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The Novium Museum

  • The Novium

Opened in 2012, The Novium Museum is Chichester’s award-winning museum. Built over the remains of a Roman bathhouse with three floors of fantastic exhibitions, The Novium Museum tells the fascinating story of Chichester District and its rich heritage. It looks after 500,000 artefacts, both on display and in its store.

The museum is free for people to visit, and is located in Tower Street, off West Street, a short walk from the Cathedral and just opposite Chichester Library.

The remains of the Roman baths fill much of the ground floor gallery, with an audio visual film showing you how they were built and used in Roman times. The bath house would have been used as a meeting place, to engage in leisure activities and perhaps also to talk business. It would have been an active and noisy place, full of chatter and gossip, where games might be played, books read and beauty treatments enjoyed.

Throughout the year, residents and visitors can enjoy a wide variety of permanent, temporary and travelling exhibitions at the museum. The team also organises numerous activities including a mixture of bookable and drop in events plus talks, the annual Roman Week during the May half term, finds identification sessions, Father Christmas and lots more.

You can enjoy coffee and cake while taking in the remains of the Roman bathhouse and the museum shop offers a wide range of exhibition related gifts, toys and books.

The museum has won a number of awards including:

  • 2016: Bronze Award - Small Visitor Attraction of the Year at the Beautiful South Awards for Excellence.
  • 2017:Best Temporary or Touring Exhibition at the national Museum and Heritage Awards for Excellence for the innovative Tim Peake: An Extraordinary Journey exhibition.
  • 2018: Bronze Award - Tourism Event of the Year at the Beautiful South Awards for Excellence for Chichester Roman Week.

There is an award winning schools programme, including engaging workshops, outreach visits and popular sleepover events. The team has won national awards for the high quality of its education services and facilities. Each year it also organises a popular creative writing competition for schoolchildren.

As well as the main museum building, it also runs The Guildhall, situated in the beautiful grounds of Priory Park. During its 700 history, the Grade 1 Listed building has undergone various reincarnations from its origins as a Franciscan Friary, to a venue where politicians were elected. The Guildhall is now licensed for weddings and hosts a variety of events throughout the year.