Other news:

Read about the £13.9m grant award from the Heritage Lottery Fund and see artist’s impressions of how the site might look

New project:

Find out how to get involved in our Viewfinder – Nottingham Castle’s history in pictures projectSend us your old images and film of the Castle and site.

Nottingham Castle Transformation

FormanNottingham Castle – restoring the jewel in Nottingham’s crown

Plans to transform Nottingham Castle into a world-class heritage destination continue to gather pace. Around £30 million is being invested to redevelop the site, including the Ducal Palace and Grounds 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.

As the works proceed to achieve this transformation, there will be ongoing changes and limitations to public access to the Castle and the grounds. However, our intention is to try to maintain a degree of public access to the Castle and grounds for as long as possible while the development and construction works take place.

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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 around the grounds will provide insight into the Castle’s past
  • Visitors will be entertained by a year-round 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 Palace, made possible by the removal of a 1980’s mezzanine floor which currently divides the Service Wing into two smaller spaces. This gallery will explore three major periods of social unrest and rebellion in Nottingham, from the medieval 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 original nineteenth 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

  • Explore the fascinating caves within the Castle Rock and descend through tunnels to Brewhouse Yard. Costumed guides will bring this complex underworld to life, telling tales from centuries past.

Brewhouse Yard Cottages

  • This charming row of seventeenth 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 do not have back gardens, rather caves! Visitors can explore these sandstone tunnels and the domestic backdrop to this unusual landscape


Castle Transformation Timeline

Castle Transformation Timeline

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
  • 16,000 schoolchildren visiting per year
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