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Free visit to Castle on April 17

First chance to see how the transformed Castle might look!

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Castle Bid

 March 2016

March news

Welcome to March news

Nottingham Castle Transformation newsletter

Heres what the project team has been up to in the past month: 

Mid stage review: March saw the Castle Transformation Project undergo the Mid-Stage Review meeting with the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project and professional teams presented all aspects of the project to representatives from the HLF, in order to assure them of project progress and high quality outputs. The plans at this stage were well received, with recommendations made to ensure that all requirements are met in time for the full Round 2 submission in July. The team now enter Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) stage 3 of the project, which is the production of developed designs, both for architecture and site interpretation.

Object lists - A multitude of staff has been working hard behind the scenes to pull together final object lists for all of the galleries at the Castle. Objects have been selected to illustrate the key stories within the new interpretation plans. With over 100,000 objects to choose from this has not been an easy task! We can now proudly say the process is almost complete, with all object lists and images being sent over to exhibition designers Casson Mann.

Sleeping over at the Castle: March saw 180 lucky school children get the chance to have a sleepover at the Castle! Nottingham City Museums and Galleries (NCMG) Learning, Engagement & Collections Team organised 3 Castle Sleepover events during March, as a pilot for a possible longer term offer. 

The children enjoyed a range of activities from orienteering to art interpretation sessions, Robin Hood activities and bespoke cave tours, before having their tea in the Castle Caf and settling down for a good nights sleep in the decadent Long Gallery! 

Needless to say, it was a resounding success! Plans will now be developed to provide this offer over subsequent years.

Castle consultation

A chance to see what the transformed Castle will look like

Come and meet members of the team  over the weekend 16/17 April to chat about the proposals for the transformation. There will be the opportunity to talk to the architects and exhibition designers too.

We will be in the Old Market Square on Saturday 16 April with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) architecture bus. The bus will be open from 10-4 so please come down to see all the latest developments and to let us have your thoughts.

We will also be at Nottingham Castle for the BBC Radio Nottingham Big Day Out event (see below) on Sunday 17 April, again with the new designs. We will also be trialling some of the proposed activities and events that may take place at the Castle in the future, and looking for your feedback.

Castle tour

Big Day Out - Sunday 17 April

Don't miss this great opportunity to come and enjoy Nottingham Castle for free!

BBC Radio Nottingham's "Big Day Out" offers free entry to museums and heritage attractions across Nottinghamshire. 

The event is a celebration of Nottinghamshire history and the places taking part are inviting you to come and see what they have to offer.

All the venues involved are offering free admission in some form.

The Castle will be open from 10am until 5pm and there will be free access to the current exhibitions. Please visit Nottingham City Council's website for more information.

Don't forget to come and see the Nottingham Castle transformation team while you are visiting.

Big DAy OUt

Weather balloon

Piecing together the past - Launch of photo archive project

This new project will help map former uses of the Castle site, to archive and preserve images from the public and to allow Nottinghams people to reminisce and share their memories from the site in past times.

We'd love to hear from anybody with pictures or stories from this launching of a weather balloon for instance.

The team spends a lot of time looking at how Nottingham Castle might look to visitors in the future. We think that using the publics experience of the site in the past may help us to do this.

We'd like people to scan and email any images they have of past events or visits to the Castle, along with supporting information such as dates, location, anecdotes or memories. It would also be wonderful to see old images of the buildings around the Castle site.

The project will launch officially on 16 April. Please check the website for further details on the project and on how to submit your images. 


Survey prize draw winners

A big thank you to everybody that helped with the survey about our proposed activity plan. Congratulations to our 15 lucky winners who will receive Castle season tickets, and to Deborah Hales who wins a 50 Intu shopping voucher as first entry drawn from the list. We will be in touch to arrange collection/delivery.

Winners: Mr J I Hardy, Mick Bowyer, Cheryl Allcock, Andrew Foulds, A Clarke,  Linda Van Bergen, Paul Martinez, Ken Brand, Jennifer Taylor, Gaynor McManus, V van der Lande,Margaret Smith, Josie Comery, Deborah Hales, Hazel Garton, Michael Savage.


Scott's facts and findings

Welcome to Scott's third column. In this edition, he explores one of the more colourful, but lesser known, episodes of the history of Nottingham Castle - The siege which took place between 25 and 28 March 1194, involving two of historys greatest known characters: Richard the Lionheart and his brother, the future King John.

"John, who at this time was the Count of Mortain, was one of the most powerful nobles in the land. This was not enough to satisfy John. His brother King Richard the Lionheart was childless and seemingly had little interest in England, spending most of his reign fighting in the Holy Land in a succession of Crusades, and this only served to increase Johns own ambitions of becoming the next King. In 1191, John decided to seize control of Nottingham and Tickhill Castles while Richard was overseas fighting. Nottingham Castle was considered to be almost impregnable, however, and it was an angry king who led a multitude of men to the castle walls on 25 March.

Over those few days the castle was the scene of much death and injury. The castle gates were burned and the outer bailey was stormed by the king and his troops, who were heavily armed and carried thick and broad shields to defend themselves against the arrows which came so thick and fast as if raining from the sky.

The sight of fierce machines and the corpses of traitors led to fears within the castle. Men were sent out to find out if there was any truth in the claims that Richard had returned from the Holy Land. It had been thought those attacking the castle had been enemies of John and they were defending the castle out of loyalty. If the king had been freed from captivity and had returned to England, however, that was a different matter. Upon it being verified that Richard the Lionheart was indeed back, the decision to surrender quickly followed.

Accounts of money being granted for repairs in 1195 to a postern and a chapel and houses on the motte could be indicative of some of the damage suffered at the castle during the siege. Another interesting reference, from 1194, refers to money for a postern leading to the motte and is often taken to be the earliest reference to that cavernous passage known today as Mortimers Hole."

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