Nottingham Castle will reopen in June, city council confirms

Nottingham Castle will reopen in June this summer, councillors have confirmed.

The Nottingham Castle Trust, which operated the historic site on behalf of the council, announced it was going into liquidation towards the end of November, meaning the castle and its grounds closed with immediate effect.

Just 18 months earlier, it had reopened following a multi-million pound renovation that took three years to complete.

Nottingham City Council's executive board met earlier on Tuesday, where plans to fully reopen in June were agreed.

The authority will take over running the castle at a cost of up to £2.1m over three years, which could add £12m to £14m annually to the local economy.

The city council also confirmed there would be a Coronation Day Picnic and Celebration Concert event taking place in the grounds of Nottingham Castle over the weekend of May 6 and 7 marking the King’s Coronation.

A quick look at the history of Nottingham Castle:

  • The first Norman castle was built on the site of the Nottingham Castle we see today - 'Castle Rock' - in 1068 and it was made of wood! Construction started two years after the Battle of Hastings, on the orders of William the Conqueror.

  • It was added to extensively through the Medieval period and it became an important royal fortress and occasional royal residence for Kings including Edward III and Henry VII.

  • Nottingham Castle was occupied by supporters of Prince John while King Richard I ("the Lionheart") was away - including the Sheriff of Nottingham. In the legends of Robin Hood, Nottingham Castle is the scene of the final showdown between the Sheriff and the heroic outlaw.

  • The 'Ducal Mansion' was built on the site on the castle in 1660 but was burned down during riots in 1831. The mansion was restored in 1835 and became a museum and art gallery - featuring a top-lit picture gallery modelled after the Grand Gallery of the Louvre in Paris.

Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture & Planning, Councillor Pavlos Kotsonis, said: "It’s great to be able to announce that Nottingham Castle will open again very soon and I’m really excited to see it once again play an important part in the life of the city and be a focal point for celebrations.

"The events we have lined up ahead of the full reopening are a great chance for people to reconnect with the site.

"This is a site which belongs to the whole of Nottingham and I’m hopeful that our approach, which draws on our successful experience of running Wollaton and Newstead, will first and foremost meet with local approval.

"I have no doubt that Nottingham Castle can also become a destination of national and international importance, just as we had envisaged when the £31m of improvements were completed."