In 2018, Nottingham Castle closed to the public for a major restoration and redevelopment project. Earlier this year, the gates were flung open to welcome visitors again. Whilst many things have changed, some things remain – including the ghosts that have haunted the site for many years.

This Halloween, we’re sharing the stories of the spirits that continue to occupy the Castle and its grounds. Are you brave enough to visit and meet them yourself?

a window in one of the Castle cavesThe ghost of Standard Hill (Roger Mortimer):

First sightings and rumours of Mortimer’s ghost haunting Mortimer’s Hole appeared in 1921, unnerving residents to the point they would not step outside at night. The ghost was said to manifest itself either as a shadowy form or phantom footprints. One man was so determined to uncover the ghost that he ventured into the caves and kept vigil at night.

Soon after, he heard footsteps ascending from the basement and a strange rustling of paper. He challenged the unseen visitor, but the sounds gradually retreated, as if the visitant was retracing his steps.

When news of the ghostly sighting spread, it attracted hundreds of tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of the ghost, so much so that police officers were stationed at the entrance to Mortimer’s Hole![1]

The anguish of the Welsh Noblemen sons:the gatehouse at Nottingham Castle

28 sons of Welsh Noblemen were captured by King John and brought to the castle in 1212, some of which were as young as 12 years old. The sons were allowed to roam freely within the walls until one day, John ordered for them all to be executed. While the precise date of their deaths is unknown, a chronicler wrote that the boys pitiful cries rang around the Castle as they were taken up on to the ramparts and hanged in a row.

Some say their pleas for mercy are still heard within the grounds.[2]

The Ducal Palace, Nottingham CastleThe cheeky ghost Monkey:

Since the bones of Jane Kirkby’s monkey were discovered and the bones removed, there have been some reports of people hearing monkey noises in the Art Gallery. One such report comes from a security guard who was patrolling the Art Gallery with his dog. Suddenly, it began barking and pulling on its lead. When the dog was released, it started running around the then empty gallery as if it was chasing something. Eventually, it stopped where the landscape paintings are hung. The next day, the dog’s snout turned grey, and the dog was a nervous wreck.

The tortured soul of Queen Isabella, ‘The She Wolf of France’:

Queen Isabella’s ghost seemingly relives the final moments she and Richard Mortimer were together before Prince Edward and his troop of Castle raiders dragged him away to be executed. It is said that Isabella’s ghost still anxiously paces back and forth in the caves, pleading for her lover’s return in her native tongue.

Have you had any ghostly experiences at Nottingham Castle? Share your spooky experiences with us on social media using the hashtag #HauntedNottingham


Source material

[1] MJ Wayland, “Nottingham Castle Ghosts – A Strange Story From 1921”, MJ Wayland, 2021 <> [Accessed 28 September 2021].

[2] “BBC – Nottingham Features – Creepy Encounters In Nottingham Castle”, Bbc.In, 2021 <> [Accessed 28 September 2021].