“ Castle Hill, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 3JU. Tel: 01603 493625. „
My first memory of the Castle Museum, in Norwich is being aged 4 and being allowed to touch the shroud of one of the resident Egyptian Mummies.
A lot has changed since then:
The musty Museum smell has dispersed and in it's place there is an almost sickly sweet air freshener smell that seems to hang in the air.
The once hands on and dusty displays have been cased up in bright white boxes or removed altogether to some unseen basement.
Now this may just be me reminiscing on long gone childhood experiences but part of the magic of the Castle Museum was the dust, was the chance to touch and smell the displays - now everything things quite removed from the experienced and guarded.
This is not to say it's a completely bad thing - a large amount of money way pumped into restoring the vast taxidermy collection which had, admittedly, suffered at the hands of the many thousands of eager sight-seers. This collection stands with pride of place at the heart of the museum and really is a must see for any natural history fan.
Another welcome edition is the expanded education facilities; children and teenagers a like now have a far greater opportunity to learn about the history of the building itself (the original wooden structure dates back to and beyond the Norman colonisation) and the various stages of Norwich's history.
There are many different educative tools on offer and anyone is welcome to use them.
A real highlight of any visit to the Castle Museum should be the Dungeons and Battlements tour. This tour takes you into the very bowels of the Castle where you get to see the various methods of torture used throughout history, you get to experience the cramped and dank living conditions for those prisoners condemned and you get to gaze upon the eerie death masks of some of the condemned who met there end within the City's walls.
It's then up on to the battlements where you get to experience the glorious panoramic views over Norwich and it's outer suburbs. This really is the perfect oppurtunity to whip out your camera and capture some stunning views.
Other areas of interest in the museum are:
* The galleries - there is always an interesting array of art on display from across the globe.
* The Keep - here you can cast your eye over the famous Norwich Snap Dragons, large suits of armour and their accompanying weapons, the Norwich jewels and the very large and deep well at the centre of the area.
*The Egyptian display - even though I miss the old musty smell of the wraps this display still gives a huge insight into the amazing world of the Egyptians.
There is so much more available than I can put into words - but I often feel that half the fun of a museum is what you can discover on your own!
In terms of cost it is roughly £5.80 for adults, £4.25 for children (4-16) and £4.95 for concessions.
The Dungeons and Battlements tour is not included in the price.
The facilities available are:
* Holiday activities
* Indoor picnic room
* Baby change
Norwich Castle Museum was origonally built by the Normans as a Royal Castle, and from the 14th Century was a prison until 1894, when it became a museum, which it still is today. There are 3 zones in the Castle. These are:- CASTLE & ARCHAEOLOGY - This includes the Boudica Gallery, which tells the story of Iceni and the Romans. There are many hands-on exhibits you can touch. NATURAL HISTORY - The Norfolk Room has been popular since the 1930's. It shows plantlife, animals, birds and insects. ART & EXHIBITIONS - This zone shows paintings and exhibitions, several dedicated to the Norwich School of Painters, Ceramic and Glass collections. It also houses the largest teapot collection in the world. You can also tour the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum Prisoners' tunnel. This will lead you to explore soldiers lives through peace andwar from 1685 - present. There is also a battlements and dungeons tour. The castle has recetly undergone an £11.8 million refurbishment. This is the first major refurbishment in 900 years. There is a new cafe, and also a shop where you can buy gifts, cards and souvenirs. Admission prices for the whole castle are £4.70 for adults, £4.10 concessions, £3.50 for children, and £13.90 for a family. They are open from 10:30am - 5pm Monday - Saturday, and from 2pm - 5pm on a Sunday. The Castle is situated in the heart of Norwich on a huge hill, more like a mountain really!! Included in the refurbishment, is a lift which will take you up to the Castle. Castle Museum Castle Hill NORWICH Norfolk NR1 3JU Tel:- 01603 493625 Email:- email@example.com You will also find a deep well where people throw their change into. This is interesting for people. From the time you throw the coin in, to the time you hear it drop the bottom, seems to last for ages! You will always find people crouched over the well.
I love this place. It shows how old Norwich is, and how the city itself has formed around the Castle, and how the Castle has been left untouched. It symbolizes the history and heritage of the city, and draws millions of tourists each year. It's fun, educational and a brilliant day out for everybody!
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.