#140 Nottingham Castle
Nottinghamshire, England
1067-8 and 1170-5 plus, until demolition in 1651
This is NOT an official Lego site

While the first mention of Nottingham is in regard to the Danish Vikings in 868, it is not known if Castle Rock hosted a defensive structure before 1067-8, when William the Conqueror constructed a motte and bailey castle. In 1140 the castle was destroyed by fire when Nottingham came under attack from Robert of Gloucester. Between 1170 and 1175 King Henry II spent 900 transforming the rebuilt timber structure into a royal stone castle that may have included the Great Tower in the inner bailey. Nottingham Castle remained in the Crown's hands for several centuries, with successive monarchs spending lavishly on repairs and enlargements, until, in the mid-fifteenth century, it occupied all of Castle Rock and the surrounding area [see etching on the left]. In 1190 Henry II's son, Richard the Lionheart, left for the Third Crusade with Philip II of France and many others, including a large number of English noblemen. A neglected Nottingham Castle was occupied by the notorious High Sheriff of Nottingham William de Wendenal. The Sheriff aligned himself with Richard's brother, Prince John, and it is in this scenario that the hero outlaw Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men of Sherwood Forest became the source of many tales. That Sheriff of Nottingham disappeared from history upon the return of Richard I in March 1194 with seige machines from the Crusade at Jerusalem.
In 1327 Edward II sent his 14 year old son, accompanied by his wife Isabella of France, to pay homage at Aquitaine. Isabella conspired with Roger Mortimer and the Duke of Aquitaine to successfully overthrow Edward, and the teen became Edward III of England. Mortimer, now named the 1st Earl of March, was de facto ruler of England and quickly became highly unpopular due to avarice and unscrupulousness. In 1330 the now 17 year old king, with the aid of William Montagu and others, entered Nottingham by night through a secret tunnel under the castle and captured both Mortimer and his mother Isabella. Mortimer was hanged in the Tower of London a month later, and the queen exiled to Castle Rising [which see]. In 1485 Richard III rode into battle from Nottingham Castle, only to be killed at Bosworth by Henry Tudor, who subsequently became Henry VII. In 1622 a deteriorating Nottingham Castle was sold by King James I to the Earl of Rutland, but in just 20 years Charles I raised his standard outside the walls of Nottingham, beginning the Civil War. After the war Oliver Cromwell and his Parliamentarians ordered Nottingham Castle to be destroyed, which it was in 1651 - a sad end to one of the important castles in the history of England!

Nottingham Castle ~1190
as fortified by Henry II, father
of Richard I and John
The castle about 1272
showing the additions
of Henry III
Nottingham about 1389
following the additions
by Edward III
The final castle ~1485
showing the building
program of Edward IV
1617 Plan by Robert Smythson from
The History of the King's Works, ii [Pl. 48]
The portion of the castle
which I have built
Entrance(s) to the entirely
man-made caves in Castle
Rock [= Mortimer's Hole]


Photos of the Lego Model
under construction in March 2013
This project has been aided immeasurably by the kind assistance of Gordon A. B. Young, City Archeologist
of Nottingham, England. The chronologic castle plans and other info in part from "Nottingham Castle: A Place
Full Royal" by Christopher Drage, who directed the 1976-1984 excavations at Nottingham Castle.
On March 17 the project is laid
out in 7 sections. Three are to
be the middle & upper wards...
Two will become Sherwood
Forest and the other two a
strip of the outer ward
On the fifth day Sherwood is ready
for more trees, and soon a modest
bridge will follow
On March 27 serious work is
underway on the south end
of Castle Rock
By the next day the sub-
structure is mostly in place
On March 29 work begins on
the remainder of Castle Rock
April arrives with the massive
outcropping ready for a castle
So naturally work shifts to the
middle ward gatehouse...
...with a nice area for the local
knights to test their skills
On April 12 it's time to see what
the upper bailey will eventually
look like
Two days later the south and
west ranges are taking shape
The curving east range presents
the greatest challenge
But even the wannebee Prince
John likes his new quarters
On April 18 construction moves
on to the service quadrangle in
the middle ward
The half-timber buildings are
unwashed with natural wood -
quite suitable for the staff
And by April 21 the west curtain
wall between the donjon and
gatehouse is complete


Photos of the Lego Model
built in March through May 2013
This project was built for BrickWorld 2013, but the day it was to be driven to Chicago, I had emergency
surgery for a detached retina instead. Nottingham Castle and Sherwood Forest never left my rec room.

SSW view of the completed
The view from the ESE emphasizes
Sherwood Forest
The general view of the model
from the NNE
And a closer view of the inner
ward & castle rock from the NNE
The view from the WNW shows
more of the middle bailey
Here's a close-up of the gatehouse
into the middle ward
The service wing in the middle
ward from the south
Looking down on the small courtyard
of the service quadrangle
The SSE view of the upper bailey,
showing the entrances to both the
inner castle and the donjon
The ENE view of the upper castle The NW view with a flogging
of one of Robin Hood's men
The ESE view featuring the quarters
of the king [L] and queen [R]
A bit of tilting in a flat portion
of the dry moat
Lots is happening in the little village
near the middle ward gatehouse!
The pretty little bridge spanning
the River Leen
Ho! It appears some Merry Men are
robbing a treasure-filled coach
Meanwhile Robin and John Little
aka Little John are having their
bit of fun on a fallen log
While several Merry Men stalk the king's
deer, Allan A'Dayle spins tales for the
forest children
And Friar Tuck has discovered
that a flagon of ale doesn't
hinder his Biblical studies
The rest of the Merry Men are
honing their archery skills
Prince John, the vicious Sheriff of
Nottingham, and Sir Guy of Gisborn
watch the flogging
While Robin's men plan the rescue of
their stricken comrade!
The happy fisherman anticipates
an imminent catch on the river-
bank near Mortimer's Hole
Two lads join forces to rescue
several apples from a neighbor's


Build Your Own
The theme of BrickWorld 2013 was "Heroes and Villains" so I abandoned my original
plan of Nottingham Castle in favor of a modified castle plus Sherwood Forest.
Therefore there are no plans for this castle. However I have uploaded my
drawings of the upper castle residential ranges.

North elevation
West elevation
South elevation East elevation

Other Nottingham Castle sites:

Return to the main castle page.

Castles created by Robert Carney
Page designed & maintained by
Robert Carney