Nottingham Castle



Scheduled Monument – Monument Number 317521

Grade I Listed Building


Iron Age promontory fort, Medieval castle, Royal palace, had four baileys – the upper, middle, outer and northern baileys. Sand rampart measured 131.2 ft east-west was 31.8 ft wide and standing 13.1ft high.

The Gatehouse has been extensively restored.


868                              Site occupied by the Danes.

899-924                       During: Edward the Elder fortified the town.

924                              Possibly dating from.

1068                            Castle built on the site.

1150’s                         Henry II spent over £1,000 on enhancing the castle.

1153                            The castle survived a fire, started by the garrison on King Stephen, which destroyed the town.

1170-1175                   Henry II spent £900 on the castle.

1184-1187                   Curtain wall added and the defences strengthened.

1191                            Seized by Prince John, who later surrendered it to Archbishop Walter.

1194                            Taken by supporters of Prince John, and seiged by Richard I when he returned from the 3rd Crusade.

1199-1216                   During: Master Nicholas de Ardeli was in charge of the siege engines.

1199-1216                   Early part of reign: Master Nicholas de Ardeli was in charge of the siege engines.

1209                            Philip Moore was appointed Castallian of the castle.

1216-1272                   Extensively improved by Henry III and used as a Royal Palace. He had elaborate paintings in the Mews and dovecote

1250                            c: Round Tower built through part of the rampart.

1251                            Henry II had the Dias covered in white French plaster.

1266-1267                   Held by Reginald de Grey with 20 mounted crossbowmen, 10 foot, 10 foot and bowmen and 20 archers.

1330                            Edward III secretly gained access to the castle and arrested Isabella of France and Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, who had been acting as Regents whilst Edward was still a minor

1346                            David II, King of Scotland, held the castle.

14th C                          Gatehouse.

1461-1483                   During: Edward IV made alterations and added a tower.

1484                            Richard III established his military headquarters on the site and received Scottish Ambassadors.

1485                            Richard III stayed at the castle before the Battle of Bosworth. It had deteriorated.

15th C                          Late: Hexagonal tower added to the north east corner.

1540-1546                   Itinerary of John Leland: Derelict.

1560-1570                   Extensively restored.

16th C                          Ruined by artillary fire.

1603-1625                   During: Fell into disrepair.

1607                            Surveyed. The Great Hall had been demolished.

1617                            Plans of the castle drawn by John Smythson in the History of the Kings Works.

1622                            James I sold it to the Earl of Rutland.

1634-1635                   In ruins.

1642                            Civil War, 22nd August: Charles I raised his Standard on the land behind the outer wall to the North. The area is now known as Standard Hill. The site was visited by Charles I and he found it to be ‘decaying’.

1643                            Civil War, May: 6,000 0f Cromwell’s men were at the castle.

1647                            Civil War, March: The garrison were kept on but the works were slighted

1649                            Civil War: Sir Marmaduke Langdale escaped from the castle. Mostly demolished under orders of Parliament.

1651                            The main buildings were demolished by order of the Council of State, but the Gatehouse was left standing.

1651                            End: Purchased by the Duke of Newcastle in a state of ruin.

1654                            August: In ruins.

1663                            Bought by William Cavendish from the Duke of Buckingham.

1674                            The site was cleared except for the main gatehouse and the base of Edward IV’s Tower.

1674-1679                   A mansion was built on the site by Henry Cavendish, 2nd Duke of Newcastle.

1830’s                         A road was built through the outer bailey.

1831                            Reform Bill Riots: Mansion built on the site was burnt down.

1875-1878                   The mansion was restored  by Thomas Chambers Hine, and converted into a museum.

1878                            The mansion opened to the public as Nottingham Castle Museum, by the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII).

1903-1904                   Richard’s Tower excavated

1950                            Excavated

1975                            Field Investigation.

1976-1981                   Excavated by  Trent Valley Archaeological Research Committee.

1994                            Scheduled.

1994                            Excavated by  York Archaeological Trust.

1961-997                     Standard Hill evaluated by Trent and Peak Archaeological Trust.

1996                            A landslip caused damage to the Restoration Terrace.

20th C                          Early: Gatehouse restored.

2000                            Excavated by Trent and Peak Archaeological Trust.

2001                            Watching Brief at Standard Hill by  University of Leicester Archaeological Services.

2001                            Watching Brief of Outer Bailey gatehouse by  Trent and Peak Archaeological Trust.

2001                            Watching Brief of Western Terrace  Trent and Peak Archaeological Trust.

2002                            Watching Brief by  Trent and Peak Archaeological Trust.

2005                            The Restoration Terrace was reinstated with a stone façade.


error: You are not allowed to copy or take the contents of this page for use in any other printed material, website, social media accounts or for any commercial reasons. This includes using AI and ChatGPT to plagiarize and pass off my research as your own. Legal action will be taken you do so.
error: Alert: Content selection is disabled!!