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About The Novium museum

About Us

Opened in 2012, our spectacular museum has been built over the remains of a Roman bathhouse and has three floors of exhibitions and activities. Located opposite the library in Tower Street, central Chichester, it offers free admission to everyone.

The museum has won two 2013 Civic Trust Awards, recognising the very best in architecture, design, planning, landscape and public art. In 2014 it also won the South East National Royal Institute of British Architects Award for architectural excellence.

In 2017, The Novium Museum won the coveted title of 'Best Temporary or Touring Exhibition' at the national Museum and Heritage Awards for Excellence for our innovative Tim Peake: An Extraordinary Journey exhibition. Regarded as the Oscars of the museum world, The Novium Museum took the title from the V&A Museum in London, who won the award in 2016 for the highly regarded Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition.

The museum runs a very popular schools programme, including engaging workshops and outreach visits. Chichester District museum staff have even been presented with the prestigious Sandford Award for Heritage Education at a ceremony at the House of Commons in 2011. The award was granted in recognition of excellent educational services and facilities.

We also have responsibility for 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.

Moving the Museum

Many Chichester residents have fond memories of the 18th-century disused corn store in Little London, where the museum was previously situated. The new museum provides an improved service for local and international visitors and better presents the rich heritage of the Chichester District.

Here are a few new aspects The Novium provides:

  • displaying Chichester's Roman bath house remains which have been hidden until now
  • greater number of objects out on display
  • humidity controlled display cases allowing fragile metal work to be displayed for the first time
  • atmospherically monitored environment to help preserve the archaeological remains
  • accessible toilets for wheelchair users
  • large lift enabling access to all floors
  • new social history store room with professional museum standard storage facilities
  • dedicated learning room for educational activities and events
  • publicly accessible library of books, maps and journals

Since moving to the new building the museum has achieved accredited museum status which is a nationally recognised standard of excellence within the museum sector.

Visitor Comments

We went as a family to The Novium to see Tim Peake's exhibition & we weren't disappointed! Straight to the top floor where there were talks & activities being shown by real live space engineers! The kids were gripped from the minute we got in! We thought we wouldn't be there for long but 2 hours later, we left for a drink & bag of crisps! We are all hooked now! We also went and had a look around The Novium and that was just as interesting! The kids made a roman palace, although I'm not sure the ladies chambers should be that close to the latrines! An all round excellent afternoon! - January 2017
Took 3 generations of my family there and was pleased to find something to spark the interest of everyone. My kids (14 and 6) liked the Tim Peake exhibition and my 6yr old particularly enjoyed the talk on how they turn wee into water in space. My parents particularly enjoyed the exhibits that directly related to the history of Chichester. Free entry too, that's always a bonus!! - January 2017

Family day out with two boys aged 9 and 6. Both loved it especially the 9 year old who was stimulated for at least a couple of hours. Lovely venue in a lovely city, great day out - January 2017

Fascinating museum in the centre of Chichester - good Tim Peake exhibition - informative and interesting. Learnt lots about the development and history of Chichester and the local area - will bring the grandchildren - good educational facets Charming staff and very clean toilets And all of free!! - January 2017
As town museums go, this has to be one of the best. Lots of local history but told against world events so you get a real context of time and place. Set in a modern building the museum is very well laid out and a far cry from the motley collection of old junk you get at some other places. Plenty of things to push,pull, try on and has a tremendous research area. Fantastic place if you've got kids and great fun if you haven't. Recommend a visit if you are in Chichester. It's free aswell. - October 2016
This is quite a small museum but gives a fascinating insight into the history of Chichester from pre-history, through Roman, Saxon and Norman invasions right up to modern times. A few hours well spent - especially as it is free to enter. - September 2016
Lots of very interesting artifacts and exhibits. Plus many hands-on things for children to do. Sited over a Roman baths the excavation of which can be seen adjacent to the coffee and gift shop - August 2016

The exhibits in this museum are really interesting and informative! They cover displays from the bronze age, roman period as well as articles from the second world war and other old artefacts such as old games, musical instruments and a gramophone, to name just a few. The first part of the museum shows the excavation of a roman bathhouse, with associated information panels and there are also parts of a roman mosaic on the walls. Considering that this is quite a small museum, which is also free, I was really impressed. - August 2016