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Norwich Castle exhibition: Square Box on the Hill

PUBLISHED: 16:07 26 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:07 26 February 2018

James Bridges, Norwich Castle, 1833, watercolour on paper (© Norfolk Museums Service, Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery)

James Bridges, Norwich Castle, 1833, watercolour on paper (© Norfolk Museums Service, Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery)

Archant

The new exhibition at Norwich Castle will delve into the fascinating history of this iconic monument

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.

Box on the Hill: A Souvenir of the Opening of Norwich Castle Museum by the Duke and Duchess  of York, 23 October 1894 (© Norfolk Museums Service, Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery)Box on the Hill: A Souvenir of the Opening of Norwich Castle Museum by the Duke and Duchess of York, 23 October 1894 (© Norfolk Museums Service, Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery)

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 until 3rd June. Entry is free with usual museum admission price. museums.norfolk.gov.uk

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