See how Norwich Castle's keep is being transformed

The continuing work on the inside of the Norwich Castle keep, where the extra four floors will be pu

The continuing work on the inside of the Norwich Castle keep, where the extra four floors will be put in place. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

These photographs provide a fascinating glimpse into how Norwich Castle is being transformed - to recreate when the iconic building was a royal palace.

The beloved museum - and its Norman keep - are in the midst of the major £13.5m National Lottery Heritage-funded Royal Palace Reborn project.

The basement of the Norwich Castle keep where the first floor will be slightly raised from the origi

The basement of the Norwich Castle keep where the first floor will be slightly raised from the original, above the walls which can be seen. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The 900-year-old keep's medieval floors and rooms will be rebuilt to reflect how it would have looked in Norman times.

Norwich Castle: Gateway to Medieval England project.Pictured is the visualisation of the recreated

A visualisation of how the recreated Great Hall in Norwich Castle's keep would look. - Credit: Haley Sharpe Design

And as the pictures, by our photographer Denise Bradley, show, the keep already looks very different from when the public last walked within its walls.

The view of Norwich Castle Keep from the Fighting Gallery, which is open to the public on the Fighti

How the keep used to look. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Gone is the wooden floor, trodden on by generations of visitors.

The continuing work on the inside of the Norwich Castle keep, where the extra four floors will be pu

The continuing work on the inside of the Norwich Castle keep, where the extra four floors will be put in place. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

And, higher up, the wooden balcony, which had been in place since Victorian times, has been carefully removed.

The mark of the staircase on the wall of the keep where the mezzanine floor has been removed during

The mark of the staircase on the wall of the keep where the mezzanine floor has been removed during work on Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Before new floors are put in place, it means the keep can be seen at its full height for the first time in more than a century.

The basement of the Norwich Castle keep where the first floor will be slightly raised from the origi

The basement of the Norwich Castle keep where the first floor will be slightly raised from the original, above the walls which can be seen. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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Hannah Jackson, Norwich Castle: Royal Palace Reborn project manager for Norfolk Museums Service, said: "It's a sight which nobody has seen for 130 years - since the 1890s, when the building was changed from a prison to a museum.

"That was the last time you could see the full height of the keep."

The continuing work on the inside of the Norwich Castle keep, where the extra four floors will be pu

The continuing work on the inside of the Norwich Castle keep, where the extra four floors will be put in place. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

One familiar sight, however, is the well, where generations of children made wishes while dropping pennies. It can be seen poking through metal bars, with its shaft carefully wrapped for protection as work continues around it.

The well in the centre of the Norwich Castle keep is wrapped and protected as the work goes on aroun

The well in the centre of the Norwich Castle keep is wrapped and protected as the work goes on around it. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

But the revamp work goes beyond only the keep. The building which once housed the castle's cafe is gone - to make way for a new structure which will house fully accessible toilets.

The new toilet block by the rotunda under construction in Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The new toilet block by the rotunda under construction in Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The front desk has been removed, as has the staircase which used to lead up to the keep behind it.

The former visitors entrance to Norwich Castle where the stairway will be moved round to the left wa

The former visitors entrance to Norwich Castle where the stairway will be moved round to the left wall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

And the corridor which used to take visitors from the entrance into the rotunda is gone.

New shops, a cafe/restaurant and an educational space are taking shape to the right, but on the left new views of the exterior of the keep have been opened up. They will be retained when a glass-roofed atrium is created.

The former corridor from the visitors entrance to the rotunda at Norwich Castle, which has now been

The former corridor from the visitors entrance to the rotunda at Norwich Castle, which has now been opened up and will have a glass roof so the flint wall and keep will be on view. The work to the right will be a shop, cafe and educational space. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Construction company Morgan Sindall has also tunnelled through a three-metre thick wall to create a new north west entrance to the keep - making it accessible from ground level.

A new entrance to Norwich Castle keep which took 12 weeks to cut through the three metre thick wall.

A new entrance to Norwich Castle keep which took 12 weeks to cut through the three metre thick wall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

When the project is complete - in 2023 - nationally important medieval treasures will go on show in a new gallery in partnership with the British Museum.

One of the walls which have been cut to make wider access, showing the wall from 250 years ago on th

One of the walls which have been cut to make wider access, showing the wall from 250 years ago on the right, and the added on wall from the Victorian times, 150 years ago on the left. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

And high on the battlements a new fully accessible walkway will give panoramic views across the city - and people will be free to head up whenever they want, rather than having to book a guided tour.

Visualisation of the new Norwich Castle Keep roof viewing platform. Pic: Feilden + Mawson.

Visualisation of the new Norwich Castle Keep roof viewing platform. - Credit: Feilden + Mawson

The huge tower crane on the castle's mound is required to take material in and out of the Grade I listed building, due to weight restrictions on the bridge over the Castle Gardens.

Norwich Castle shown from above after being commissioned by Falcon Tower Crane Services Ltd

A £13.5m project is transforming Norwich Castle. - Credit: Norwich Castle

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