The Grand Dame Of Nottingham…

When  I planned to visit the Robin Hood museum in Nottingham, I had no idea that there was something else also of historic importance that attracts about 270,000 visitors annually. After the disappointment of finding that the Robin Hood museum had closed it doors for business, I decided that a mug of hot chocolate would cheer me up. Fine, there were many cafes open with lots of patrons that Sunday afternoon so finding a cafe wasn’t going to be a problem at all.

Anyway, as I walked down from the parking lot I looked across the road and there was the most impressive-looking  gate I’ve ever seen. Yes, it was an impressive gate because it was the entrance to Nottingham Castle! A Grade I listed building – now that is something in England, as far as historic buildings go. Any thoughts of a mug of hot chocolate were immediately banished from my mind as I set off excitedly for the Castle.

Walking up towards the entrance to the Castle.

It seems that there is a castle in every place I go to in the UK. Each castle has an interesting colourful story. I enjoy history and architecture so exploring castles is a great pleasure. On this Sunday afternoon, the weather was just right for walking around a massive building like the Nottingham Castle – not hot and not too cold. I spent a couple of hours exploring the Castle, its history etc. with a spot of hot tea in between.

Imposing against the skyline...the Grand Dame of Nottingham

The history of Nottingham Castle at a glance, quoted verbatim from

“1067 – William the Conqueror builds the first Castle on the site, a wooden structure built upon the vantage point of the Castle rock.

1170 – The Castle is rebuilt in stone by Henry II. It is now the principal royal fortress in the Midlands.

1194 – Richard The Lionheart reclaims Nottingham Castle from his brother John using siege tactics. This is the only time in the Castle’s history that an occupier is defeated in such a way.

1330 – Roger Mortimer, lover of Queen Isabella, is captured by supporters of her son, King Edward III who enter the castle through a tunnel cut through the rock. The cave is known as Mortimer’s Hole to this day and is a favourite spot with visitors.

1485 – Richard III leaves Nottingham Castle to ride to Bosworth where he dies in battle at the hands of Henry Tudor who claims the throne, becoming Henry VII.

1622 – James I sells Nottingham Castle to the Earl of Rutland.

1642 – Charles I raises his standard outside the castle walls, here beginning the Civil War. Ironically for most of the war the site is held by the opposing parliamentary forces under the command of Colonel Hutchinson.

1651 – Permission is given for Hutchinson to demolish Nottingham Castle.

1663 – William Cavendish, First Duke of Newcastle ,purchases the site.  He begins work on a prospect house high on Castle Rock but dies before its completion. His son completes the work on this unique building in 1678.

1831 – The building is attacked and looted by rioters following the Duke of Newcastle’s opposition to parliamentary reform.  The Ducal Palace is gutted internally when arsonists vent their anger at the Duke.  As a silent rebuke to the people of Nottingham the Duke leaves the ruined building un-repaired for 45 years.

1875 – Thomas Chambers Hine, a local architect, is appointed to adapt the Castle into a building suitable for use as a museum and art gallery.

1878 – Nottingham Castle is opened by the Prince of Wales who later becomes Edward VII. Nottingham celebrates the first municipal museum and art gallery outside London.”

These are some of the websites which provide an interesting historical and present day profile of the Castle:

http:/,, and including

Some of the flowers in the Castle grounds.

I do believe that there is a lot to learn from the UK about the restoration and upkeep of historic buildings. They are part of the history of a country – negative or positive, big or small etc. These historic buildings can make a huge contribution to tourism in a country by attracting special interest, and the usual run-of-the-mill visitors. My visit to Nottingham had turned into a great journey of discovery after all.  Here are some favourite shots from various vantage points around the Castle.

Sculpture of the legendary Robin Hood

I took away with me great memories, souvenirs and photographs from my visit to the Grand Dame of Nottingham…

What a great Sunday afternoon it turned out to be.

Author: islandmeri

Life is a journey which I enjoy. Here I share my passion for helping others, music, ideas, inspiring things, and interesting places and people. It's my cool hangout.

2 thoughts on “The Grand Dame Of Nottingham…”

    1. Hi thelocalguide,

      Thank for the comments. Yes, it is an impressive fortress. I’m delighted that you were able to read this post. My pleasure sharing the photos.


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