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“Excellent visit”
Review of The Novium

The Novium
Ranked #16 of 66 things to do in Chichester
Attraction details
Reviewed 21 January 2014

A very interesting visit that provides lots of information about Chichester, with the added bonus of the top floor enabling a great view of the cathedral and the surrounding rooftops. Well laid out for easy access and child friendly.A good central location.
Good value for money.

Thank Gill C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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232 - 236 of 289 reviews

Reviewed 12 January 2014

The roman ruins are interesting and well presented. There are a couple of rooms of other Chichester artefacts on the 1st and 2nd floors that are poorly presented. If it was priced at £3.50 I would have said it was worth a quick visit but £7 is daylight robbery.

5  Thank timon166
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2013

I've watched this building being constructed over the past couple of years, and found it strange that a Council with such conservative views on other people's planning applications came to construct this concrete pile!

On a "half price deal" vis the local paper (as surely no one would pay the full ticket price) we spent a couple of hours wandering around the museum. It's is so disappointing we won't be returning. Even the local reference books can only be accessed by having an annual subscription - so we're relying on the public library for that!!

If you want local Roman archeology, go to Fishbourne, or Bignor.

4  Thank Hilary828
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2013

Made use of a 50% off voucher which helped soften the blow! would have been extremely disappointed if we had paid full price. Quite nicely designed, but too much open space and too little content

9  Thank david_steer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2013

Decided to try again after a year, with a 50%-off voucher in the Council magazine. It did seem rather better after the huge disappointment of the initial visit. The ground floor remains a very low key start - just the excavated baths (which are turning green), a few cases of Roman bits, a poor quality mosaic on the wall adding little, and the lasting impression of bare grey concrete walls and empty space. What a shame the excavation did not have a glass floor over it. The first floor has primarily a large case of essentially local material and is quite interesting. The view of the cathedral is rather talked up -- better views for free elsewhere.

The second floor is a disaster area - a complete mish-mash, with some Roman material but mainly cabinet displays on pretentious themes such as 'Joy' or 'Creativity'. The concept is catastrophically inappropriate in a small town museum, and the execution is incoherent. So you find a 1960s tennis racket (why??), milk bottle top next to C17th jar, a Roman slab next to a C19th telescope, etc.. This makes the displays incomprehensible and frankly irritating -- even though some of the items are interesting in themselves. Not often you go to a museum room and come out totally confused - and this is the main display room. The Roman stuff here could with advantage be removed totally and added to the ground floor to make that much more interesting.

So, whats good? the recreated Roman helmets for children (and adults?!) are excellent. And of course being Chichester a lot of the contents are good items in themselves. The lady on the desk was OK, but seemingly no-one else around (do they not have any volunteers?), and there are some well written 2-sided info sheets (albeit difficult to read these whilst walking round). The screen displays are patchy but OK. The shop is OK. There is no Visitors Book but instead Visitor Comments, which are separate sheets clearly designed to be removed from view as soon as possible.

Overall.... still not a good experience, with the ground floor needing more thought and content, and the second floor a complete re-think. Worth £7? -- no. Apart from my comments, it took only an hour to tour. The new Museum at Arundel is rather smaller but only £3, coherently presented so you actually learn things, nice volunteers talking about the items, and more enjoyable. And of course, the London Museums remain free..... The price really must come down - for locals certainly - to have any re-visit prospects.

12  Thank Jobie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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