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New escape room invites people into the very depths of Norwich museum

PUBLISHED: 09:33 31 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:33 31 May 2018

The Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell is turning its undercroft into an escape room game.
Laura Baldwin in the undercroft enjoying the escape game.
Picture: Nick Butcher

The Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell is turning its undercroft into an escape room game. Laura Baldwin in the undercroft enjoying the escape game. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

For many years, the depths of one of Norwich's museums was used to keep prisoners locked away with no escape.

The Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell is turning its undercroft into an escape room game.
Aladair Willett from History Mystery Games in the undercroft.
Picture: Nick ButcherThe Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell is turning its undercroft into an escape room game. Aladair Willett from History Mystery Games in the undercroft. Picture: Nick Butcher

Now though, escape is very much going to be the focus of the undercroft of the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell - though it is unlikely to be easy.

The museum has formed a partnership with interactive gaming company History Mystery to use parts of the 14th Century undercroft as escape rooms.

A concept ever-growing in popularity, an escape room is a game that sees teams locked in a room and tasked with following a series of clues to make their escape - before time runs out.

However, while other escape rooms may look further afield for their clues, this particular game will delve into the industrial history of Norwich, basing its secrets on artefacts in the museum’s collections.

The Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell is turning its undercroft into an escape room game.
Ben Leach and James Jordan trying the game.
Picture: Nick ButcherThe Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell is turning its undercroft into an escape room game. Ben Leach and James Jordan trying the game. Picture: Nick Butcher

The game will be called The Merchants’ Vault and sets teams of between two and eight back in time, with the challenge of using knowledge of Norwich history to work their way through four rooms to get back to the present.

Jenny Caynes, curator at the museum, said: “It has been a fascinating experience advising on aspects of our collection and seeing how the team at History Mystery have used these to create inventive story lines and brain-teasing puzzles.

“This is a first for Norfolk Museums Services, opening up exciting new commercial opportunities while enabling members of the public to see spaces which are not routinely accessible.”

Alasdair Willett, managing director of History Mystery, said: “We’ve already developed very successful games in heritage settings at the Guilldhall and at Blickling Church.

The Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell is turning its undercroft into an escape room game.
Laura Baldwin in the undercroft enjoying the escape game.
Picture: Nick ButcherThe Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell is turning its undercroft into an escape room game. Laura Baldwin in the undercroft enjoying the escape game. Picture: Nick Butcher

“It’s a logical next step to work with Norfolk Museums Service to develop new games based on their fascinating collections.”

Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee added: “Our museums service prides itself on its innovative approach and this is a welcome example of our staff’s entrepreneurial spirit.”

Bookings to play open on Friday, June 1, with the game launching the following Friday - June 8.

To book a slot, visit historymysterygame.com or by ring 01603 327515.



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