Children's Museum Trail | Colchester Castle
Children's illustrator and trail designer Emma Metcalfe was commissioned to devise and illustrate a bespoke children's museum trail for Colchester Castle, built on the site of the Roman Temple of Claudius.
Colchester Castle is a Norman castle built on the site of a Roman Temple, which houses local artefacts from the Iron Age to the present day. The museum has recently undergone an impressive refit, but with so much history to cover it can be hard for visitors to get a sense of the 'story' of Colchester as a whole.
The aim of the new family trail was to draw attention to key people, events and artefacts, and to provide visitors with a roughly chronological route around the museum.
After a site visit and discussions with the client, it was decided that there was simply too much information to cover in a single trail without it seeming cramped and low on detail. Emma came up with the idea of a 'two in one' trail which treated the two key periods of history as separate trails, each with its front cover as part of a reversible trail leaflet.
Trail one, A Temple for the Emperor takes family visitors around the first floor of the museum from Iron Age to Roman times. It features Cunobelin, leader of the Iron Age tribe with a settlement near where Colchester is today, and the Roman Emperor Claudius who invaded Britain and enslaved them.
Boudica of the Iceni tribe attacked and destroyed Roman Colchester, but it was later rebuilt and thrived.
Trail two, A Castle for the Conqueror looks at the building of the Colchester Castle in Norman times, its role in the English Civil War and medieval Colchester. It takes family visitors around the galleries on the ground floor.
Each trail features a cutaway illustration of Colchester Castle as it looks today, with a gallery map identifying the areas in which to look for the artefacts.
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