Bring out the explorer in yourself (and your kids!) with a walk to Codnor Castle!
There's always something to explore at Codnor Castle.
And while you're there, why not take a few photos and post them to our Facebook page (remember to tag us, or check in to Codnor Castle Heritage Trust). We love to see the different ways you see the Castle! See if you can find the different viewpoints these photos were taken from.
To learn more about this special hidden gem, our open days are the 2nd Sunday in every month.
Guided tours are at 12 and 2pm, with refreshments available.
Sorry, NO parking at the site, Limited disabled parking is available.
As a registered charity, Codnor Castle Heritage Trust relies heavily on donations, both from members of the public, and from a great many official bodies.
We therefore gratefully acknowledge the valuable contributions made recently by:
• Alex Stevenson, County Councillor for Greater Heanor (£500 from the Members’ Community Leadership Scheme);
• Richard Iliffe, County Councillor for Heanor Central (£500 from the Members’ Community Leadership Scheme),
• Hardyal Dhindsa, Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire (£2500 from the Commissioner's Vulnerability Fund, in order to improve security measures).
We extend our profound thanks to each of these individuals, as we do to every one of you who has made a contribution to our funds over the years.
The story of these 800-year-old ruins turned 'haunted'attraction
The story of Codnor Castle is featured on the Derby Telegraph website from today, in Gurjeet Nanrah's interview with our chairman, Rokia Brown:
It's a story that has survived through past pandemics, such as the one that became known as the Black Death, in the 1340s, as it will survive the current pandemic, to thrive again in the future:
The concerns about the condition of the Codnor Castle site expressed by Codnor Castle Heritage Trust, Historic England, Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust and Amber Valley Borough Council have been picked up by BBC Radio Derby,
who ran an interview with our chair, Rokia Brown, during their news bulletins yesterday.
You can hear it at the start of this programme, which is available until April 3rd:
The story itself also appears on the BBC News website:
If you're as fascinated by castles as we are, you'll love the work of the Castle Studies Group:
To keep members informed of their work they produce a twice-yearly email bulletin, and they asked our chairman, Rokia Brown, to write a summary of our recent activities for the winter 2021 edition (see image).
Individual membership of the Castle Studies Group is £25 per annum (£30 pa for two people sharing the same address). Further details are available here:
Our thanks to CSG for the interest they have shown in our work over the years, as well as the encouragement they have given us.
This is a revised reconstruction of the window over the gateway to Upper Court at Codnor Castle. I have redrawn the Gothic tracery using the method described on the website, New York Carver using an equilateral triangle and circles.
And now for some very big news indeed….
From Day One, our aim as a Trust has been to further knowledge of
the Codnor Castle site, as to date there have been only two digs:
an amateur one in 1960, and Time Team's three-day exploratory dig in 2007.
From next season, however, we intend to hold archaeology field schools, in partnership with our good friends at Mercian Archaeological Services CIC.
These would concentrate initially on non-invasive methods (principally ground-penetrating radar, resistivity, magnetometry, and LIDAR), the results helping us to build up a complete picture of the castle and its surroundings.
Seen here is one of the directors of Mercian, archaeologist Andy Gaunt, visiting the Trust to discuss details of the scheme last Thursday (September 17th).
In keeping with our ideals, the field schools would be open to all, though there would have to be a charge of around £250, to cover equipment hire, and so on.
For more on Mercian Archaeology's current field schools, see:
Details of any field schools at Codnor Castle will appear both here and on Mercian's website in due course. We hope to see you on one soon!
Have you heard the rumour that Codnor Castle's in the running to be the location for this year's 'I'm A Celebrity…'? Well, BBC Radio Derby has, so they sent reporter Jack Goodman out to interview our chairman, Rokia Brown, this morning.
You can hear his report tomorrow morning on the breakfast programme, with Andy Twigge, around 7.50am. The programme will be available to listen to again, on the BBC Sounds app, and the BBC Radio Derby website, afterwards:
We are prouder to announce
We're the highest climber in the annual Higgypop survey of the Top 100 Most Haunted Places In The UK!
Not only that, but at number 11 we're the highest-rated location in Derbyshire, higher than Derby Gaol (no. 91) and Elvaston Castle (no. 89), a climb of no less than 40 places! Proof, if proof were needed, that Codnor Castle is truly a world-beating location in more ways than one.
More details of the Higgypop survey at:
And you can book your own Castle Farm paranormal experience by contacting Sean Cadman through his dedicated facebook page:
We'll see you soon!
11th Most Haunted Place In Derbyshire
Since lockdown has been in place there has been massively increased footfall at Codnor Castle. We know the vast majority of dog-walkers, hikers and cyclists treat the site responsibly, but we're finding increasing numbers of people wandering into the old farmyard, parts of which are extremely dangerous.
There has now been a partial collapse of one of the outbuildings in the old courtyard. The roof of this building was held in place by solid metal props, and we're working through the security footage with the owner and the police Rural Crime Team to see if vandalism was responsible.
Please be aware that the public footpaths only cover the field around the old castle keep (shown in red on the map), and do not extend into the lower part of the site near the farmhouse, or anywhere around the farmhouse.
In short, for your safety's sake, please keep to the area around the public footpaths, and do not enter the area around the farmhouse and farmyard.
The old milking-parlour and the outbuildings around the courtyard have suffered several collapses over the past few years, and it's only been a matter of luck that no one has been inside at the time. We're now working with the owner to replace the warning signs that were in place, but which were torn down.
As the charitable historic trust with the official duty of looking after the Codnor Castle site, we do occasionally open up the farmyard to visitors on open days, but only after taping off the areas that are not to be entered. There will be no such events for the foreseeable future, so any events you might see advertised are certainly not operated by the Trust, and should be reported either to the Trust or Historic England.
We formed as a group of local people who love Codnor Castle, and want to see it kept open and made available for future generations, and for the most part you have shown us that's what you want too. Let us now work together to keep the site, and its visitors, safe.
Now we can reveal all…!
The Haunted Hunts Team Investigate The Dark Haunting Of Codnor Farmhouse In New Two-Hour Special
You might remember a few weeks ago we played host to a TV crew shooting a programme on paranormal events commissioned by Amazon Prime.
Well, now we can tell you that the programme is The Haunted Hunts UK, and it's to be on Amazon Prime from Thursday, July 2nd! You'll need to be an Amazon Prime subscriber, but there's a free 30-day trial period:
Hot on the heels of the second season of their paranormal web series, Danny Moss and his team return... Read more at https://www.higgypop.com/news/the-haunted-hunts-codnor-farmhouse-special/
We're in the paper (again!)
Remember The Parapod Movie première a few weeks ago? Well, now's *your* chance to see one of this year's funniest independent comedies - with a starring role for Codnor Castle!
Ian Boldsworth and Barry Dodds' paranormal peregrinations will be coming to the Savoy cinema in Nottingham on Thursday March 19th. The screening also includes a Q&A session with Ian and Barry.
To book your tickets, and for more screening dates, see:
In the mean time, here's an interview with CCHT chairman Rokia Brown, from this week's Ripley & Heanor News.
It seems Parapod Movie star Barry Dodds can't get enough of Codnor Castle. He was joined last night not by his co-star Ian Boldsworth, but by journalist Rebecca Kirk (pictured second from left in the group photo) and a gathering of paranormal investigators for a full night of enquiries. Barry and Rebecca produce a feature for 'Chat - It's Fate' magazine called 'Dodds and Kirk's Haunted Britain', and visited Codnor back in 2018 for a feature published last February.
The Parapod Movie is about to embark on a tour of independent cinemas in the UK, visiting Nottingham's Savoy Cinema on Thursday March 19th. More dates are listed at: https://theparapod.com/
You can hear an exclusive interview with Barry Dodds on Amber Sound FM around 7.15pm this coming Friday (February 21st).
It's not very often we're asked to attend a film première in the heart of London's West End, but that's exactly where our chairman, Rokia Brown, was on Monday night.
Last year we were contacted by filmmaker Ian Boldsworth about The Parapod Movie, a film based on the award-winning Parapod podcast he and Barry Dodds collaborated on until 2018. The theme of the Parapod was paranormal activity, with a comic slant - as you'd expect of a pair of award-winning standup comedians - and the largely crowdfunded film expanded on that theme.
We were asked to keep the project secret until the première - which was last night, so now we can reveal all…
The première itself took place at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Place (just a few strides from Leicester Square), said to be Quentin Tarantino's favourite UK cinema. He was, as far as we know, not there that night, but then again it was dark.
The Parapod has many devoted fans from all age groups and walks of life, as you can see from the length of the queue around the block from the cinema. We chatted to a couple of them, though we had to be careful not to give away any spoilers about Codnor Castle's involvement, which was strictly under wraps at that point.
We weren't allowed to take photographs while the movie was being shown, but there was a Q&A session with (L to R in the photograph) producer Bil Bungay, Barry Dodds, film editor Simon Gibbs, and Ian Boldsworth. Oh yes, and we were also invited to the after party at the Groucho Club, just a short walk away on Dean Street (nice canapés!).
Please do seek out the Parapod Movie. Codnor Castle features very heavily in the final segment of the film, so if you want to see the castle and farmhouse as you've never seen them before, look out for it at an independent cinema near you! For now, here's the trailer:
Grand Victorian Open Day for the Feast of St. Nicholas
Thanks to all who came to our event.
The wind around the North Court might have been positively icy, but that didn't stop you hardy lot from visiting today!
Our annual Feast of St. Nicholas open day is always a special occasion, and it was an especial pleasure to welcome The Chutney Lady (you can catch her at Heanor's Community Fair, at St. Lawrence's church, Heanor, on the first Saturday of each month), and the ladies with the cookie decorating stall.
By special arrangement with the North Pole elves, we also managed to secure a visit from the real Santa Claus, ably assisted by volunteer Fez Seagrave. Being responsible trustees we did, of course, check the local by-laws on low-flying reindeer first. We're sure what they left behind will help the farmhouse garden to grow next year, too.
Both guided tours today were given by trust secretary Sheenagh Rothwell, and cakes were baked by our head of catering Irene Oxley and volunteer Becky Seagrave. We're especially grateful also for the hamper of goodies donated by Morrison's supermarket, Eastwood.
Our next open day will be on the second Sunday in January (the 12th), from 11am-3pm. We'll see you then!
Codnor Castle Paranormal Events
Codnor Farmhouse ghost hunts have become extremely popular over the last few months.
We have Haunted Happenings Official Page and Dusk Till Dawn Events, two of the country's most respected event companies selling out 1 date each every month, we also have private investigation teams coming from all over the country to investigate and communicate with our resident spirits.
The venue has gained a HUGE reputation throughout the paranormal community as the must go to place, investigators are reporting incredible paranormal activity, some going as far as saying it is off the scale of anything they have ever experienced.
So popular is Codnor Farmhouse teams are clamouring for dates to investigate well into next year.
This is truly one incredible venue to visit for paranormal enthusiasts.
For those wishing to experience the ghosts of Codnor Farmhouse just contact either Haunted Happenings or Dusk till Dawn or for private team nights please contact Sean Cadman through Facebook: Sean Cadman
The Castle as a location shoot
Wolvencrown Photo Shoot February 2019
With thanks to the talented Paul Bobrucki, here's the result of his early-morning photo shoot with Nottingham band Wolvencrown. Look out for their album 'Of Bark And Ash' later this year!
The Prince of Darkness visits Codnor Castle…
Codnor Castle became a movie location today, as a group of local filmmakers moved in to shoot scenes for a movie to be released in September 2014…about vampires in Annesley. Based on real-life events, the Annesley Vampire movie dramatises the story of a group of coalminers and railwaymen in 1960s Annesley, whose passion for moviemaking led them to produce not one, but two, vampire movies: 'Spawn of the Vampire' and 'Prince of Darkness'. (Our thanks go to Dave Hague for the location photographs).
Visitors to the castle
One of the great joys of showing visitors round Codnor Castle is the vast range of people it attracts, from primary school parties
Sometimes random things happen: We were checking the @codnorcastle Twitter account earlier when Dan Snow - @thehistoryguy - popped up to say he'd be in the Derby area shortly, and what should he see? Well, we had an idea or two, so we invited him over. A little over an hour later, we were showing Dan Snow round Codnor Castle! Here are the results…! Incidentally,
Archaeologist James Wright visits Codnor Castle, November 2016
A professional archaeologist and author of the standard work on the castles of Nottinghamshire, James Wright. After 12 years working on the former royal palace at King's Clipstone and a period working for Museum of London Archaeology (MoLA), James is now a doctoral researcher at the University of Nottingham, so he nipped over to see Codnor Castle a couple of weeks ago. James is a buildings archaeologist, so was able to cast an experienced professional eye over the entire site, in the process pointing out features that might otherwise have been missed. You can be sure we'll be incorporating James' findings into our guided tours the next time you visit. Who knows: one of the next class of primary school pupils we show round might be inspired enough to become a buildings archaeologist when they grow up. We certainly hope so. You can find James' work on the Castles of Nottinghamshire at: http://site.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/learning/libraries/localstudiespublications/?entryid73=149782&char=C His work summing up 12 years of research at King's Clipstone, A Palace for our Kings, now in its second edition, is available here: http://www.triskelepublishing.com/shop/
Archaeological recording by photo and drawing of the east wall to Lower Court prior to felling of a Canadian maple tree. February 2015
East wall to Lower Court. Amber Valley viewed from the east side. Amber Valley Borough Council has give permission for the tree in the background to be felled, CCHT have archaeologically recorded the wall prior to this as a precaution in case the wall is damaged during the felling
The same wall viewed from the west side showing the remains of the crenellations which are thought to date to the 16th century and the time of the Zouches
An engraving dated to 1891. The gateway seen on the previous photo is, I think, the one towards the left hand side of the picture
Site survey of the gateway
Archaeological recording of the East wall prior to tree felling. The drawings complement the photographic record and together the photos and drawings should enable the wall to be rebuilt should it be damaged during felling
Tree Ring Dating
A big thank you to English Heritage who have funded the tree ring dating of timbers at Castle Farm. Robert Howard from Nottingham University's Dendrochronolgy lab is carrying ou the work. He started sampling the timbers in the farmhouse on Monday 22nd December. Tree ring dating can give very accurate dates for the felling of timbers. As they were used in buildings very soon after being felled, this effectively gives a date when that particular timber was incorporated into a building. We are hoping thta the tree ring dating will give us dates for the various phases of construction of the farmhouse. However, a lot of timbers were re-used from older buildings, especially on a site like Codnor wheer there may have been a plentiful supply of redundant buildings when the castle went out use. It might turn out that the timbers in the farmhouse came originally from the medieval castle. .
Robert drilling into the ceiling joists in the living room. Even with a 110 volt electric drill, this is hard work as the timber, after being in place for hundreds of years, is rock hard
Robert Howard at work
The first tree ring sample fresh from the hollow cored drill