EDP Norfolk - - What’s On -

Nor­wich Cas­tle has dom­i­nated the sky­line since the 12th cen­tury as a by­stander over im­mea­sur­able change to the cityscape around it. The cas­tle has been through count­less in­car­na­tions and is very much a liv­ing re­minder of Nor­wich’s ex­tra­or­di­nary so­cial, eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal his­tory. This ex­cel­lent new ex­hi­bi­tion Square Box on the Hill tells the story of one of Nor­wich’s best-loved and most iconic build­ings over 900 years.

From its be­gin­nings as a royal palace, when it was a Nor­man show­piece with lav­ishly-dec­o­rated in­te­ri­ors, to the 14th cen­tury, when it be­came a cen­tre for power and au­thor­ity and be­came the county gaol; from fall­ing into hard times fol­low­ing the re­lo­ca­tion of the prison away from the cas­tle in the late 19th cen­tury, its trans­for­ma­tion into a pub­lic mu­seum and sur­viv­ing the blitz in the war, it has wit­nessed ex­tra­or­di­nary change.

The ex­hi­bi­tion shows the cas­tle’s rich his­tory through prints, pho­to­graphs, paint­ings, ar­chi­tec­tural plans, mem­o­ra­bilia and archives, many of which have never been on dis­play be­fore. Vis­i­tors will also see many sur­prises which the Cas­tle has housed over the years – from a Ja­panese Samu­rai suit of ar­mour to a 1970s draught bit­ter, from fine me­dieval jewellery to graf­fiti etched in stone.

It will also take you to the fu­ture – with the chance to see the lat­est de­signs and plans for the new Her­itage Lot­tery Funded ‘Nor­wich Cas­tle: Gate­way to Me­dieval Eng­land’ project which will trans­form the mu­seum by re­in­stat­ing the Nor­man floors and rooms in the keep.

Cu­ra­tor Paris Agar says “I wanted to pay trib­ute to this colos­sal land­mark by tak­ing vis­i­tors on a jour­ney through its ex­tra­or­di­nary 900-year his­tory – quite a chal­lenge in one ex­hi­bi­tion! I am very ex­cited to present this ex­hi­bi­tion which brings new dis­cov­er­ies to light, help­ing vis­i­tors to un­der­stand the sig­nif­i­cance of this ex­tra­or­di­nary cas­tle.”

Ex­hi­bi­tion is open Mon – Sat, 10am – 4.30pm; Sun­days, 1pm – 4.30pm. En­try is free with usual mu­seum ad­mis­sion price. mu­se­ums.nor­folk.gov.uk

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