Your chance to adopt Snap the dragon, medieval armour and more to support Norwich Castle keep campaign
PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 September 2017 | UPDATED: 13:49 19 September 2017
Archant © 2017
People are being given the chance to snap up Norwich’s historic dragon as well as medieval swords and armour as part of a new adopt an object scheme being launched today to support the transformation of Norwich Castle keep.
The Keep Adopting scheme is part of the wider Keep Giving appeal to raise £50,000 for the ambitious £13.5m Norwich Castle: Gateway to Medieval England project that aims to reimagine the castle’s keep as it was in its royal palace heyday, including recreating the keep’s main Norman floor and great hall.
Keep Adopting gives people the chance to play a part in this important project for one of the city’s greatest landmarks and have their own special link with a treasure from the past.
About 30 objects can be adopted and many will be on display in a new medieval gallery which will be created in the keep in partnership with the British Museum.
Actor and presenter Stephen Fry, a patron of Gateway to Medieval England, has become the first person to adopt an object, and he chose the Bigod Arch which was the original entrance to the Norman Keep.
Also on the list is the 18th century Snap dragon currently on display in the keep and which was paraded through Norwich’s streets as part of a tradition going back more than 500 years. Other items include everything from a precious gold ring to a medieval knight’s helmet.
Prices to adopt vary, and some objects can be adopted by just one person or group while others can be adopted by a number of different people. All adopters receive an adoption certificate and benefits including a free ticket to visit their object, an invitation to a castle event and more.
Angela Riley, Gateway to Medieval England project manager, said: “There are so many fascinating objects to choose from, and with different levels of adoption from £25 to £1,000 there are options for every budget.
“We think adopting an object would make a lovely gift to mark a birthday or special occasion and for real history buffs the higher levels provide a one-off chance to get involved in the conservation and display of a special piece of history.
“The aim of the whole Keep Giving campaign is to provide people with a sense of ownership in the Gateway to Medieval England project – by adopting one of our objects we hope people build a very special relationship with us and follow progress of the project through to its completion in 2020.”
For more about Keep Adopting, visit www.adoptanobject.co.uk
Some of the objects that you can adopt
• Fastolf Sword (adoption price £25): a sword believed to be associated with local knight Sir John Fastolf who died in 1459.
• Helmingham Breviary Manuscript (£150): an ecclesiastical masterpiece thought to have been used at St Leonard’s Priory, at Mousehold Heath, from 1420
• Snap Dragon (£1,000): a Snap Dragon costume used in festivities in the 1700s and 1800s.
• Oyster Shell Red Palette (£30): during medieval times oyster shells were used as paint palettes and this was found during excavations at The Forum.
• Bascinet (£25): a steel helmet dating back to the 1400s and found at Mousehold Heath.
• Medieval Altar Piece (£500): a 500-year-old carved wooden panel featuring the Virgin Mary and Christ Child.
• Gold and Garnet Ring (£50): thought be 13th century and found during keep excavations in 1986.
• Matlaske Reliquary Pendant (£500): a historic gold crucifix found in Matlaske.
• Spearhead (£100): a medieval spearhead found in Little Ellingham.
• Pole Axe (£25):a steel weapon dating from 1470.
The wider Gateway to Medieval England project and other ways you can donate to Keep Giving
The £13.5m Gateway to Medieval England project aims to reimagine the castle’s keep as it was in its royal palace heyday at the time of Henry I, providing visitors with a truly medieval experience.
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. More than £3,000 has been raised since Keep Giving was launched earlier this month.
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.
Ways you can donate to Keep Giving include: via donation boxes in the castle’ by texting Keep17 and your donation amount to 70070; by visiting www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/norfolkmuseumsdevelopment/keepgiving; and by sending a cheque payable to Norfolk Museums Development Foundation to Keep Giving, Shirehall, Market Avenue, Norwich NR1 3JQ.