The year after William the Conqueror’s invasion in 1066, he ordered the construction of Nottingham castle. The wooden structure was replaced with stone in Henry II’s reign. Close to the royal hunting grounds of Tideswell, known as the King’s Larder, and Sherwood Forest, which has of course been made famous by Robin Hood
Whether Robin ever existed or not, Henry’s son, Prince John, did use the castle as the heart of his rebellion against his brother, until Richard the Lionheart crushed it in 1194.
Various kings continued to hold court and parliaments in Nottingham, but after the execution of Charles I the castle was razed. In its place the Duke of Newcastle built a mansion and in 1831 that too was burnt down by rioters protesting at the Duke’s rejection of the Reform Act – Nottingham had a serious problem with slums.
The mansion was restored in 1875 to house the Nottingham Castle Museum. Like many city castles, they are useful for housing museums (Norwich, Colchester, York and Tower of London, etc. and some also in the past were used as prisons or courthouses (Lincoln and Chester).
As for Robin Hood, whatever Nottingham Castle looked like, it is down to the imagination, which is perfect for Hollywood.
While Prince John hid in Nott’s castle
Raising an army for a big battle
Robin Hood popped by
and poked him in the eye
‘That’ll teach you for messing with the rabble.’