Norwich Castle Museum And The Nelson Exhibition!

Norfolk Museum’s Norwich Castle is where I remember going on the majority of my school trips and things haven’t changed much as Florence has already been on her first school outing to this fab museum with, I’m sure, many more trips to come! We also visit quite a bit ourselves because as Norfolk Museum annual pass holders it’s the perfect place just to slip into post shopping for a little bit of respite for the kids.

They’re always happy to visit the Boudica section as well as the Egyptian rooms which contain a mummified woman with a grizzly hand sticking out (I remember her from when i was little too) and with loads of other interesting curios like stuffed animals and hands on buttons to press, it’s the perfect place to let the kids have a bit of a rest when in the City. We’re also rather keen on visiting the keep where we throw coins down the well before moving down a floor to read about all the criminals and see their death masks… Bit grim but fascinating!

This week we were invited to a special brunch held at the museum in honour of the opening for the new Nelson Exhibition which was terribly interesting and had lots of amazing artefacts on display loaned from other museums in lots of cases and depicts Nelson’s life from his boyhood in Norfolk, to his death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The centrepiece of the exhibition is the vast Tricolour Ensign of the French warship Le Généreux, which took part in the Battle of the Nile in 1798. An extremely rare survivor, the flag measures 16m by 8.3m, and has not been on public display for over a century.

Other objects on display include the black velvet drape from Nelson’s funeral car and the monumental portrait of Nelson painted by William Beechey for the City of Norwich, along with loans from the National Maritime Museum, including the coat that Nelson wore at the Battle of the Nile. Nelson & Norfolk is a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition exploring the creation of the Norfolk hero and the commemoration of the man and his legacy.

Now I have to admit that the children weren’t terribly enamoured with the Nelson & Norfolk exhibition, they are only 7 and 5 after all, but they paid great attention to the lady giving us a talk regardless and then were thrilled to be offered to do some more child friendly activities in the keep like making a Nelson hat and other piratey sort of activities.

I love how the Castle and indeed the museums in Norfolk on the whole arrange for activities to keep the little ones entertained and perhaps spark their engagement just a little bit more than otherwise would have been the case meaning they learn that little bit extra too.

We love the Castle Museum, perhaps not as much as some of the others like Time and Tide or our favourite Gressenhall but for a couple of hours this museum is just the ticket with kids. If you’re not a member then it’s worth noting that they allow a cheaper entry (vastly so) at the end of the day and I believe there may be a cheaper ticket if you just go for lunch time but if my memory serves me correctly this is probably in term time only – perfect for a new mum then I’d say!

We however, bought our annual ticket for the whole family for just £85 and for a whole year have bargain price entry to all 11 museums in the group – we don’t think value could be much better than that!

The Norfolk & Nelson exhibition is sponsored by Ben Burgess and Woodforde’s Brewery where they have a special Nelson Ale on sale to celebrate!