Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery
- | 01603 493625
- | www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
- Free entry with National Art Pass.
- View venue & entry details
Built by the Normans in the 11th century, Norwich Castle was designed to be a royal palace.
While it never served its original purpose, in the thousand years since its construction the castle has been used variously as a military fort, a county jail and, most recently, a museum. Today, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery is home to collections of fine art, archaeology and natural history, as well as touring exhibitions from national galleries.
As the principal museum in Norfolk, Norwich Castle houses the world's greatest collections of Norwich silver, Lowestoft porcelain and work by the Norwich School of artists. The museum's Anglo-Saxon and Viking exhibits, which include a gallery and a reconstruction of an Anglo-Saxon grave site, are accompanied by displays ranging from Egyptian tombs to contemporary design.
One of the highlights of the collection is The Paston Treasure, commissioned by Sir Robert Paston in the mid 1670s. It was likely painted by a Dutch artist visiting the family home at Oxnead Hall and depicts objects from their incredible collection. The wooden frame of the painting was spectacularly regilded in 2015 thanks to a campaign hosted on the Art Fund's crowdfunding platform, Art Happens.
Art Funded works
William Hogarth's Francis Matthew Schutz in his Bed was commissioned by Schutz's wife, Susan, as a lesson against intemperance. The original painting depicted Schutz vomiting into a chamber pot, but this was overpainted by an unknown artist when it was felt Schutz's heirs would find the portrayal disrespectful.
If you're feeling thirsty after a walk through the Twining Teapot Gallery, the museum's café serves drinks, snacks and lunches, with a range of salads, sandwiches and hot meals available. There is also a Picnic Room with hot drinks and a gift shop stocking a wide range of gifts, souvenirs and publications.
Art we've helped buy at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery
Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £8.35)
2 Jan – 28 Jun, 28 Sept – 31 Dec
Daily 10am – 4.30pm (Sun from 1pm)
29 Jun – 27 Sept
Daily 10am – 5pm (Sun from 1pm)
Closed 1 Jan, 24 – 26 Dec