On a late June day in 1851 a gruesome discovery was made as the first of many unidentified body parts turned up on the streets of Victorian Norwich. Now this story, and Martha Sheward, the unfortunate victim, are being remembered in BODY OF EVIDENCE, the new escape game at Norwich’s Guildhall. Back in February, History Mystery opened their first real-life history based escape game at the Guildhall, providing gamers young and old with a romp through hundreds of years of Norwich’s rich history. This new game takes a very different approach, focusing on one specific event from the city’s dark past and is set in the in the atmospheric gaol cells deep beneath Norwich’s historic Guildhall, where the real story unfolded.

The History Mystery team are unique in the escape game world as they create their games using the real-life history of the places they take place in. After uncovering this macabre story in the past of the Guildhall the team decided to base their new game on Martha’s Victorian era murder which happened on 15th June 1851. Poor Martha’s remains were spread across the city, gathered by members of the public, and eventually buried in the cell block beneath the Guildhall, headquarters of the Norwich City Police at the time. In the game, which opens on the eve of the 165th anniversary of the murder, you fall under suspicion of the crime and must work against the clock to piece together the evidence to convict the real murderer and find true justice for the victim.

History Mystery have been running games at the Guildhall since February, as part of wider plan to bring the Guildhall into greater use. and they provide an innovative way for visitors to engage with the history of the building. These games provide an immersive entertainment experience for up to 6 people, working together as a team to solve interesting and exciting puzzles that ultimately lead to the unravelling of a mystery, whilst brushing up against the real-life stories from the history of the location they are in.
Alasdair Willett, Managing Director of History Mystery, has been delighted with the response to the games so far saying “We’ve had a real mix of players visit us here at the Guildhall, from tourists and families to serious gamers and everyone has really loved their game, whether they win or not. Many of our players are first timers and these games prove highly addictive so we’re very pleased to be opening our second room to welcome more of the regions new escape game addicts”.

Alasdair says “This will be the first time since prisoners were last held in the cells in 1985, that the gaol cells beneath the Guildhall will be regularly accessible to the public, with teams absorbing the atmosphere and history of the building as they play.”

More information is available on the website at or by visiting the Norwich Guildhall.


Attached Image: Local artist Bev Coraldean adds authentic Victorian detail to the game room. (Photo: Alasdair Willett)

For further information, please contact Alasdair at or call 07803 811587 or Pip (Site Manager) at or call 07891 147831.

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About Captivate Heritage Ltd T/A History Mystery

Captivate Heritage Ltd introduces escape games to the heritage sector and is developing the next generation of captivating and profitable visitor experiences. Escape games are a visitor attraction phenomenon that is sweeping across the world, winning huge appreciation scores on Trip Advisor. The concept started in Japan, grew in continental Europe, and is now rapidly taking hold in the UK. In an escape game a group of 2 to 10 players are ‘locked' in a room and have to find clues and solve puzzles in order to win the game and ‘escape’, all against the clock as an hour ticks down. Typically played by friends and family of all ages, they are great fun, very addictive and in a History Mystery game you also get to experience real stories of historic people and places.

The company started in medieval Norwich and our vision is to open History Mystery game rooms in many more historic cities and heritage venues, bringing new visitors to the UK's much loved heritage sites along with much needed income to help preserve those site. We also plan to develop large scale live visitor experiences celebrating historical events and provide consultancy on history-based interactive visitor experiences.

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