Above can be seen John Smythson’s plan of Nottingham Castle in 1617. This document gives us one of the only detailed layouts of the castle before the 18th Century.
Many tourists who visit Nottingham are often disappointed to find out that very little survives of this once magnificent medieval castle (including Walt Disney in 1951). It was, in its time in the same league as Windsor, Dover and the Tower of London as a military stronghold, royal palace and administration centre.
The order for Nottingham Castle’s final destruction was given during the English Civil War by the Council of State in 1651. Major Thomas Poulton was given instructions to see Nottingham Castle was demolished effectively within 14 days, so that the castle and ‘all the outworks and fortifications be altogether demolished before the 10th November.’
For the next twenty years the ruins became a common quarry for the local townspeople, until the site was acquired by the Duke of Newcastle.
The vast majority of visitors who arrive to gaze at what is left of Nottingham Castle come because of the castle’s association with one person - the noble outlaw, Robin Hood. But what is often not realized is the fact that Nottingham Castle actually has no part in the earliest medieval stories about the merry outlaw. But that did not stop the castle becoming an elegant backdrop to the later plays and continuous stream of films about his adventures.
To read more about the history of the castle, please click on the Nottingham Castle label.