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Nottingham Castle Transformation

FormanNottingham Castle – restoring the jewel in Nottingham’s crown

Over the next five years, Nottingham Castle will be transformed into a world-class heritage destination. A total of £29.4 million is being invested to redevelop the whole site, including the Ducal Palace and Grounds, Brewhouse Yard and the sprawling cave network hidden within the Castle Rock. The plans for this transformation are both ambitious and sympathetic. One thousand years of history lie ready to be discovered on a site rich in archaeology and human interest. A beacon of power, protest and rebellion throughout the centuries, Nottingham Castle will be revitalised to reflect the wealth of its history, the depth of its collections and the lives of the people of Nottingham. This is the most significant heritage regeneration project in the UK today.

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What will change?

The grounds

  • A new visitor centre will welcome people at the castle gatehouse, encouraging them to enter and explore, and helping to guide them around the site
  • Parts of the castle grounds will be remodelled to reveal more of the medieval site and to re-establish spectacular views of the castle across the city
  • Graphic panels, sculptures and snippets of audio around the grounds will provide insight into the castle’s past
  • Visitors will be entertained by a year-round outdoor events programme

The Ducal Palace

  • One of the most exciting changes to the Ducal Palace will be the creation of a stunning new single storey but double height Robin Hood Gallery, accessed via the existing tunnel leading from the outer bailey. The Robin Hood Gallery will be the ‘go-to’ place to discover and be immersed in the story of Robin Hood, Nottingham’s most famous rebel. Visitors will step back in time, entering a medieval experience where they are invited to ‘search for the hero’ with the help of interactive audio-visual storytelling, and ‘be part of the legend’ by enjoying interactive games and experiences
  • A new Rebellion Gallery will also be created within the existing structure of the Palace, made possible by the removal of a 1980’s mezzanine floor which currently divides the Service Wing into two small spaces. This gallery will explore four major periods of social unrest and rebellion in Nottingham, from the mediaeval period onwards. It is evocative, emotionally charged and enables visitors to see how the themes of power, justice, and democracy repeatedly run through Nottingham’s history
  • The Ducal Palace will be returned to its 19th century layout as modern adaptations to the building are removed
  • The elegance of this rejuvenated interior will serve as a stunning backdrop for the display of our world-class collections, presenting the story of Nottingham through the themes of Rebellion and The Power of Art and Making
  • Improved environmental controls will also ensure that we are able to attract major international touring exhibitions, building on our highly successful temporary exhibitions programme

The caves

  • The caves within the Castle Rock will be opened to improve access and guides will lead animated tours through the complex underworld, some parts never seen by the public. All have fascinating stories to tell.

Brewhouse Yard Cottages

  • This charming row of 17th century cottages will welcome visitors arriving at the foot of Castle Rock
  • The current ground floor displays will be refreshed and improved, bringing to life the history of the people who lived in the shadow of the castle over its 1,000 year history
  • Nestled against the Castle Rock, these cottages don’t have back gardens; they have caves! Visitors will be able to explore these sandstone tunnels and the domestic backdrop to such an unusual landscape

 


Timeline

Castle flowchart

Castle flowchart

Community benefits

  • 400,000 visitors in the first year
  • £90m of additional visitor spend in the economy over 10 years
  • 395 jobs sustained
  • 230 construction jobs supported
  • 500 volunteers opportunities
  • 20,000 schoolchildren visiting per year

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