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The Last Voyage of the Gloucester: Norfolk’s Royal Shipwreck, 1682

25 February – 10 September 2023

Visit this exhibition during our normal opening hours

Opening times


This exhibition is included with the general admission price

Admission prices

Where we are

Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Castle Hill, Norwich, NR1 3JU

How to get here

On 6 May 1682, a warship carrying the future King of England and Scotland ran aground in heavy seas off the coast of Great Yarmouth. Within an hour the vessel sank, causing many lives to be lost, and for over 300 years, the wreck and its contents lay buried on the seabed.

Now, this major exhibition will explore the ship’s dramatic discovery by brothers Julian and Lincoln Barnwell, and display for the first time some of the fascinating objects recovered from the wrecksite. Most striking is the bell – that confirmed the ship’s identity − which will be on show alongside beautifully preserved personal effects, that tell stories of the passengers and crew, and of life on board the ship.

Witness the argument that led to the ship running aground and decide who you think was to blame. Learn about the finding of the Gloucester and about the ongoing historical, scientific, and archaeological research into the wreck and its importance.

Selection of rescued wine bottles © UEA

A royal shipwreck

James Stuart, Duke of York and Albany survived the ship’s sinking to become King James II and VII in 1685. The Gloucester represents an important ‘almost’ moment in British political history: a royal shipwreck causing the very near-death of the Catholic heir to the Protestant throne at a time of great political and religious tension. Alongside the wreck finds our exhibition will include a series of key loans from the UK and Holland - paintings, manuscripts and navigational instruments, to enrich visitors’ understanding of the historical context.


We are expecting this exhibition to be very popular and recommend you book your tickets in advance using the links below: 

Book tickets up to and including 31 March 2023

Book tickets from 1 April – 10 September 2023

Selection of items rescued from the Gloucester wreck, including navigational instruments © UEA

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UEA events programme

Exhibition curators, and experts in the field, will explore the Gloucester’s stories as they are told through music and drinking, literature and history, art and textiles

Norfolk's Mary Rose

Read more about the fascinating discovery of The Gloucester on the UEA website

The Gloucester Project

Find out more about the research project to document the history of The Gloucester at

This exhibition has been created in partnership with UEA. The objects rescued from The Gloucester wrecksite appear in this exhibition with the kind permission of the Ministry of Defence and Norfolk Historic Shipwrecks.