What You Can Find In Norwich Castle is a whole host of history from the era of the Norman Kings right up until the present day.

Visitors to Norwich Castle (or ‘keep’ in about 1200) would first have to pass through a large gateway near the Eastern Counties Newspaper building, where they would have found themselves inside a large horseshoe shaped area called the bailey, which was protected by a bank and ditch.

There would also have been a drawbridge protecting the raised earthworks, called the motte. All around would have been a dry ditch, the earth having been used to create the mound. Most of the ditch has been filled in except for one section where visitors can still walk today in the Castle Gardens.

The entrance to the keep was in the Bigod tower which visitors can also walk around.

In the early days all the living quarters were on this floor.

The battlements the visitor sees today, though, are not the original ones, they were removed in 1700.

The original well is still visible, so it is possible to get a feel for the overall construction and just what hell it must have been for prisoners consigned to the dungeons below.

Just look down the full 40m depth of the well which is on display, and from which the soldiers pulled up buckets of water.


Experience The Dungeons

Visitors can join in one of the daily tours of the Dungeons.

The last three of the dungeons it is possible to visit today were underneath the gatehouse built at the top of the bridge and were part of its structure. Visitors can take the spiral staircase down to the Prisoners’ Tunnel and discover Norwich Castle’s life as the County Gaol.

What you can find in Norwich Castle dungeons is truly shocking, even by today’s standards.

As you descend into the dungeons you can examine instruments of torture such as the scold’s bridle, the gibbet iron and the ducking stool.

Plaster cast heads of real-life, executed criminals are also on display.

Artefacts in the Castle museum itself are well curated and eclectic in style which is why it is such a popular day out for all the family as there is something for everyone.

What you can find in Norwich Castle ranges from pretty objects in the Anglo-Saxon & Viking gallery, like a gold seal matrix from 648 that bears the personal seal of Queen Bathild; a picture in the Art collection by Thomas Starling dated 1705 of Queen Anne, portrayed by BAFTA winning actress, Olivia Coleman, in the film “The Favourite”; sketches made in 1736 of Henry VIII and his son who succeeded him, Edward VI, by George Vertue; traditional watercolour paintings of the Norfolk coastline; to modern art, such as “January 1973”, a screen-print by Patrick Heron.

Admire delicate French, 19th century ceramics, constructed from clay and woven like a basket. Move on to the Natural History collection to see the winter wildlife such as arctic polar bears and penguins.

Or climb the 62 steps of the Norman staircase and enjoy uninterrupted views of Norwich together with its famous landmarks.

See the sites associated with Robert Kett’s 16th century rebellion, fighting for the poor, that ended with him being hanged from the castle’s battlements until he died of hunger and cold.

Full of mystery, history, beauty and cruelty, Norwich Castle is one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in the whole of Europe, while Norwich itself is one of the most complete medieval cities in Europe. What you can find in Norwich castle enables you to experience the best of both these worlds.