Nottingham Castle Cave Tours


Useful Information

The outside of Castle Hill shows some holes. The wooden door is the lower entrance to Mortimer's Hole.
Location: Lenton Road, Nottingham NG1 6EL
(52.949834, -1.155059)
Open: NOV to MAR daily 10-16.
APR to MAY daily 10-17.
JUN to AUG daily 10-18.
SEP to OCT daily 10-17.
Last admission one hour before closing.
[2021]
Fee: Castle and Grounds: Adults GBP 13, Children (5-17) GBP 9.50, Children (0-4) free, Senior GBP 12, Student GBP 12, Family (2+3) GBP 35.50.
Robin Hood Adventures: Adults GBP 3, Children (5-17) GBP 2.50, Children (0-4) free, Family (2+3) GBP 8.50.
Castle Caves: Adults GBP 5, Children (5-17) GBP 4, Children (0-4) free, Family (2+3) GBP 14.
[2021]
Classification: SubterraneaCellar sandstone
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours: Castle and Grounds: self guided.
Robin Hood Adventures: self guided.
Castle Caves: D=25 min, St=120, Max=15.
Photography:  
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Nottingham Castle Cave Tours, Nottingham Castle, Friar Lane, Nottingham NG1 6EL, Tel: +44-115-8761400.
Nottingham Castle Trust, Lenton Road. Nottingham NG1 6EL, Tel: +44-115-876-1450. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1067 tunnel constructed.
1330 tunnel used to capture the King’s mother, Queen Isabella and her new lover, Roger Mortimer.
1403 Edward’s grandson, King Henry IV, gifted Nottingham Castle to his wife, Queen Joan.
1651 original Castle largely demolished.
1670s mansion built by William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle.
02-JUL-2018 castle closed for renovation.
21-JUN-2021 castle reopened.

Description

The Nottingham Castle is located at the western end of the city center, built on top of a sandstone rock. The walls and the ditch around the castle are almost complete, the southern side is protected naturally by the escarpment on which the castle was erected. The castle received a Lottery Fund for the renovation and was closed for several years. Now it is reopened and offers the castle building and ground, an exhibition on Robin Hood, and the tour through the caves. There is a ticket for the castle entry, and additional fees for the exhibition and the caves.

When they say caves, they actually talk aboutMortimer's Hole, an 100 m long tunnel between the Brewhouse Yard and the castle. The tunnel is named after Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March (25-APR-1287 Wigmore, Herefordshire; 29-NOV-1330 in London). After leading a successful rebellion against Edward II, he was for three years de facto ruler of England. In 1330, men loyal to Edward III used this tunnel to capture him. He was conveyed to the Tower in London, condemned without trial and ignominiously hanged at Tyburn.

The tunnel has two entrances in the castle, one is a staircase from the garden. The other one end in the cellar of the castle building, and as it ends with a shaft was probably intended for transporting goods. There is one side branch, and a sort of balcony whith a nice view. We guess the balcony is the result of an collapse, a secret tunnel is not very secret if there is an obvious hole in the middle of the cliff face. Probably the ceiling was too thin and destroyed by weathering. The tunnel ends at a massive wooden door at the foot of the cliff, on the Brewhouse Yard.

However, the tour includes the foundations of the medieval castle, the dire dungeons and the wondrous wine cellars. And again a lot of Robin Hood folklore. We are happy that the castle was restored and the tunnels are now easily accessible, but we have no idea if this is really the only way to visit medieval tunnels, by telling legends and fairy tales for children. And actually this kind of "entertainment" is already very well covered by the Robin Hood Adventures.

The Robin Hood Adventures seems to be one of those British exhibitions, with mannequins and animation, which are hard to understand for foreigners. It is intended to "Experience the fun and folklore of medieval Nottingham". Its quite new [2021] and thus uses the new digital "storytelling screens". Probably worth the time if you enjoy the weirdness.