The Gloucester Project


A major exhibition ‘The Last Voyage of the Gloucester: Norfolk’s Royal Shipwreck 1682’ is planned for Spring 2023, the result of a partnership between Julian and Lincoln Barnwell, Norfolk Museums Service, and academic partner UEA.


The curators are Ruth Battersby-Tooke (NMS), Claire Jowitt (UEA), Benjamin Redding (UEA), and Francesca Vanke (NMS). Running from February to July at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, the exhibition stages a series of conversations to document the Gloucester's history and displays finds from the wreck. It includes the bell that confirmed the ship’s identity and will share ongoing historical, scientific, and archaeological research.

All artefacts remain the property of the Ministry of Defence, however, where items are positively identified as personal property, ownership will then default to the Crown.

Alongside the Barnwells, Norfolk Museums Service and UEA, foundational partners in the exhibition are the Alan Boswell Group, Ministry of Defence, the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth, York Archaeology, the Leverhulme Trust and Marine Archaeology Trust. The exhibition at Norwich Castle is also being generously supported by Birketts LLP

With very significant costs for conservation of artefacts, future historical research, and mounting the exhibition, it is hoped that a permanent exhibition might be created in Norfolk. A new charity is to be formed to provide project support, fundraising, and governance, with General Richard Dannatt as Chairman of the Trustees supported by Henry Cator, High Steward of Great Yarmouth. In the meantime, UEA will receive and hold donations for the 1682 project under its own charitable status: see the webpage Giving to UEA (UEA is an exempt charity: HMRC reference number XN423).