Mortimer’s Hole

by Jimmy Notts534877_607862889229981_50129972_n

Under Nottingham Castle, carved into the sandstone outcrop on which the castle stands, is the famous tunnel known as Mortimer’s Hole.

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 Isobel, was probably her accomplice in the murder of Edward II.

On the night of October 19th 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 Isobel’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 hanged, drawn and quartered on the 29th of November 1330 and his wretched remains skewered on spikes and left to rot on traitors gate ‘Tyburn’.

The tunnel that led to Sir Roger’s downfall became known after him and is still called “Mortimer Hole.”

The above image is a painting by Thomas Allom, 1836. Allom was a prolific artist and producer of designs. He was apprenticed to the architect Francis Goodwin and studied at the Royal Academy Schools, after which he travelled abroad, mostly in Europe, to extend his artistic experience. He died at Barnes on 21 October 1872.

About nottinghamhiddenhistoryteam

Originally formed in 1965 to try to save or at least record before destruction the cave sites continually discovered during the major redevelopment of the City that took place in Nottingham in the 1960′s. Almost every day new sites were unearthed and destroyed before anyone was notified; last thing they wanted was someone telling them to stop what they were doing; TIME is MONEY. The word HIDDEN in the Team’s title is because a lot of what was being invisibly lost in the redevelopment was our early history in the caves, they are under most, if now all, of Nottingham. In the 80’s and 90’s the Team conducted with the help of Dr Robert Morrell and Syd Henley, research and work on Nottingham’s history, folklore and local archaeology. The Team published quarterly magazines on their findings. The Team lapsed for a few years after the death of Paul Nix who was the team leader for thirty plus years. The Team has reformed and is now back working on Nottingham local history. On this blog you will find a series of history, folklore and archaeological related articles and information. Most of the material published will be specifically related to Nottingham/shire local history.
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