Stephen Seekings handles a replica of a wine bottle from the Gloucester at Norwich Castle Museum

Vision Impaired History Lovers Get Hands-On With Artefacts From Norfolk’s Royal Shipwreck

A group of 18 vision impaired history lovers were given a special hands-on introduction to Norfolk’s royal shipwreck when they received a special sensory experience at Norwich Castle Museum’s ‘The Last Voyage of Gloucester’ exhibition.

Sight loss charity Vision Norfolk’s Heritage Group was invited to a special session where they were able to handle accurate replica items from the shipwreck, as well as trying replica costumes for size.

Curator Bethan Holdridge introduced the group to a variety of artefacts from the Gloucester, which foundered off the coast of Norfolk in 1682, and which was rediscovered in 2007 by Norfolk brothers Julian and Lincoln Barnwell.  The ship was carrying the Duke of York (the future King James II) on a voyage to Edinburgh.

“We are really grateful to the team at the Castle Museum for putting on this special session and allowing us to handle some of the precious artefacts from the Gloucester,” said Mark Smith, leisure activities co-ordinator at Vision Norfolk.

“The story of the ship and how it was discovered is fascinating, and the session really brought it to life for our vision impaired members.”

Vision Norfolk’s Heritage Group is one of a number of social and leisure activities organised by Vision Norfolk for vision impaired people across the county.  For more details of all the activities organised by the charity, visit, or phone 01603 573000, extension 341.

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