For my birthday treat, I have dragged Sam to Nottingham Castle and Mortimer’s Hole. Well, it used to be a castle, its now a ducal mansion, although fragments remain of the old castle. I suppose that’s what you get for being the place where the English Civil War started. Charles I raised his royal standard near here on August 22 1642. Of course, the castle may also be known for its clashes with Robin Hood and The Sheriff of Nottingham. The present day ducal mansion now has a museum and art gallery and the regimental museum of the Sherwood Foresters. Very nicely presented.
Then there’s Mortimer’s Hole. A 98 metre tunnel, a secret passage, from the foot of the castle rock to the upper bailey in the castle grounds. Reputedly the place where King Edward III stormed through up to the castle to seize Roger Mortimer, the lover of King Edward’s mother Queen Isabella, where he was later hanged at Tyburn. Roger and Isabella were widely believed to have arranged the murder of Edward II. Medieval propaganda would have us believe he was killed by having a red hot poker shoved up his bum. Must have stung a bit. More likely he would have had a sword stuck through him. That must also have stung a bit.
OK, so this may be my county town but it does have some historical significance and things to see. In 1067, William he Conqueror built the first castle here. In 1194 Richard The Lionheart (who only spent 6 years in this country) returned from the crusades to reclaim the castle from his brother Prince John, during the Robin Hood era. In 1330, King Edward the 3rd captured Roger Mortimer, the lover of Edward’s mother Isabella, for assuming royal powers and disposing of Edward’s father, Edward the 2nd, by supposedly shoving a red hot poker up his jacksie. He was hanged at Tyburn. No fair pity on gentle Mortimer their then. In 1485, Richard the 3rd rode off to Bosworth to be the last King of England killed in battle. King Charles I raised his royal standard here (on Standard Hill) marking the start of the Civil War in 1642. It all happens round here you know…
Nottingham Castle is always a good starting point, has commanding views of the south of Nottingham showing Trent Bridge Cricket ground, Nottingham Forest and Notts County football grounds as well as the setting for various films and novels including Alan Silitoe’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. Robin Hood, Mortimer’s Hole, the caves, the oldest pubs…..