Welcome to September news
Nottingham Castle Transformation newsletter
Here’s what the project team has been up to in the past month:
Planning decision – We are very pleased to announce that at the Planning Committee on 21 September, the decision was made to grant planning permission for all of the elements of the Nottingham Castle Project.
This includes the re-design and refurbishment of existing facilities including a free standing visitor centre, an extension to cover the kitchen courtyard and a play area in the Castle ditch. This is great news for the project and for the future of the Castle.
Open weekend – The project team was at the Heritage Open Weekend this month, talking to members of the public about plans for the Castle. It was great to meet so many people and also to be on site during the Mela, which was held at the Castle on 11 September. We were so impressed with this event, it was great to see the whole site used in such interesting and diverse ways.
Virtual reality – Members of the project team and Castle site staff were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the Virtual Reality Caves experience, currently being developed by Nottingham City Museums and Galleries in partnership with Hot Knife Digital Media.
This was a fantastic experience, and we were struck by the quality of the imagery, which has been produced with the aid of 3D scans of the cave systems which were conducted by Trent & Peak Archaeology. There will be a chance to have a go yourself when this experience features as part of the Nottingham Caves Festival. There are more details below…
Programme Manager Cal Warren shows Lillian Greenwood MP around the site
We were proud to host MP Lillian Greenwood for a recent tour of the Castle and site. We were able to explain our plans for the site in the future and the processes and timeline that we are currently working through with the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The site’s occupation from the construction of the Castle in 1067 or 1068 is widely known but the Castle Rock was also occupied at a much earlier date, more than 2000 years ago, during that period we call the Late Iron Age.
Excavations have found pieces of Iron Age pottery mixed with more recent material, along with prehistoric worked flints. An excavation approximately 100m north of the Castle, on the site of the former General Hospital, revealed surviving remains of an Iron Age ditch.
Why this spot?
It is understandable that prehistoric settlers would choose to live on such a prominent position which overlooked the Trent Valley and the surrounding landscape. It was exactly for this reason that William the Conqueror later sited his castle here.
The nature of this early occupation is unknown, but it almost certainly existed within the site of the Castle. Remains of ditches have not been found at the Castle but that is because they are either too deep beneath the ground (buried by later landscaping) or they were destroyed during the Castle’s development. Yet remains might possibly be encountered during future archaeological work.
At the moment, there is no timeline for archaeological work to take place but we will keep you posted.