Through a £29.4m Lottery Heritage funded project, Purcell are conserving and repairing parts of Nottingham Castle's vast architectural heritage.

This includes the design of a new visitor centre and gallery experience to enhance the Castle’s offer while repairs to the Castle's historic fabric will preserve its 1,000 years of architectural and cultural history. The project is due for completion this year and will open in 2021.

Nottingham Castle Gatehouse and entrance.

From the beginning, plans to restore and revitalise Nottingham Castle — a complex composed of 20 Listed buildings and two Scheduled Monuments — have been ambitious yet sensitive to the Castle’s original design and placement in the Nottinghamshire landscape.

Ducal Palace, Nottingham Castle.

The team's redevelopment of the site includes the design of a new contemporary visitor centre and the refurbishment of the 17th century Ducal Palace and medieval Gatehouse. It also includes re-landscaping across the site and additional restoration works to improve visitor flow and bring the Castle's architecture back to its former glory.

The work will also increase accessibility and optimise space within the Castle and its grounds while allowing visitors to understand and experience the heritage of this iconic site.

Nottingham Castle is an incredibly varied site reflecting a very long history. The Castle was constructed in 1067 by William the Conqueror and it’s got layer upon layer reflecting that 1,000 years of history. There’s the medieval cave within the Castle rock that sits beneath the Castle and there are the remains of medieval fortifications and the Gatehouse.

Purcell Associate and Heritage Team Leader (East), Rowenna Wood
Purcell's design of a new visitor centre will be home to a new ticketing area, cafe and visitor facilities located inside.

Purcell have designed the contemporary spaces to sit seamlessly in the Castle grounds. Visitors will enter the Castle's site through the original Gatehouse, leading up to the new visitor centre.

The new contemporary gallery space is sympathetic to the Castle's historic architecture and will welcome visitors into the Robin Hood experience, with a new ticketing area, cafe and visitor facilities located inside.

The cave within the Castle rock that sits beneath the Castle.

The team have successfully introduced wheelchair access to the majority of public spaces across the site including inside and outside the Castle. Changing Places toilets have been installed in the Gatehouse, which is one of Nottingham City Council’s commitments across their cultural sites. The team have also conducted modest repair works to the Castle’s facade, including stone cleaning and sensitive repairs.

We’ve made one of the largest changes to the Castle’s former Textile Gallery — in the 1960s the gallery was divided into two spaces with a mezzanine floor introduced. We’ve removed the dividing floor and restored the gallery to its original proportions which is an incredible transformation.

Architect, Rachael Roberts

Purcell’s restoration will ensure the Castle’s longevity for future generations while the new contemporary visitor centre is designed to sit harmoniously in the foreground of the remodelled landscape. The Ducal Palace is visible above the treeline in the background, creating a union between the site’s heritage and future.