Norwich Castle, Norwich city centre
- For families
- Art and Culture
- History & Museums
- Talks & Guided Tours
- Vintage & Antiques
- Restaurant/Café on site
- Gift shop
- Guided tours for groups
- Facilities for groups
- Facilities for educational visits
- Education/study area
- Disabled Facilities
Located in the centre of the city, Norwich Castle is undoubtedly one of the most popular visitor attractions in Norwich and one of the city’s most famous landmarks.
Norwich Castle, one of the finest examples of a traditional Norman castle keep, was built as a royal palace by the Normans 900 years ago and later used as a prison for around 500 years.
Later, in 1894, the ‘Norwich Museum’ moved to Norwich Castle and it has been a museum ever since.
Today, it offers visitors a rich and varied selection of interesting exhibits and art collections. It’s a perfect place to bring children, with first class facilities and many educational opportunities.
The castle is part of the Norfolk Museums Service, responsible for several museums all across Norfolk. The castle is open all year round; check their website for information about prices, opening times – plus current events and exhibitions.
Where do you start?
Upon arrival, you’ll pass the gift shop on your right and enter the ‘Rotunda’ from which all the main galleries and exhibitions are accessed.
The galleries and exhibitions are all interlinked by connecting staircases and passageways. From here there’s also a multitude of different ways to access the Castle Keep.
Upstairs at the Rotunda there’s a handy picnic room (near the Lecture Theatre) where you can bring your own food and drink.
The lockers are useful to safely store coats, bags and anything else you don’t want to carry around; this area is also used for group visits to the castle by schools and similar.
There’s also an excellent café available at the Rotunda:
Galleries and Exhibitions include:
- Ancient Egypt
- Boudica and the Romans
- The Anglo-Saxon and Viking Gallery
- The Natural History Galleries
(including the Ted Ellis Norfolk Room and the British Bird Gallery)
- The Colman Art Galleries
- The Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum Collections
- The Timothy Gurney Gallery
- The Fitch Room
The Castle Keep and Basement
Visit the castle keep and be transported back to medieval England. Staircases allow you to view the keep interior from several view points.
In the basement you can discover how the castle was built when it was founded by William the Conqueror and you’ll have the chance to put your own construction skills to the test!
You can also learn about the castle’s 500 year extensive usage as a prison which lasted from the medieval period to 1887 (when it was converted into a museum).
The Castle Dungeons and Battlements
For a small additional entrance fee, tours of the battlements and dungeons are available. Hear the horrid history of crime and punishment, with real-life prisoner stories.
Climb the Norman staircase for a stunning panoramic view of Norwich and hear the history of this fine city.
Battlements tours are very much subject to prevailing weather conditions; any combination of rain or strong winds will usually preclude this.
Special Events and Exhibitions
The Castle is the venue for lots of different events and exhibitions during the year.
Check their website for the latest information.
Other useful links:
Locations shown are approximate