About this image
King Charles I raised his Royal Standard of war on a mound called Derry Mount north of the main gateway of the castle in August 1642. This was in an effort to rally support for the Royalist cause during the Civil War. However, very few people rushed to ally themselves with the King and he withdrew to Salisbury, leaving the Castle to fall into Parliamentary hands. Colonel Hutchinson, a local landowner and later to be one of the signatories to the King's death warrant, was appointed Castle governor. His wife Lucy recorded that she found the Castle 'very ruinous and uninhabitable.' The Royalists, commanded by Sir John Digby, hoped to secure all of Nottinghamshire for the King, but after occupying Newark their efforts to secure Nottingham suffered a set-back. A stalemate resulted when Colonel Hutchinson rallied Nottingham's willing citizens against the King. The Castle after being made defensible and adapted for cannon, became a Parliamentary refuge surrounded by Royalist strongholds. The castle survived several Royalist attacks. In January 1644, the Royalists attacked the town. The Roundheads abandoned their positions and fled to the Castle. The attackers then fired into the Castle from the surrounding houses (St. Nicholas church had been demolished earlier by the Governor when Royalists had used its tower to fire into the Castle.) The Governor counter-attacked and, after vicious fighting in the streets leading up to the Castle, the Royalists eventually fled. The King was sentenced to death on 27 January. Three days later, Charles was beheaded on a scaffold outside the Banqueting House in Whitehall, London. The original painting is in the Castle. Reproduced in A Dawson's 'Life of H Dawson', 1891.