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.