We’re not going to do too much walking in Nottingham this week. Up to the castle to check out the view, of course, but after that I might treat you to a half in ‘Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem’. It’s an interesting old place!
I know Nottingham quite well, because it’s my daughter’s home, but it’s years since I’ve been to the castle. As in many parts of the country this year, there was a war-related exhibition- ‘Trent to Trenches’. But first, we must climb up to the castle. It’s not too steep and we can go slowly through the gardens, or even sit on a bench for a while.
Once you reach Castle Rock, there’s a large viewing terrace with patio tables and chairs. Another invitation to linger, with perhaps a pot of coffee and croissants.
The day I was there, we were constantly accosted by a swarm of ladybirds! I have never seen the like. Red and yellow ones, both, were on the tables and thronging the doorway to the museum. I didn’t manage a photo because I was too busy rescuing them and guiding them on a better flight path. I can only surmise the warm weather had brought them out to play.
Time for a little history. Nottingham Castle sits on a natural promontory, known as Castle Rock, with cliffs up to 40 metres high. Back in the Middle Ages it was a major fortress and royal residence. As all good castles are, it was strategically located, near to a crossing of the River Trent. Close to the royal hunting grounds at Tideswell and Sherwood, it once even had its own deer park. Whilst Richard the Lionheart was away on his Third Crusade, it is thought that the castle was left derelict ,and was occupied by the Sheriff of Nottingham. In the legends of Robin Hood, the castle often features in showdowns between the Sheriff and this popular outlaw.
Sadly the castle went into decline, and was largely demolished in 1649. A mansion was built on the site, but this was burnt out by rioters in 1831. The story of this and much of the castle’s intriguing history is told in the Castle Museum, opened in 1878- the first municipal art gallery in the UK outside of London. Just before we step inside, let’s admire the elegant pebble mosaics set into the courtyard.
I don’t intend to linger too long in the museum. We each have our own pace and interests. Let me just give you a small sample of what you might find inside.
Several galleries were given over to the exhibition, documenting life in Nottinghamshire during the wars. Even in black and white I found many of the images harrowing, and moved swiftly downstairs to learn of the castle’s history. I won’t spoil it for you by giving away too many details but it is an atmospheric space, and a story well told.
You must be about ready for that half I promised you? We’ll wander down the hill, past the place that was once a thriving Lace Market. ‘Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem‘, dating back to 1189, must be one of the most unusual pubs I’ve ever been in. It is set into the cliff face and is famous for its caves. The rooms are unusual shapes, some with holes in the ceiling. There was once a brewery in the lower caverns and there’s a route from there up into Nottingham Castle. You can actually book a tour of the cellars, which are part of Nottingham’s extensive cave network. Affectionately known as ‘The Trip’, the name derives from a ‘trip’, meaning a stop or resting place on a journey.
As always, I have included links for those who would like more information, or might be near enough to visit. I hope you enjoyed meandering around Nottingham Castle with me. Not too strenuous, was it?
I’m ready to put the kettle on now and enjoy the great contributions I’ve received to Jo’s Monday walk this week. If you have a walk you’d like to share, do please join in. For details, just click on the link or on my logo. Many thanks to all my walkers this week.
Firstly, Noe takes us back to South Sulawesi. The scenery is quite amazing! :
And for something completely different, how about Glasgow Necropolis, with Violet Sky :
Amy has saved us some delicious remnants of Autumn foliage :
While Drake is busy, just being himself, in Liverpool :
And, all the way from Australia, we have Jude joining us again. A bit special! :
That’s it till next Monday. Have a great week and happy walking to you all!