Norfolk’s Excalibur, a Bollock Dagger and an ear scoop: How adopting artefacts is boosting £13.5m Norwich Castle revamp bid

The Keep Giving campaign at Norwich Castle, encouraging people to Adopt an Object from the castle ke

The Keep Giving campaign at Norwich Castle, encouraging people to Adopt an Object from the castle keep. Jeremy Clarke, director Computer Service Centre, with Snap the Dragon, who he has adopted. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

An 'ear scoop' which may date back to Roman times, an Excalibur-esqe sword pulled out of the River Yare and a medieval Bollock Dagger - those are among objects people are 'adopting' to boost the transformation of Norwich Castle.

The Keep Giving campaign at Norwich Castle, encouraging people to Adopt an Object from the castle ke

The Keep Giving campaign at Norwich Castle, encouraging people to Adopt an Object from the castle keep. The castle keep which will soon be changing from how it looks today. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

The Keep Adopting scheme is part of the Keep Giving appeal to raise £50,000 for the £13.5m Norwich Castle: Gateway to Medieval England project.

That aims to re-imagine the castle's keep as it was in its royal palace heyday, including recreating the keep's main Norman floor and great hall.

Nearly £7,500 has been raised so far and the Keep Adopting scheme has contributed towards that.

Prices to adopt objects through the scheme vary. Some objects can be adopted by just one person or group while others can be adopted by a number of different people.

The Keep Giving campaign at Norwich Castle, encouraging people to Adopt an Object from the castle ke

The Keep Giving campaign at Norwich Castle, encouraging people to Adopt an Object from the castle keep. A statue of St Christopher. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

All adopters receive an adoption certificate and benefits including a free ticket to visit their object, an invitation to a castle event and more.


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Snap was snapped up by Norwich-based Computer Service Centre, while the 'ear scoop', found in Wiveton, has been adopted by St Augustines Street-based Coleman Opticians.

Coleman Opticians director Radley Fenn said his business recently started offering ear syringing - so it seemed appropriate for the company to sponsor an object used hundreds of years ago to scoop out ear wax.

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He said: 'We are regular visitors to the castle and come in all the time. It's nice to get involved and I think once the project is complete, it's going to be great for the city.'

The Keep Giving campaign at Norwich Castle, encouraging people to Adopt an Object from the castle ke

The Keep Giving campaign at Norwich Castle, encouraging people to Adopt an Object from the castle keep. Baptist Alabaster, a painted and gilt plaque. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

The Bollock Dagger, a medieval weapon also known as a kidney dagger, has been adopted by chartered surveyor Sara Cameron, who has also adopted the Falchion Sword, which was recovered from the River Yare.

She said: 'I chose the Falchion Sword as I'd just watched the latest incarnation of the King Arthur legend with Charlie Hunnam and who could resist adopting Norwich's own Excalibur?'

She added there was 'obvious snigger value' to the Bollock Dagger.

And the interest has spread beyond these shores. Ida Falk, from Sweden, has adopted a 15th century pole axe. She wrote to the Castle to say: 'I think you have a really good chance, with this project, to get people interested that have never been in a museum before. I have never even been in Norwich and still I adopted an object.

The Keep Giving campaign at Norwich Castle, encouraging people to Adopt an Object from the castle ke

The Keep Giving campaign at Norwich Castle, encouraging people to Adopt an Object from the castle keep. Dickon Whitwood, research assistant with a steel bascinet. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

'Me and my husband, who adopted a helmet, are planning to come and visit 'our' objects next year.'

A full list of objects is at www.adoptanobject.co.uk

The Keep Giving campaign at Norwich Castle, encouraging people to Adopt an Object from the castle ke

The Keep Giving campaign at Norwich Castle, encouraging people to Adopt an Object from the castle keep. Radley Feen of Coleman Opticians, who has adopted the ear scoop, which was found in 2007 in Wiveton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

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