Nelson exhibition helps boost number of visitors to Norwich Castle
- Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017
Norfolk naval hero Admiral Lord Nelson has helped Norwich Castle have one of its most successful summers in recent times.
Huge numbers of people have been flocking to the Nelson and Norfolk exhibition which opened on July 29 and runs until October 1. The castle welcomed an impressive 31,268 visitors in August, compared to 23,545 for the same period in 2016 and 25,088 in August 2015.
With about 1,000 visitors a day coming through the castle's doors last month, the Nelson exhibition has helped the venue have its best August in terms of visitor numbers since the castle reopened in 2001 after an £11.8 million revamp. Nearly 10,000 people have also visited the castle in the first two weeks of September, with the venue potentially looking at attracting more than 50,000 visitors over the course of the whole Nelson exhibition.
Steve Miller, director of Norfolk Museums Service, said: 'The fact our visitor figures for August are the highest we've seen at the castle since the redevelopment in 2001 shows how big a draw Nelson continues to be. The galleries have been packed with visitors absorbed in the wonderful collection of objects which Nelson and Norfolk has brought together.'
The exhibition features more than 160 objects connected to Admiral Lord Nelson, from his childhood in Norfolk to his death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The impressive centrepiece is a huge French Tricolor ensign captured from the French ship Le Généreux by Admiral Lord Nelson's men in 1800. Other amazing artefacts include the musket ball which killed him in the Battle of Trafalgar, the coat and hat he wore during the Battle of the Nile, and a locket believed to possibly hold a lock of his hair alongside a lock of hair from the love of his life, Emma Hamilton.
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Mr Miller paid tribute to those who have lent objects for the exhibition, in particular Royal Museums Greenwich and the Royal Collection, the support of Arts Council England, Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council, and headline sponsors Woodforde's Brewery and Ben Burgess. He added: 'We're delighted that Nelson and Norfolk has had such a great reception – as someone who was keen to establish his own reputation during his lifetime, Nelson himself would have definitely approved!'
Nelson and Norfolk runs until October 1. Visit www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
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