Gateway to Medieval England

Gateway to Medieval England is a four-year project that will reinstate the Norman floors and rooms in the Keep.

New displays and activities will immerse visitors in the sights and sounds of Norwich Castle Keep during its heyday as a Norman royal palace.

The project will open up the Keep from basement to battlements. The lavishly-decorated rooms that King Henry I would have seen on his visit to the Castle in 1121 will be recreated, transforming visitors’ understanding and experience of the Norman Keep. The result will bring to life one of Europe’s most important 12th century buildings right in the heart of Norwich.

Latest news:

Norfolk Museums Service has secured £9.2 million from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Norwich Castle: Gateway to Medieval England project.

This announcement includes an initial development grant of £462,400 approved by HLF in May 2016. Made possible by National Lottery players this latest major grant, combined with £3,593,500 raised from other public and private sources, will enable the multi-million pound plan to transform Norwich Castle’s iconic Keep to go ahead, subject to formal planning consent.

If the plans are approved, the work to make Norwich Castle one of the region’s premier heritage attractions can begin in earnest, with building work scheduled to commence in early Summer 2019 and the transformed Keep due to re-open in 2020.

The project aims to re-present the historic Keep as it appeared during its heyday under the great Norman kings. The plans include re-instating the original Norman floor level in the Keep, making all five levels of the Keep accessible for the first time; the development of a new medieval gallery, designed in partnership with the British Museum, that will showcase national medieval treasures alongside objects from Norfolk’s own internationally-significant collections; creating new visitor and school entrances; the development of new visitor facilities such as the café and shop and the creation of digital and learning spaces.

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n addition to the National Lottery, the project has been supported through significant grants from a number of key funders including: Arts Council England, Charles Littlewood Hill Trust, East Anglia Art Fund, The Educational Foundation of Alderman John Norman, Friends of the Norwich Museums, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Geoffrey Watling Charity, John Jarrold Trust, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, Norwich Freeman’s Charity and the Paul Bassham Charitable Trust, as well as other funders who wish to remain anonymous. The Computer Service Centre and Expert Print Management have supported the project through the corporate appeal as a Corporate Benefactor and Corporate Member respectively.

The British Museum has been a lead partner through its role in developing proposals for the new medieval gallery. An Academic Advisory Board of distinguished specialists has been extremely generous with their time and expertise. The University of East Anglia has also provided expert advice and has recently become the project’s formal Academic Partner.

The project has also benefited from the invaluable support of English Heritage, HM Treasury, Historic England, Norfolk County Council, Norfolk Record Office, Norwich Access Group, Norwich BID, Norwich Cathedral, Norwich City Council, Norwich Heritage Alliance, The Norwich Society, and University of Leicester.

The project has attracted significant support from the public who have taken time to provide feedback through numerous focus groups and consultations and have donated £22,500 to the Keep Giving campaign, including £9,000 raised through the project’s Adopt an Object scheme.


  • Read the full press release
    • Lottery Funded
    • Norfolk County Council
    • Norwich County Council