Standing on the site of an 11th century Norman castle thought to have been built by William the Conqueror in 1067, Nottingham Castle is an imposing building overlooking the City from its high vantage point.
Nottingham Castle is actually a 17th century Ducal mansion built by the first Duke of Newcastle and sits on top of a wealth of man-made caves that are carved into the rocks beneath.
Many of the caves have their ancestry in medieval times and there are regular tours of these interesting caverns of history.
The tours can be quite strenuous as there are over 300 steps involved. Both the cave and Castle Rock have Ancient Monument status whilst the Castle is classified as a Grade 1 listed building.
Although the Castle’s design is not that of a traditional castle, the building is held in high regard and is visited by over 280,000 people each year.
The Castle has an integral museum and art gallery. The gallery combines fine works of art from local, national and internally renown artists. The museum has a fine collection of glassware, silver, decorative artefacts and locally sourced archaeological items. hood art
Nottingham Castle has been embedded in history thanks mainly to the legend of Robin Hood. There are many variations to the story of Robin Hood with the most common belief being that he was of aristocratic birth and became an outlaw, opposed to the evil reign of Prince John whilst his brother, King Richard the First, was fighting in the crusades.
Nottingham Castle was the home of the Sheriff of Nottingham who was reputed to be loyal to Prince John. The Sheriff had a goal of usurping King Richard from the throne and replacing him with Prince John thus raising his own status within the kingdom. Robin Hood fought for justice and kept the plot at bay until the return of King Richard.
The Castle has retained alcoholic links over the years with a pub being carved into the walls on which it stands. The pub is called the Trip To Jerusalem and is a Mecca for anybody visiting the Castle or City. The pub reputedly received its name as this was a stop-over point for Knights as they gathered before setting off for the Holy Land on the Crusades.
There is also a recently opened local brewery that is named Castle Rock, again demonstrating a tie to the local attraction.
Furthermore, the annual Robin Hood Beer Festival is held within the Castle walls and is widely renown as one of the best and most atmospheric beer festivals in the UK.
Following the recent Ridley Scott film about Robin Hood starring Russel Crow and Cate Blanchett, there is an extended exhibition within the Castle dedicated to the film and characters. The exhibition showcases original costumes, props, memorabilia, weaponry and set pieces from the film.