Posted by: Haley Sharpe Design Limited
The Haley Sharpe Design team has embarked on an ambitious “Gateway to Medieval England” as Exhibition Designers endeavour to transform the 9 centuries-old Norwich Castle Museum to pristine condition. £8.7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund has been awarded to the Norfolk’s Museum Service for this purpose.
This project is being carried out in collaboration with the British Museum to restore one of the finest Romanesque castles in Western Europe. The Romanesque architecture contained elements from Byzantine and Roman styles and was ubiquitous during the 11th and 12th centuries, characterized by heavy masonry wall construction, rounded arches, the groin vault, narrow openings and the barrel vault. The profusion of arcades and ornamental design embellished these exquisite structures.
The Norwich Castle Museum transferred to this magnificent castle in 1894 whence forth it remained a museum holding the finest artefacts, works of art and miscellaneous archaeological finds and curiosities. The castle occupies an eminent position among the top heritage sites of England. The project will improve the tourist experience by restoring the King’s Chamber, Chapel, the Great Hall, and the Keep.
Via the all-new Medieval Gallery, the Norfolk Museums Service will be afforded the opportunity to display their superb assortment from the epoch augmented by the rarest artefacts obtained on loan from the British Museum.
The Keep will reconstruct the daily life of people who lived between 1066 and 1534, a period marked by innovation and transformation in the Norfolk culture. It will reinstate the bustling ambience of Norwich and Norfolk which were prosperous centres of culture and heritage during the medieval period.
Visitors will behold three main themes in the restored Keep: “those who fight,” “those who work” and “those who pray.” Chroniclers will depict tales of the past era to enable visitors to visualize the medieval society of Norwich for themselves. The Keep is expected to be fully redeveloped and inaugurated in 2020.
The folklore behind the historic castle is most intriguing. The castle was a royal fortification that originally comprised of a mote and bailey built by none other than William the Conqueror between 1066 and 1075 when he wished to consolidate his power in the subjugated domain of East Anglia.
It is rumoured that the castle was built over a Saxon cemetery and is therefore said to be haunted which augments its arcane charm to make it even more alluring for curious visitors.
Hero Image: Visual of the recreated Great Hall on the principal floor of the Keep created by Haley Sharpe Design © hsd