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Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery


In 1067 William the Conqueror ordered a Castle to be built on the narrow sandstone ridge now known as Castle Rock. From its completion until the sixteenth century it was one of the most important English Castles. In 1330 supporters of Edward III surprised Roger Mortimer and Queen Isabella who were intent on ruling England and had come to Nottingham to hold a Parliament. The conspirators entered the Castle through a secret passage - Mortimer's Hole - arrested Mortimer and carried him off to London where he was executed.

During The War of the Roses Richard raised his standard and left the security of the Castle to lose his Crown and his life at the Battle of Bosworth. Over 150 years later in 1642 Charles I chose Nottingham as a rallying point for his Armies. After he left the town the Castle was re-fortified by Parliamentary Forces. After the Kings execution the Castle was demolished by order of Parliament in 1651.

What remained of the Castle was swept away, buried or adapted by the Duke of Newcastle who, between 1674-9, built his new Ducal Palace which still dominates the Castle Rock to this day. This too suffered damage in 1831 when Reform Rioters broke in and set the building ablaze. It remained a gutted shell until 1878 when it was restored as one of the first provincial museums of fine art.

The Museum and Art Gallery has permanent displays of Fine Art, work of regional contemporary artists and Decorative Arts particularly ceramics, glass and metalwork . There is a children's gallery where younger visitors can have fun whilst looking at art. The Ballantyne Collection is a collection of the work of sixty studio potters from the 1950's to the 1990's. There is also the Story of Nottingham Gallery, the Circle of Life Gallery, The Sherwood Foresters Regimental Collection. There are also a variety of temporary art exhibitions held throughout the year.

General Information:

  • Mortimers Hole & cave tours
  • Shop
  • Cafe
  • Play area
  • School sessions and outreach activities, please telephone
  • Facilities available for visitors with disabilities.

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    Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery Postcode for SatNav: NG1 6EL

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    +44 (0)1159 153 700
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