Built by William the Conqueror in 1068, Nottingham Castle was originally an earthwork motte and bailey. Standing on a narrow sandstone ridge, the fortification had extensive views over the surrounding countryside.
In the 12th century Henry II replaced the original structure with a stone castle and made it his principal royal fortress in the Midlands.
This strategic stronghold was closely associated with Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Today the only surviving part of the medieval upper bailey is Mortimer's Hole, a passage leading into the castle's rock foundations.
In the middle bailey are traces of the Black Tower, King Richard's Tower and parts of the bailey curtain wall and ditch.
In the castle's large outer bailey some of the resorted curtain wall has survived, along with two round flanking towers and a vast twin-towered gatehouse.
Following the defeat of the Monarchy in the Civil War Nottingham Castle was slighted. All traces of the medieval castle were finally destroyed when a mansion was built on the site.
This splendid building, the first of its kind in England to be inspired by Italian architecture, was built by William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, and his son, Henry, in the period 1674 - 79.
Since 1875 the 17th century mansion has housed a museum and art gallery. Its collections include armour, silver, glass and paintings. The 'Story of Nottingham' galleries illustrate the city's long and facinating history.
The castle is also home to the Sherwood Foresters Regimental Museum. Temporary exhibitions by international, national and regional artists are regularly staged at the art gallery.
On the ground floor of the building is a café, with panaramic views over the city from the East Terrace.
Surrounding the castle are extensive grounds which host a number of outdoor events during the year including the Shakespeare Fesitval and the Robin Hood Pageant.
Mar-Oct: Tues-Sun 10:00-17:00, last entry 16:00; Nov-Feb: Tues-Sun 10:00-16:00, last entry 15:00. The Castle is closed on Mondays, except Bank Holidays.
Tel: 01159 153 700 Nottingham Castle Website