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About The Novium museum

Who We Are

Built over the remains of a Roman bath house and with three floors of fantastic exhibitions, The Novium Museum is Chichester District's award-winning museum located in the heart of the city centre. Telling the fascinating story of Chichester District and its rich heritage, we look after more than 500,000 artefacts, both on display and in our store.

As you enter the museum, you're invited to step back in time to discover Chichester's rich Roman heritage. Centred around the breathtaking archaeological remains of a Roman bath house, our Roman Chichester gallery features the stunning Chilgrove mosaic as well as objects discovered in excavations across the district. 

Our first floor takes you through a timeline of Chichester District and features our famous Mystery Warrior: The North Bersted Man. Arguably the most elaborately equipped Iron Age Warrior grave ever found in England, archaeologists believe the Mystery Warrior was a refugee French Gallic fighter who fled Julius Caesar's Roman Army as they swept across continental Europe around 50BC.

The top floor of the museum hosts an exciting range of touring and temporary exhibitions, as well as offering a spectacular view of Chichester Cathedral and Bell Tower. Brick Wonders exhibition is open now until 5 June 2022, and takes visitors on a global journey of wonders around the world in 500,000 LEGO Bricks. 

We host an exciting programme of events throughout the year, including our award-winning Chichester Roman Week every May half term. For details about our upcoming events, visit our What's On page.

General museum admission is free, with donations gratefully accepted. 

We have won a number of awards including:

  • 2019: Highly Commended - Limited Budget Project of the Year at the national Museum and Heritage Awards for Excellence for Chichester Roman Week
  • 2018: Bronze Award - Tourism Event of the Year (Chichester Roman Week) at The Beautiful South Awards for Excellence
  • 2017: Best Temporary or Touring Exhibition at the national Museum and Heritage Awards for Excellence for the Tim Peake: An Extraordinary Journey exhibition
  • 2016: Bronze Award - Small Visitor Attraction of the Year at The Beautiful South Awards for Excellence

We run an award winning learning programme, including engaging workshops, outreach visits, sleepovers, loan boxes and virtual field trips. Every year we also organise a popular creative writing competition for schoolchildren. You can find out more here: Learning

As well as the main museum building, we also run The Guildhall, situated in the beautiful grounds of Priory Park. During its 800 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

A great morning out with my 7 year old grandson to the Brick Wonders exhibition. Superb models, great control of numbers and a first class welcome - December 2021
I went to see an exhibition about an Iron Age burial found near North Bersted which was held at The Novium Museum. The exhibition was well laid out and the origins of the warrior and his possible status whose grave it was were explained in a clear and helpful fashion. The displays were attractive and had activities to engage children and adults. The main museum displays were about Chichester and its history; again these were interesting and well laid out. I would recommend a visit if you are in Chichester - November 2021

Really interesting museum, the artifacts are amazing. Well worth a visit - October 2021

Brilliant museum in the heart of Chichester - we went before popping over to the Cathedral for a great visit there. Mixed age range of children and adults all found something to explore. Staff friendly and welcoming! A great insight into Roman life and artifacts, as we as History of Chichester and the Southdowns -  September 2021
So many interesting things to see, lovely little shop and helpful staff. Lift with tremendous space module photo interior! Roman baths remains on the ground floor, local history from prehistoric to Victorian on 1st floor, with a little table for children to colour etc and excellent library. Useful timeline. Iron age warrior with unusual helmet on the top floor. Good size Museum, not too exhausting! Excellent information. View of the cathedral from the top floor.- August 2021
I can thoroughly recommend visiting this little gem of a museum. We went during covid restrictions which involved booking in advance but the online system was quick and easy to do. Free admission and donations welcome, what's not to like? - July 2021
I really went to see the Bersted Man exhibition but the rest of the museum is so well laid out and just the right size of exhibits to make wandering through the whole place an appealing prospect. The Chichester local history part has some things that will interest children's ghoulish side - like the mobile stocks for miscreants, and the Roman gallery has some lovely stuff. Bonus - the great views over the rooftops to the Cathedral. - July 2021

There are a huge amount of very interesting pieces in there. Incredible how its built over the remains of a roman bath house which is fully on view! - May 2021