Castle Bid

Welcome to the latest Castle Transformation Newsletter


We appreciate that people have lots going on at the end of the year so we kept the December round up for the New Year…

This issue features:

– Project update
– Nottingham and the caves on QI
– Nottingham Castle features in ‘Britain from the Air’ exhibition
– Lace project update
– Volunteer Christmas Party
– Object of the month – The Herm of Fundilia


Project update – December

Great news – Now the real work starts!: After November’s celebrations, December saw us knuckle down and begin preparing for the Delivery Phase of our fantastic project. A whole team start up meeting was held on 1 December to go over progress made in the last few months and begin detailing our delivery programme for the exciting months and years to come. Work begins now to turn all of our plans into a reality!

Making links with tourism – Our Project Director and Programme Manager were invited this month to give a presentation at the Experience Nottinghamshire end of year Members Meeting. This was a fantastic opportunity to explain the details of our project and the beneficial impacts it will have on the local tourist economy over the coming years. It was great to see so many industry sectors and professionals in attendance, many of whom we look forward to working with in the near future.

Thinking about the detail: A series of content development workshops have been held this month as the curatorial and content team re-engaged with exhibition designers Casson Mann after the ‘quiet period’, while we were awaiting the HLF decision. What followed was days full of creative discussion where ideas were tested and fleshed out, as we begin the journey towards RIBA Stage 4 technical design. One of the questions posed last week was ‘Who is our Robin Hood?’ More to follow…

Lastly… The project team would like to wish all our subscribers all the best for the New Year.

Thank you so much for your support for the project and we look forward to some exciting new project developments in 2017

Happy New Year

Brewhouse Caves

Nottingham and the caves on QI

Nottingham and the caves was discussed on the BBC’s QI programme on 11/12/16.

The show included photos of the caves and a discussion about Nottingham as a city. You can see the show on the BBC iPlayer at 13:31 minutes in.


Castle display board

Britain from the Air exhibition

Stunning new aerial photographs of Nottingham are amongst the highlights of a major outdoor exhibition in Station Street which started in mid December and will run until the end of February.

The photos – including images of Nottingham Castle, Goose Fair, the Old Market Square and Nottingham Forest’s City Ground –form part of the acclaimed Britain from the Air exhibition of more than 100 contemporary views.  It gives a unique perspective of some of the UK’s most breathtaking and thought-provoking landscapes and landmarks while telling the fascinating story of Britain’s geography and history.

Britain from the Air has been created by the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) and street gallery pioneers Wecommunic8 as a key part of the Society’s drive to engage the public with the geography of the UK. This is the first time the exhibition will have been seen in Nottinghamshire.


Lace gallery

Lace project update

The Lace Unravelled project advert for a new Lace Assistant post had a good response to the job ad and the team will be interviewing for the post in early January.

The assistant will be helping out with a whole programme of research, conservation and other activities aimed at improving knowledge of our fantastic Nottingham Lace and Lace Machinery collections, so that we can make them more accessible to the public. One of the ways will be the new Lace Gallery that will form part of the transformation project.

In 2014, our collection was awarded ‘Designation’ status by Arts Council England. The Arts Council’s Designation scheme is a mark of distinction awarded to the finest cultural collections housed in non-national museums, libraries and archives across England.

Nottingham City Museums & Galleries’ Lace Machinery and Lace Collections tell the distinctive story of the city’s industrial and textile past and explains how a domestic craft became an important mass market commodity.

The featured visual for the transformed lace gallery is copyrighted to Casson Mann


Brewhouse volunteers

Volunteer Christmas Party

Members of the Castle Project Team were lucky enough to get invites to the Nottingham City Museums and Galleries (NCMG) Volunteer Christmas party, held on 8 December.

This was a great opportunity to meet volunteers from across the service and hear about the fantastic work they’ve been doing over the past year. The event also doubled as the annual Volunteer Awards, and we were very proud to be there to support our own project volunteer Yvonne, who had been nominated twice!

Huge congratulations must go to all the nominees and winners, and a big thank you to the NCMG staff who organised such a lovely evening.

Pictured, are the volunteers from Brewhouse Yard who won the top team award on the night.


Herm of Fundilia

Object of the month

What is it?
Our selection this month is the Herm of Fundilia Rufa a highlight of the Nemi Collection.

Why is it significant? The herm (Roman portrait bust) depicts Fundilia Rufa, daughter of Gaius Fundilius Rufus and patroness of a freed slave named Doctus who dedicated it to her. It was excavated in 1885 from the Temple of Diana at Nemi, a site of outstanding importance in the study of early Roman religion. 

Tell me more – The herm consists of 6 sections connected by dowels, with the feet sitting on the plinth in front of the body. Fundilia’s status as the wife of a head of a family is demonstrated by her ‘tutulus’ hairstyle. Although herms were usually fairly plain ours shows delicate treatment of the garments, it may also have been painted and  would have been viewed from the front as the hair is not carved on the back of the head.

The Nemi Collection was donated to the Museum in 1886 by Lord Savile of Rufford Abbey who excavated the site. It only represents half of the finds, the remainder being sold to art collectors by the landowner.

In our opinion – Work carried out in Copenhagen to look at the chromatography of the Nottingham herm, proves that Fundilia lived up to her family name of Rufa and did indeed have red hair, making her appear quite imposing. Like the Nottingham example, the second existing sculpture of Fundilia, which can be found at the Ny Carlsberg Museum in Copenhagen, was also dedicated by her freed slave Doctus. He was an actor who may have performed at the theatre within the sanctuary complex, suggesting that Fundilia was well respected. If only she could talk, what a tale she could tell…!

The Herm of Fundilia Rufa will feature in the new ‘Art as Inspiration’ gallery currently being designed by exhibition designers Casson Mann.

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