Skip content
a family looking around the Art Gallery

Creative Galleries

Be inspired by Nottingham’s creative past

Discover the Castle’s world-class collections of fine and decorative arts on display in our Creative Galleries.

From medieval alabaster to contemporary photography, Nottingham lace to stunning ceramics and salt-glazed pottery to amazing oil painting, there’s a treasure for every art lover on display.

“I loved the Galleries, which were really stunning. I particularly liked that each Gallery had its own feel and mix of interpretation, appropriate for the individual objects and stories that were being told”

Nottingham Early Craft Gallery

Explore Nottingham’s alabaster and salt-glaze heritage

Early Nottingham Craft

In the Early Nottingham Craft Gallery, we reveal Nottingham’s handmade history, which achieved international success. Discover the exceptional medieval alabaster sculptures and design your own digital masterpiece on the gallery interactives. Learn how Nottingham’s potters excelled in making salt-glazed stoneware through a dramatic firing process and make your own virtual pot.

Our friends at Nottingham Trent University recently did some research on the Flawford Virgin, which features in this gallery. Learn more about this fascinating sculpture here.

Nottingham Lace Gallery at Nottingham Castle

Leaders in the lace race

Nottingham Lace

Nottingham changed the way lace is made. The first ever machine to make lace was invented here. Thanks to the innovation of local designers and makers, Nottingham was the world centre of the machine-made lace trade throughout the 19th century. This gallery is a rare chance to see highlights from our outstanding ‘Designated’ collection and to explore stories about the industry, its workers and how it shaped Nottingham’s landscape. Walk our ‘catwalk’ of a hundred years of lace fashions and don’t forget to take a selfie under our lace projection…

Designated Outstanding Collection

Making the Museum gallery shot

From a mansion to a modern museum

Collections

Step into the story of how there came to be a gallery and museum at Nottingham Castle in 1878, after the dramatic burning of the Castle in 1831. Nottingham led the way in a national movement to create regional, publicly owned Museums. Discover our Castle’s journey from a Medieval bastion of the elite to a public space celebrating Nottingham’s communities and their creativity.

close up of pottery in the Art Gallery at Nottingham Castle

Our home of artistic inspiration

The Art Gallery

The majestic splendour of our Art Gallery is matched only by the superb art it showcases. We invite you to relax in this beautiful space and be inspired by the collection of paintings, drawings, ceramics, jewellery and sculpture. Explore themes that have inspired artists and makers for centuries: portraits, landscapes, colour and form, nature ‘up close’, and the art of our leisure time.

“The Art Gallery was once of the best art experiences I’ve had”

a visitor looks into a display cabinet in the lab

The cutting edge in the creative city

The Lab

Celebrate the emerging and diverse talents of makers, academics and creatives in present-day Nottingham in The Lab. Programmed in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, displays will cover a variety of topics. From costume-making to cutting edge research, discover how a building from Nottingham’s past can actively showcase and support its creative future.

What else is there to see at Nottingham Castle?

There is plenty to see, do and enjoy at Nottingham Castle.
From medieval mischief with Robin, Marian and their merrie band to a coffee with the best views of the city from the Terrace Café. Explore our other highlights.

Start your journey as
part of a legend