Built by the Normans in the 11th century, Norwich Castle was designed to be a royal palace.
While it never served its original purpose, in the thousand years since its construction the castle has been used variously as a military fort, a county jail and, most recently, a museum. Today, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery is home to collections of fine art, archaeology and natural history, as well as touring exhibitions from national galleries.
In 2015, the Museum & Art Gallery ran a highly successful Art Happens crowdfunding campaign to re-gild the frame of one of their rarest and most famous paintings, The Paston Treasure.
As the principal museum in Norfolk, Norwich Castle houses the world's greatest collections of Norwich silver, Lowestoft porcelain and work by the Norwich School of artists. The museum's Anglo-Saxon and Viking exhibits, which include a gallery and a reconstruction of an Anglo-Saxon grave site, are accompanied by displays ranging from Egyptian tombs to contemporary design.
One of the highlights of the collection is The Paston Treasure, commissioned by Sir Robert Paston in the mid 1670s. It was likely painted by a Dutch artist visiting the family home at Oxnead Hall and depicts objects from their incredible collection. The wooden frame of the painting was spectacularly regilded in 2015 thanks to a campaign hosted on the Art Fund's crowdfunding platform, Art Happens.