British Museum director praises plans for £13m transformation of Norwich Castle’s keep

Norwich Castle. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Norwich Castle. Picture: Sonya Duncan


The director of the British Museum has praised plans for a £13m transformation of Norwich Castle’s historic keep.

The Gateway to Medieval England project will see the 900-year-old castle’s keep re-imagined as it was in its heyday, as a palace for Norman kings.

Permission for the work to go ahead was granted in November last year and the National Lottery Fund announced it would contribute £9.2m towards the project.

The transformation will also see the creation of a medieval gallery, in association with the British Museum, along with changes to access and new lifts.

British Museum director Hartwig Fischer praised the hard work of those who have been involved in the project so far.

He said: “I think it is absolutely fantastic when colleagues can achieve planning this, getting the funding, twisting arms and making people enthusiastic about it.

“That in itself is a fantastic success for a key monument of the country and the British Museum is very happy to be part of this by adding to the medieval gallery.”

The gallery, which will feature objects from the British Museum and the castle’s unique collections, aims to give an insight into East Anglia in the medieval world, from the Norman Conquest to the Reformation in the early 16th century.

In November the castle secured a further £210,000 in funding, which will pay for a major refurbishment of the public areas at the castle, including the Rotunda.

The main toilets will get a first upgrade in 20 years and a movable Early Years gallery will be created.

The money came from the WREN Flagship Project Scheme, which awards grants from money donated by waste company FCC Environment.

Work on the Grade I listed building could begin this summer.

Museum bosses have pledged the castle will remain open during the work, with the revamp being done in stages.

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