Construction work has begun on the £13.5m National Lottery Heritage Fund supported project to transform Norwich Castle Keep back to its origins as a Norman royal palace.

Morgan Sindall Construction were appointed to recreate the Keep’s original 12th century lay-out and make all five levels – from basement to battlements – fully accessible for the first time in 900 years. The project is one of the largest and most ambitious heritage projects currently underway in the UK.

The key physical changes which the project will deliver are:

  • The recreation of the Norman interior spaces of the Keep through reinstating the original principal floor level.
  • The construction of a unique viewing platform at battlement level which will offer stunning views of medieval and present-day Norwich
  • The installation of a new lift to ensure that all five levels of the Keep are fully accessible for the first time in its history
  • The development of a new medieval gallery to showcase national medieval treasures
  • The creation of dedicated learning spaces, including a multi-sensory area for our Early Years audiences
  • The creation of new visitor and school entrances including a glass atrium which will afford, for the first time in fifty years, clear views of the Keep’s beautiful East façade and Bigod Tower, from inside the Museum
  • The development of new visitor facilities including a new café overlooking the atrium with an internal glass bridge into the Keep, and a new shop
  • Upgraded toilets (including a Changing Places facility)

The use of innovative projection and digital technology will compliment these new physical changes.

Newly-exposed Norman archaeology and architecture will tell untold stories of the Castle’s fascinating past while the British Museum Medieval Gallery will exhibit fascinating objects that will enable visitors to explore the lives and stories of people from the wider medieval period and Norwich’s significance within it.

Cllr. Margaret Dewsbury cabinet member for communities and partnerships at Norfolk County Council said: “This is one of the most exciting times in the 900-year history of the castle. We’re so pleased to announce that the construction project has begun.

After such a testing time nationally and locally over the past few months, the Norwich Castle: Royal Palace Reborn project is a cause for optimism and is a major investment in the future of the city and the county.’’

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