Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell
An enchanting and inspiring journey through Norwich’s past
This museum is a real treat. Beautifully composed displays lead you through a series of rooms on two floors that circle the courtyard of this historic building. As well as a clear time-line of the city’s dramatic history you’re introduced to Norwich people of all kinds in displays peppered with insights and anecdotes.
A recent major re-furbishment saw curators able to start from scratch again and they have poured their love, of these collections and the city of Norwich, into this museum. Glorious bolts of Norwich stuffs (cloth), a chocolate enrobing machine, a gleaming pharmacy and drawer-fulls of valentine cards, spices and laced handkerchiefs are all here.
Alongside industry and trade, religion and learning, another strong theme is the difficult lives led by many Norwich people. A room about the building’s history as a Bridewell or prison is harrowing in its detail. Talking head interviews with elderly former residents of Norwich’s famous ‘Yards’ have visitors glued to their seats.
Stunningly displayed collections, engaging audio visual exhibits and, above all, a clear sense of purpose and direction to the layout, make a visit to the Bridewell Museum one to be cherished by locals and visitors alike.
- family activities
- adult learning
- curators are happy to arrange access to items from the collections’ stores. 2 weeks notice is required.
- enjoyable and rewarding volunteering opportunities available
Recommended length of visit: 1.5 to 3 hours
No Events listed at present
Other good things to do nearby:
The Bridewell Museum is in the heart of the Norwich Lanes, which is full of independent shops and cafés. It’s ten minutes walk from Norwich Cathedral and Strangers Hall, and just five minutes from the River Wensum and Norwich’s Riverside Walk, and from the lovely medieval street of Elm Hill.
The Bridewell doesn’t have a café but visitors can picnic in the indoor picnic area or the museum courtyard. It’s also fine to pop out to one of the local cafes and return to the museum later. Mustard Coffee Bar is practically next door to the museum on Bridewell Alley and other good spots nearby are Frank’s Bar, Cinema City’s Bar and Dining Rooms, Expresso, and the historic and wonderful Britons Arms.
Travel and parking
In the centre of Norwich 10 minutes walk from the railway station and 15 minutes walk from the bus station. No parking on site. Nearest paid car park St Andrews, Duke Street. Public transport available, please visit Traveline for full public transport information.
Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 4.30pm
Closed 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January
Child £4.40 4-18
Family Ticket 1 Adult & All Children £14.00
Family Ticket 2 Adults & All Children £18.70
Pop in for a pound one hour before closing
Museums Pass Holders, Friends of Norwich Museums, Carer with a disabled visitor, Under 4s: FREE
Facilities and access
The museum offers excellent accessibility including level access throughout, many places to sit and rest and secure lockers for belongings. There are three lifts to allow access between different levels of this old building, including at the entrance. There are lots of good audio displays and effects to enjoy. Telephone for further details.