Architecturally the most ambitious secular Norman building in Europe
Norwich Castle is one of the finest surviving secular Norman buildings in Europe. It was built as a royal palace for William the Conqueror at a time when most buildings were small, wooden structures – the huge stone keep was a symbol of the king's power. The Castle mound (motte) is the largest in the country. From the 14th to the 19th century the keep was used as a county gaol. The Castle was converted into a museum in 1894. Visitors to the Castle can explore the Castle Keep, and discover its history as a Norman palace and as a prison. There are also many galleries packed with treasures from our nationally important collections, from archaeology to fine art, from the ancient Egyptians to natural history.