After leaving the marina we picked up this mooring outside of Sainsbury's and with the castle just visible through the trees in the distance this will do us for today although the towpath is extremely busy with foot traffic and idiot speeding cyclists. We were a bit unsure about mooring here again as in the last week a Dog was stolen from a boat and then an elderly Fisherman was pushed in to the canal by 3 youths then finally we heard that a boater woke up at 03.00 to find a thief walking around in his boat stealing his belongings.It seems that the boater had a rather large hammer next to his bed and chased the Scroat away. We were told that the Police were called to all that happened and would be making a greater presence in the area.
With number one Granddaughter up with us we decided to go and have a look around Nottingham Castle . With the temperature in the low 20s and near to 30 deg C in the boat there was no way we could leave Hamish aboard so the lucky Lad came with us.
We soon reached the bottom of Nottingham Castle where there was a labyrinth of manmade caves and tunnels which tell the turbulent story of this historic site.
The famous tunnel known as Mortimers hole is carved into the sandstone outcrop on which the Castle stands. The passage way is eerie enough but is made all the more so by the reputed presence of the ghost of Sir Roger Mortimer himself.
Mortimer, the Earl of March and lover of Queen Isabella, was her accomplice in the murder of Edward II. On the night of 19 October 1330 the Queen and her lover Mortimer were staying at Nottingham Castle. Seeking to bring his father’s killer to justice and expose his feckless mother, the young King Edward III entered a network of secret tunnels that led ultimately into the Castle itself.
With a band of loyal supporters the King burst into his mother’s bedroom and surprised the lovers. Edward himself is said to have seized Mortimer. The now doomed monarch killer was led away, so legend has it, to Isabella’s mournful cries of “Fair son, have pity on the gentle Mortimer.”
Sir Roger was imprisoned in the Castle, taken to London and executed as a traitor. He was hung, drawn and quartered on the 29 November 1330 and his wretched remains skewered on spikes and left to rot on traitors gate at ‘Tyburn’.
The tunnel that led to Sir Roger’s downfall then became known as ‘Mortimer’s Hole’ and is so to this day.
There was no way after hearing that it was haunted would Carolyn and Curly go anywhere near the caves so we carried on towards the castle.
Here we go again and this is the closest we got to the Castle. We are again greeted with the sign that we see in a lot of places NO DOGS . Its such a shame as we were looking forward to looking around the Castle. Unfortunately for the castle they lost out on £24 in admission fees .
Never mind we made up for our disappointment of not getting in to the castle by having a drink in the Trip to Jerusalem which is the oldest pub in England and is built in to a cave. Although I don't think Curly was that impressed with a visit to a pub.
Many people believe the pub is named ‘Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem’ because people made a trip to Jerusalem from here. In fact the word “trip” does not mean a journey in this case. An old meaning for ‘trip’ is a stop on a journey, like being tripped up, so the inn’s name means a stop or rest on the way to Jerusalem.
The pub is famous for its caves, carved out of the soft sandstone rock against which the building is set. The larger ground level caverns are now used as the pub’s rear drinking rooms. There is also a network of caves beneath the building, originally used as a brewery. They seem to date from around the time of the construction of the castle (1068 AD).
The cursed galleon is a small wooden model of a ship in one the upstairs lounge. It is claimed that people who have cleaned it have all met a mysterious death. Landlords have refused to allow anyone to dust the ship over the years, allowing inches of thick grime to build up on it. The galleon is now encased in glass.
The pub also houses an antique chair; it is claimed that a woman who sits in the chair will increase her chances of becoming pregnant. So many people have sat on the chair in the hope of it bringing them pregnancy that is now is too weak to withstand the huge demand… It is now on display in the upstairs lounge. I told Carolyn to go nowhere near it as I’m far too old to go through all that again .
We had a local made Lager which was made with Apricot and was very enjoyable . Carolyn had a pint and at well over 5% it went straight to her head.
Tomorrow after another shop in Sainsbury's we will pull ropes from rings from our mooring and head along The Nottingham Canal then dropping down a couple of locks and hopefully picking up a mooring on the river Trent opposite Victoria embankment.