcelain and a world-beating assemblage of nearly 3000 British teapots. Prominent amongst the collections are birds and butterflies from around the world, and Britain's biggest, oldest and most complete fossil elephant.

There is outstanding Bronze Age and Anglo-Saxon archaeology and much of the Snettisham Treasure, the largest collection of Iron Age gold neck rings from Europe. The museum reopened in 2001, following an £11.7 million development funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. There is now better access to the collections at the new Castle Museum Study Centre, which is linked to the Castle.

Collection details

Weapons and War, Natural Sciences, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Coins and Medals, Archives, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection.
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

The Art Galleries

  • 1 November 2013 — 1 November 2020 *on now

The Colman Art Galleries at Norwich Castle display the museum’s world-famous collection of Norwich School paintings. The two galleries have displays, films about the Norwich School, a new touch-screen learning resource and contemporary art.

The ‘British Masters’ gallery showcases the work of the two leading figures of the Norwich School, John Crome and John Sell Cotman, displaying their greatest masterpieces side by side for the first time.

The Norwich School artists are known worldwide for their depiction of Norwich and Norfolk. The ‘Landscape & Nature’ gallery focuses on the paintings this celebrated group of artists created in response to the landscape that surrounded them. Their paintings are seen as quintessential portrayals of the region.

Artists today continue to find inspiration in the Norfolk countryside with its broad skies and wide open landscapes. Photographs of the East Anglian landscape by Mark Edwards are on display in the new Colman Project Space.

Admission

Normal admission charges apply

Website

http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/Visit_Us/Norwich_Castle/Art_Galleries/index.htm

The Egyptian Gallery

  • 1 November 2013 — 1 November 2020 *on now

The Egyptian Gallery at Norwich Castle is small but contains a significant collection of artefacts, which were found in Egyptian tombs and donated by wealthy travellers who visited Egypt in the nineteenth century.

Following the death of Henry Rider Haggard (known for works such as King Solomon’s Mines) his collection of Ancient Egyptian antiquities were donated to Norwich Castle. Within this collection is a fragment of pottery inscribed with the story of an Egyptian princess, which is described in the novel ‘She’. The pottery and inscription are fakes, created especially for the novel, but they succeeded in creating significant intrigue in this period of history, an intrigue which is continued throughout the rest of the gallery which contains artefacts of around 4,500-2,500 years old.

Admission

Normal admission charges apply

Website

http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/Visit_Us/Norwich_Castle/The_Egyptian_Gallery/index.htm

Anglo-Saxon & Viking Gallery

  • 1 November 2013 — 1 November 2020 *on now

The gallery tells the story of the fascinating period between the withdrawal of the Romans in 410AD and the 1066 Norman Conquest. Dangerous and turbulent, this was also the time when many aspects of modern day English culture took root – the word ‘England’ derives from the name ‘Anglia’, the land of the Angles.

Norwich Castle has one of the best collections of Anglo-Saxon material in the country. Designated by the government as being of outstanding quality, the collection contains a huge variety of objects of beauty and historic significance. Over 900 of these treasures are on display in the gallery.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply

Website

http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/Visit_Us/Norwich_Castle/Anglo_Saxon_and_Viking_Gallery/index.htm

The Twining Teapot Gallery

  • 1 November 2013 — 1 November 2020 *on now

Many of the Castle Museum's teapots are on display in the Twining Teapot Gallery and range from the elegant to the quirky. They date from the 1730s right through to the 1980s.

In the Twining Teapot Gallery you can see a teapot with two spouts, as well as teapots in all sorts of shapes - a first world war tank, a cabbage, a castle, bamboo and a monkey to give just a few examples. They also come in all sizes (from miniature teapots no higher than your finger to giant teapots longer than your forearm).

Agate Teapot, possibly by Thomas Whieldon, 1745-1750A large proportion of teapots made today are mass-produced. Many of the early teapots in the museum were made and decorated by hand, however - sometimes by children. Other teapots have a 'marbled' appearance which was achieved by mixing different coloured clays together (called 'Agate Ware'). Later on teapots were decorated with transfers - a technique which is still widely used today.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Adult: £7.95
Concession (over 65s): £6.50
Child (age 4-18 yrs): £5.20
Family (2 adults + all children): £21
Family (1 adult + all children): £14

Website

http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/Visit_Us/Norwich_Castle/The_Twining_Teapot_Gallery/index.htm

John Joseph Cotman, A Composition, 1860s, pencil, watercolour and bodycolour

An Eye for Colour: John Joseph Cotman 1814-1878

  • 7 June 2014 — 15 March 2015 *on now

An accomplished watercolourist with a penchant for vibrant colour and a rapid sketch-like technique, John Joseph Cotman (born on 29 May 1814) was the third of John Sell Cotman’s five children and learned drawing at his father’s school in St Martin’s at Palace Plain, Norwich.

Throughout his life John Joseph was frustrated by his inability to attain financial independence through his work as an artist, in spite of his clear talent. Throughout his life he suffered from an increasingly unstable temperament, depression and, later, excessive drinking, becoming well known as an ‘eccentric’. Although he was relatively successful as a drawing master, his reputation and business suffered after he spent time in a private asylum in 1837. Eventually his wife left him, his mental health problems worsened and he fell deeper into debt until he was forced to pawn his possession and sell family drawings, dying destitute on 15 March 1878.

John Joseph mostly painted Norfolk and imaginary landscapes in watercolour, and occasionally in oil. A believer in the value of composition and drawing, he wrote that the objective of drawing is ‘to lead the mind to the study, and appreciation of all that is beautiful both in Art & Nature.’ This bicentenary exhibition celebrates the idiosyncratic and highly original use of colour that made John Joseph Cotman such an innovative member of the Norwich art scene in the 19th century.

Website

http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/Visit_Us/Norwich_Castle/Current_and_Upcoming_Exhibitions/An_Eye_for_Colour_John_Joseph_Cotman_1814-1878/index.htm

John Wonnacott and John Lessore: The Life Room and the City

  • 4 October 2014 — 4 January 2015 *on now

Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery has joined Norwich University of the Arts to celebrate the iconic art school’s 170th year. This is an exhibition of the work of two important British painters, John Wonnacott and John Lessore, and the paintings they made in and around the art school while they were teaching there in the early 1980s.

Wonnacott and Lessore were brought to Norwich in 1978 by Edward Middleditch (RA) specifically to develop the Life Room – a space where students could be trained in drawing from observation and memory using the traditional skills of anatomy and perception. Wonnacott and Lessore created two Life Rooms in the riverside studios of the late 19th century Art School buildings where they also made their own work. The paintings produced were collected by Tate, the Arts Council Collection, and private collections in Britain and the USA, and we are very pleased to be able to reunite this extraordinary body of work in this exhibition.

Admission

Adult: £5
Concession (over 65s): £4
Child (age 4-18): £3

Normal admission charges apply.

Website

http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/Visit_Us/Norwich_Castle/Current_and_Upcoming_Exhibitions/John_Wonnacott_and_John_Lessore_The_Life_Room_and_the_City/index.htm

The Boudica Gallery

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2020 *on now

Learn all about the story of Boudica and the revolt against the Romans, in AD60-61.

The Boudica GalleryBoudica was the great warrior Queen of the Iceni. The Iceni were a deeply religious Celtic tribe who lived in settlements and spent their lives raising crops, managing woodland and tending herds of sheep, cattle and pigs in the area now covered by Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire during the late Iron Age.

Within the gallery you can see re-created scenes, handle objects, take rune rubbings, watch a short video about the Iceni Queen, take a ride on a reproduction wooden chariot of the type used by Boudica as she led her people into battle. And see a wealth of objects from the period.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply

Website

http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/Visit_Us/Norwich_Castle/The_Boudica_Gallery/index.htm

painting of Mademoiselle Claus

Homage to Manet

  • 31 January — 9 April 2015

The major loan exhibition Homage to Manet at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery explores the legacy of one of the most important and controversial artists of modern times, the French artist Edouard Manet (1832-1883).

Central to the exhibition and the undisputed star of the show is Manet’s stunning Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus recently acquired for the nation by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. The painting depicts Fanny Claus, a friend of Manet’s wife and a professional concert violinist, wearing an elegant white dress, seated on a balcony. Painted in 1868, the same year that Manet visited London, this is a fully realised portrait towards one of his greatest masterpieces: Le Balcon (The Balcony) of 1868-69 (Musée d’Orsay, Paris). Compelling and enigmatic, the Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus introduces the central theme of the exhibition – how Manet influenced the way future generations of artists depicted women.

As an exhibition, Homage to Manet presents a unique opportunity to look at the Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus within the context of related representations of women. Manet relished painting women. By exploring the connections between Manet and Monet, as well as the next generation of artists working in Britain, notably Sargent, Sickert and Steer, the exhibition invites engaging comparisons to be made through their respective depictions of female subjects.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply

Website

http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/visit_us/norwich_castle/current_and_upcoming_exhibitions/index.htm

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Anglo-Saxons and Vikings at Norwich Castle

http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/default.asp?document=500.10.40.41

A pack with classroom and museum-based resources and activities based on the Anglo-Saxon and Viking Gallery at Norwich Castle.

Creator

  • Colin Hynson and Tim Pestell

Publisher

  • Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service

Ancient Egyptians at the Castle

http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/default.asp?Document=500.10.40.40

A downloadable resource pack with classroom and museum-based activities on the Ancient Egyptians using the Egyptian Gallery at Norwich Castle.

Creator

  • Faye Kalloniatis and Sally Swain

Publisher

  • Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service

Battlements Tours

http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/default.asp?Document=200.21.15

Battlements tours offer a unique and breathtaking view of Norwich and Norfolk.
Visitors climb a Norman stone spiral staircase and from 125 feet above street level, appreciate clear views of Mousehold Heath - the scene of Kett’s 1549 Rebellion, the magnificent Norman Cathedral, early Norwich buildings and many other well-known landmarks.
Discover how the city developed over the last 1000 years and learn how the castle was once the centre of royal power, sieges, and persecution.

How to obtain

Tours run Mon - Sat: 10.30am, 11.15am, 2.30pm & 3.15pm. Sun: 2.30pm & 3.15pm.
Places can be reserved, please tel. 01603 495897/493636 to book or check times.
Cost: Adult £2.00, Concession or Adult (in family group) £1.70, Children £1.45.
Please note: tours are only available with the purchase of a general admission ticket. Suitable for children aged 8+

Dungeon Tours

http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/default.asp?Document=200.21.14

Dungeons tours enable visitors to discover parts of the castle not open to the public. The tour descends deep below the castle to a maze of early medieval cellars used to incarcerate manacled prisoners in dreadful conditions long ago.
Hear extraordinary stories about prisoners. Learn about the history of crime and punishment. And see horrifying instruments of torture including a ducking stool, scold’s bridle and gibbet iron.
The tour also includes a sinister collection of Victorian death heads - plaster cast impressions of locally hanged criminals!

How to obtain

Tours usually run Mon - Sat: 10.30am, 11.15am, 2.30pm & 3.15pm. Sun: 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.15pm & 4pm.
Places can be reserved, please tel. 01603 495897/493636 to book or check times.
Cost: Adult £2.00, Concession or Adult (in family group) £1.70, Young People (4 - 16 yrs) £1.45.
Please note: tours are only available with the purchase of a general admission ticket. Minimum age 5 years.

Norwich Castle Education Pack

http://www.norwich12.co.uk/user_files/downloads/norwich-castle-education-pack-final-for-website.pdf

The Norwich Castle education pack, available as a free download, is aimed at teachers of Key Stage 3 Local History, Geography and Citizenship.

The Museum Club

http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/default.asp?Document=200.21

Workshops covering social history, art, natural history and archaeology topics for children 7 years and upwards. Once a month on a Saturday morning. Sometimes the group makes visits to other places of historical interest around Norwich.

How to obtain

Call the castle on 01603 495892 for more details and to join. A term's membership is £11 per child, but free for children in care.

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