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About The Novium museum

Who We Are

Opened in 2012, The Novium Museum is Chichester District's award-winning museum.  Built over the remains of a Roman bathhouse and 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, close to 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 Chichester Roman Week during the May half term, finds identification sessions, Father Christmas and lots more.

The museum has won a number of awards including:

  • 2013: two Civic Trust Awards which recognise the very best in architecture, design, planning, landscape and public art.

  • 2014: South East National Royal Institute of British Architects Award for architectural excellence.

  • 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.


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.


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