THE CASTLE LODGE, before Restoration, 1902

Nottingham Castle in its prime, occupied a place in the history of England, that could only be reproduced now-a-days by combining Windsor Castle, the Houses of Parliament, and Aldershot, for within the walls of its Royal Palace met many Parliaments and it was the mustering ground for troops assembling for countless campaigns. Most of its old buildings have passed away, and only here and there remain fragments of masonry which speak of the wonderful past to the sympathetic mind of the antiquary. But this gateway remains, and even in its coat of modern stonework, it is an arresting sight for all men. It was erected in the fourteenth century, in the heyday of Castle building, and when it was new with all its panoply of portcullis drawbridge, machicolations, and doorways, must have been nearly impregnable against contemporary assault. But time passed on; through this gateway Richard III. passed to Bosworth and death, and with his departure the old order disappeared. Henry VII. came to the throne and the Tudor policy had no need of castles, so that the grand old fortress became ruinous. So insecure did it become that when Colonel Hutchinson took possession of Nottingham Castle for the Parliament in 1642 he was forced to patch it up with hasty repairs. These repairs remain in our gateway and account for the red brick which is incorporated in its fabric.

Well, there it stands, a grim old relic with its wonderful story. Its draw-bar hole and its portcullis-chase are patent to all beholders. The intricacy and skill of its construction can be made out with a little study. Some day, perhaps we shall realise what a priceless relic it is and we shall restore it to its original condition and shall exhibit upon it a list of some of the many famous men who have passed through its portals.