Colchester Castle is undergoing an exciting transformation. The award-winning Museum is due for essential improvements, and will be closing temporarily to visitors from 7th January 2013. The Castle will reopen in spring 2014.
The Castle Museum needs refreshing and updating to ensure it remains a top-class heritage attraction for future generations. When it’s back open, the new-look Museum will tell the 2,000-year story of Colchester in a fresh and exciting new way. You’ll find an interactive hub, a full-size burial reconstruction, audio character stories, video projections, replica objects to handle, and much more.
Redevelopment will also reveal more of the Castle’s historic interior, and make it safer and more watertight. You’ll see improvements to the shop and the toilets; the Castle roof will be insulated, and under-floor heating will boost energy efficiency. A new glass lift will ensure that every part of the Castle is fully accessible.
Between now and the 9th March, the Castle will be stripped of its contents. But before major renovations get underway in April, there are some rare opportunities to see inside the empty Castle building. On 9th March, a craft fair offers demonstrations, workshops and a vast array of goods for sale. Families will enjoy a Medieval day on 1st April, while for grown-ups only there are two Tea and Talk events on 10th and 24th March, and a real ale festival from the 19th until 22nd March. On the 14th, 24th and 29th March, the Castle will be open to all comers for guided tours, when you can marvel at it’s architectural splendour during this unique empty period.
£3.2 million of the total £4.2 million cost of this ambitious project has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The remainder has come from other sources, including the European Regional Development Fund Interreg IVA programme, Norman Connections project.
Keep up with all the latest at www.cimuseums.org.uk/castle
Colchester and Ipswich Museums look forward to welcoming you back across the bridge in spring 2014. – In the meantime the Museum services other venues both in Colchester and Ipswich remain open.