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“It’s just one more reason to be proud of Norwich” - Stephen Fry speaks of why Norwich Castle is so special as it launches fundraising campaign

PUBLISHED: 12:13 09 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:11 14 September 2017

Stephen Fry, who has endorsed the Castle Keep campaign. Pic: Norwich Castle.

Stephen Fry, who has endorsed the Castle Keep campaign. Pic: Norwich Castle.

Archant

As Norwich Castle embarks on a £50,000 campaign to help fund a major transformation of the keep, actor and presenter Stephen Fry has spoken of why the historic city landmark is so special.

Norwich Castle. Photo: Nick ButcherNorwich Castle. Photo: Nick Butcher

Mr Fry, a regular visitor to the castle, is the first patron of the £13.5m Norwich Castle: Gateway to Medieval England project which aims to reimagine the castle’s keep as it was in its royal palace heyday.

“Norwich Castle looms over my memory much as it looms over the city of Norwich – grand, imposing, amazingly pristine, but a friendly landmark too – something that brings a smile and a sense of assurance and welcome familiarity,” said Mr Fry.

“There is nothing wrong with citizens feeling a little pride in how important a city Norwich has been over the years. But the Castle and its stupendous keep, while great to explore as heritage are so much more than that.

“Many local people seem to be unaware that Norwich Castle houses one of the great museums in the land. I used to spend hours there – goggling with wonder at not only the ancient and medieval artefacts, but at paintings, costume, and a most scintillating array of precious and decorative objects that made me positively drool over the glass cases. It’s just one more reason to be proud of Norwich...”

An artist's impression of the Castle Keep with the reinstated Norman layout. Image: supplied by Norwich Castle.An artist's impression of the Castle Keep with the reinstated Norman layout. Image: supplied by Norwich Castle.

The castle is considered to be one of the most important medieval castles in Europe.

Originally a royal place, then a county jail, and now a museum, its origins can be traced to 1067 and Henry I stayed there for Christmas 1121.

Now the £13.5m Gateway to Medieval England project aims to reimagine the castle’s keep as it was at the time of Henry I, providing visitors with a truly medieval experience and ensuring the castle is seen as a world class attraction.

More than 90pc of the money has been raised, including £9.2m from Heritage Lottery Fund, and the public now are being urged to support a £50,000 Keep Giving appeal.

Dr John Davies, project director for Norwich Castle keep project. Picture : ANTONY KELLYDr John Davies, project director for Norwich Castle keep project. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

At the heart of the project - expected to be completed by 2020 - is the reinstatement of the keep’s main Norman floor and great hall.

There will also be a medieval gallery in partnership with the British Museum and exciting plans for the castle’s battlements and basement.

For more about the vision for the Norwich Castle: Gateway to Medieval England project click here



How you can donate to Keep Giving and support the Norwich Castle: Gateway to Medieval England Project

Castel Museum Keep Giving appeal.
Lee Warden, Esther Morgan, James Lumbard, Esther Morgan, Harry Fowler, Liz Elmore, Susie Childerhouse.Castel Museum Keep Giving appeal. Lee Warden, Esther Morgan, James Lumbard, Esther Morgan, Harry Fowler, Liz Elmore, Susie Childerhouse.

Donate in person: Via donation boxes in the castle

Donate by text: Text Keep17 and your donation amount to 70070

Donate online: Click here

Donate by post: Send a cheque payable to Norfolk Museums Development Foundation to Keep Giving, Shirehall, Market Avenue, Norwich NR1 3JQ

For more about the Keep Giving campaign click here

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