Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell

A white painted building with large windows in the foreground and a church tower in the background
baby changing facilities icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon

The Bridewell started life as a rich merchant's house in 1325. It became a prison for women and beggars (a ‘Bridewell’) in 1585 and in the mid 18th century became a conventional prison. From 1828 it earned its keep as a factory and warehouse for tobacco, leather, boots and shoes. It became a museum in 1925 and now houses a wonderful collection of historic objects and machinery revealing how Norwich people earned their living.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 4.30pm

Contact the museum for closing dates over Christmas and New Year.

Admission charges

Adult £4.40
Concession £3.80
Young Adult (17-25) £3.20
Young Person (4-16)


  • Museums Association

Additional info

The Bridewell is a Grade I listed building with a large shop, lifts and accessible toilets.
Assistance dogs are welcome and there are many handling collections available for all.

There is an induction loop at the entrance and portable loops for other areas.
Those with concerns should call our shop on 01603 629127 for friendly advice.
The Undercroft is currently inacessible - a photopack is available to view.
Our library is open by appointment only.

The Bridewell is packed full of collections, telling the story of Norwich's rich history and it's people. Highlights include an original Jacquard loom, Norwich shawls, shoes, the first wire netting machine, Shand Mason fire engine, printing presses, chemist shop, recreated pawnbrokers shop and Norwich City Football Club display. The collection is housed in a fascinating building, with the finest flint wall in Britain and largest medieval undercroft in Norwich.

Collection details

Architecture, Archives, Aviation, Costume and Textiles, Design, Fine Art, Industry, Land Transport, Law and Order, Medicine, Photography, Science and Technology, Social History, Sport, Toys and Hobbies, Trade and Commerce, Weapons and War

Key artists and exhibits

  • Norwich, textile industry, Norwich shawls, shoes, Norwich industries, shoe industry, brewing, printing,iron founding, flint wall, medieval undercroft,clocks,
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.

Victorian Norwich

Five downloadable files on Victorian Norwich. Three for use in the classroom and two for use in the Bridewell Museum.


  • Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service


  • Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service

Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell
Bridewell Alley




Shop & Tickets

01603 629127

Museum Curator

01603 614018

Museum Admin

01603 493625


01603 498662

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.