NORFOLK Museums Service
Castle Keep

The Castle Keep

Enter the keep through the Bigod arch, the original entrance to the Royal Palace and walk in the footsteps of a King. The arch remains today as one of the finest examples of Norman stone carving in existence.

Explore the garderobes (Norman toilets!), peer down the deep, dark well, visit the King’s chapel and descend the 900 year old spiral staircase. Peep into the Keep model to spy on King Henry I during his Christmas stay of 1121 and dress up as royalty as you take your place on the throne.

New displays on two floors explore the Norman and medieval world through our own nationally renowned collections, alongside beautiful objects loaned by the British Museum.

Feast your eyes on glimmering rows of Norwich silver and fine examples of the City’s civic regalia, as well as fine arms and armour from our collections.

Meet ‘Snap’ the famous snapdragon, an important part of Norwich’s historic pageantry and a key feature of city tradition to this day.

Also in the keep is the Prison Stories display - find out about the Castle’s 500 years as a prison.

New Displays: Making Norman Connections

Find out more about Norwich Castle's Norman origins. On the Keep main floor see new arms and armour interpretation, a fabulous new throne area and a refurbishment of the popular keep model alongside a computerised reconstruction. Experience vibrant replica Norman interiors in the original chapel space and Bigod Tower entrance on the keep balcony. A wonderful array of medieval objects, including loans from the British Museum, are also on show.

Norman Connections is a partnership project linking Norwich Castle with Norman heritage sites in England and Normandy, France. Professionals at Norwich, Colchester, Rochester, Hastings, Caen and Falaise castles, the Bayeux Tapestry Museum and Calvados Tourism are working together to explore their shared Norman past. Norman Connections has been selected under the European cross-border cooperation programme Interreg IV A France (Channel) – England, co-funded by the ERDF.

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The watercolour gallery is amazing, the colours are so fresh. For someone living in Manchester I did not realise what an extensive collection of pictures you have.