Video: Queues outside Norwich Castle Museum for first weekend of Roman Empire exhibition

Queue for the first weekend of the 'Roman Empire' exhibition at Norwich Castle. Photo: Bill Smith Queue for the first weekend of the 'Roman Empire' exhibition at Norwich Castle. Photo: Bill Smith

Sunday, February 2, 2014
3:40 PM

A queue stretched outside Norwich Castle Museum this afternoon, as visitors waited to take a tour of the new Roman Empire exhibition.

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Bringing together more than 160 stunning pieces from the British Museum, Roman Empire: Power and People opened its doors to the public yesterday and will be at the museum until April 27.

It explores the story of one of the most powerful empires in the world - and one that visitors admitted being fascinated by.

“I have always had a keen interest in history,” said Andrew Loveday, 27, of Norwich, who was visiting the exhibition.

“But the Romans spanned so many countries and had so many influences. It was really interesting to see the Eygptian influences in this exhibition.”

Maurice and Bridget Woods, of Shipdham, said they enjoy travelling to Rome and were keen to see this exhibition.

“We have always been fascinated by anything ancient,” said Mr Woods, 76.

“We thought this exhibition was really excellent - we had heard so much about it, we couldn’t wait to see it.”

Highlights of the exhibition include a sculpture from the villas of the Emperors Tiberius and Hadrian, coins from the famous Hoxne treasure, beautiful jewellery and near-perfectly preserved children’s clothing from Roman Egypt.

Alongside the exhibition, visitors can see examples of Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service’s own Roman collections, including a rare collection of late Roman glass and pewter vessels and important religious objects from Great Walsingham.

The exhibition, which takes up two rooms in the castle, had been two years in the making and came to Norwich from Bristol.

Some visitors said it was smaller than expected, but generally seemed impressed by the collection - and children huddled around its moving map, which details Roman conquests.

Dr John Davies, chief curator for the Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service, said the exhibition was “A real coup for Norfolk” and expected it to be hugely popular.

“Everyone is excited by the Romans,” he said.

At so it seems. Staff at the castle said it had been a busy weekend, with queues at the front door on both days.

For more information, visit www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk or phone 01603 493625 or 495897.

Have you been to see the Roman Empire exhibition at Norwich Castle Museum? What did you think? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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