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Where land and water meet: Norfolk’s rivers, streams, brooks and broads


30 March 2020 - 17 January 2021


Free with admission price. 


Disabled visitors / Blue Badge parking / Parking / Dogs / Multi-sensory / Virtual tours / Audio enscribed / Braille / Staff on hand 

Opening times

Mon  Sat: 10am – 4.30pm
Sun: 1 – 4.30pm

Norfolk’s extensive network of waterways have always been a characteristic feature of our region. Important for trade, transport and industry in the past, they are now a major tourist destination as well as a haven for wildlife. Norfolk’s waterways have also been the setting for sporting activities such as duck shooting and ‘water frolics’, or regattas which have taken place at Wroxham, Thorpe and Great Yarmouth since the early nineteenth century.

Over the years, generations of artists have captured many different aspects of Norfolk’s Broads and rivers. The artworks featured in this exhibition show some of the ways in which our waterways have been depicted by talented artists often working en plein air, or ‘on the spot’. Some of the artworks testify to the rivers’ importance as arteries for the transport of goods and people, for fishing and other industries, and for supplying the energy that powered mills. Also included are drawings and watercolours which focus on how the rivers Yare and Wensum impacted on the architecture of Norwich, whilst others emphasise our waterways as sites of leisure and as homes to diverse species of flora and fauna. Some of the works are topographically accurate, whereas others are atmospheric renderings of romantic landscapes and ruins.

Looking at these drawings and watercolours now, we can see how drastically Norwich and Norfolk have changed – architecturally, physically and environmentally – over the last two centuries. Thankfully, many of our waterways and associated buildings are now protected by a variety of cultural and environmental agencies and institutions, which will help preserve the breath-taking landscape, rare plants, birds and animals, and beloved landmarks so they can be enjoyed by future generations.

All images © Norfolk Museums Service (Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery)

For any enquiries please contact Dr Giorgia Bottinelli, Curator of Historic Art, Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery: