Friday, 28 August 2009

Nottingham / Snotengaham: Place in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Series ****

Nottingham ( /ˈnɒtɪŋəm/ (help·info)) is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands. It is located in the ceremonial county of Nottinghamshire, England and is one of only eight members of the English Core Cities Group.

Nottingham City Council House

Whilst the City of Nottingham unitary authority has a historically tightly drawn boundary which accounts for its relatively small population of 288,700, the wider Nottingham Urban Area has a population of 667,000 and is the seventh-largest urban area in the United Kingdom, ranking between those of Liverpool and Sheffield.

Nottingham is famed for its links with the Robin Hood legend and, during the Industrial Revolution, obtained worldwide recognition for its lace-making industry. It was granted its city charter as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Queen Victoria in 1897 and has since been officially titled the City of Nottingham.

In Anglo-Saxon times, around 600 AD the site formed part of the Kingdom of Mercia and was known in the Brythonic language as Tigguo Cobauc, meaning Place of Caves. When it fell under the rule of a Saxon chieftain named Snot it became known as "Snotingaham"; the homestead of Snot's people (Inga = the people of; Ham = homestead). Snot brought together his people in an area now know as the Lace Market. Robin Hood, the legendary outlaw, is supposed to have lived near Nottingham. Nottingham was captured in 867 by Danish Vikings and later became one of the Five Burghs - or fortified towns - of The Danelaw.

Map of the Five Burghs of the Danelaw

Nottingham Castle

In the 11th century Nottingham Castle was constructed on a sandstone outcrop by the River Leen. The Anglo-Saxon settlement developed into the English Borough of Nottingham and housed a Town Hall and Law Courts. A settlement also developed around the castle on the hill opposite and was the French borough supporting the Normans in the castle. Eventually, the space between was built on as the town grew and the Old Market Square became the focus of Nottingham several centuries later.

Nottingham Old Market Skyline

By the 15th century, Nottingham had established itself as the centre of a thriving export trade in religious sculpture made from alabaster. The town became a county corporate in 1449 making it effective self-government, in the words of the charter, "for eternity". The Castle and Shire Hall were expressly excluded and technically remained as detached Parishes of Nottinghamshire.

Typical Redbrick building of the Nottingham Lace Market

During the Industrial Revolution, much of Nottingham's prosperity was founded on the textile industry; in particular, Nottingham was an internationally important centre of lace manufacture. However, the rapid and poorly planned growth left Nottingham with the reputation of having the worst slums in the British Empire outside India. Residents of these slums rioted in 1831, in protest against the Duke of Newcastle's opposition to the Reform Act 1832, setting fire to his residence, Nottingham Castle.
In common with the UK textile industry as a whole, Nottingham's textile sector fell into headlong decline in the decades following World War II, as British manufacturers proved unable to compete on price or volume with the output of factories in the Far East and South Asia. Very little textile manufacture now takes place in Nottingham, but the City's heyday in this sector endowed it with some fine industrial buildings in the Lace Market district. Many of these have been restored and put to new uses.
Nottingham was one of the boroughs reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, and at that time consisted of the parishes of Nottingham St Mary, Nottingham St Nicholas and Nottingham St Peter. It was expanded in 1877 by adding the parishes of Basford, Brewhouse Yard, Bulwell, Radford, Sneinton, Standard Hill and parts of the parishes of West Bridgford, Carlton, Wilford (North Wilford). In 1889 Nottingham became a county borough under the Local Government Act 1888. City status was awarded as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Queen Victoria, being signified in a letter from the Prime Minister the Marquess of Salisbury to the Mayor, dated 18 June 1897. Nottingham was extended in 1933 by adding Bilborough and Wollaton, parts of the parishes of Bestwood Park and Colwick, and a recently developed part of the Beeston Urban District. A further boundary extension was granted in 1951 when Clifton and Wilford (south of the River Trent) were incorporated into the city


King Street with Alfred Waterhouse's and Watson Fothergill's buildings

Nottingham is home to a multitude of different architectural styles, with buildings from a vast swathe of history stretching right back to the 1100s. Victorian Nottingham saw a building boom with many ornate buildings being built owing to the city's 19th century industrial importance, including work by architects such as Alfred Waterhouse (architect of London's Natural History Museum), Thomas Chambers Hine and Nottingham's own Watson Fothergill.

Showing different eras architecture

The western third of the city is home to most of the city's modern office complexes. Several tall office buildings line Maid Marian Way whilst the Georgian area around Oxford and Regent Streets is dominated by small professional firms. The Albert Hall (rebuilt in 1909 after the original Watson Fothergill structure fell victim to fire) faces the Gothic revival St Barnabas' Cathedral by Pugin. Nottingham Castle and its grounds are located further south in the western third of the city. The central third descends from the University district in the north, past the Gothic revival Arkwright Building where Nottingham's Central Library was previously based - Nottingham Trent University now owns this building as well as many others in the area. Theatre Royal on Theatre Square with its pillared façade was built within six months in 1865. King and Queen Streets are home to striking Victorian buildings designed by the likes of Alfred Waterhouse and Watson Fothergill.

The Prudential Building Architecture from different eras side by side

The central focal point of the City is Old Market Square which is the largest in the UK and is dominated by the Council House. This was built in the 1920s to display civic pride, ostentatiously using baroque columns and placing stone statues of two lions at the front to stand watch over the square. The Exchange Arcade on the ground floor is an upmarket shopping containing high-end boutiques. Portland Stone, the same as used for St Paul's Cathedral, was used to construct the Council House and Exchange Arcade. Streets lead from all directions off the square but to the south, shopping streets lead their way in to the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre which is soon to be completely rebuilt. Plans include a much larger three-floor centre with glass-covered 'streets' (similar to the Birmingham Bullring), an iconic new building on the south west corner of the site and a new transport terminus for the proposed tram lines and buses.

Nottingham Council House and Queen Street

The Canal-side further south of this is adjacent to the railway station and home to numerous redeveloped 19th Century industrial buildings which have found new uses as bars and restaurants. The eastern third of the city centre contains the Victoria Shopping Centre, built in the 1970s on the site of the demolished Victoria Railway Station. All that remains of the old station is the clock tower and the station hotel (now the Nottingham Hilton Hotel). The 250 feet-high Victoria Centre flats stand above the shopping centre and are the tallest buildings in the city. The eastern third contains Hockley Village. Hockley is where the vast majority of Nottingham's unique, independent shops are to be found. It is also home to two alternative cinemas. The Screen Room claims to be the smallest in the world with only 21 seats (Link), whilst the Broadway was the cinema of choice for Quentin Tarantino's UK premier of Reservoir Dogs. The Lace Market area is just south of Hockley and was once the heart of Britain's Lace industry during the 19th century British Empire. Its densely packed streets are full of between four and seven-story red brick warehouses, ornate iron railings and red phone boxes.

St Mary's church in the Lace Market

The majority have been restored and are now used for different purposes. New College Nottingham occupies the Adams Building which was built by Thomas Chambers Hine for Thomas Adams. Many of the buildings have been concerted into apartments. Several bars and restaurants also have premises in the Lace Market. St. Mary's Church, Nottingham on High Pavement is widely considered to be the best example of an English cross-shaped church. Robin Hood was reputedly arrested on this medieval site after being betrayed by a monk and subsequently imprisoned by the Sheriff of Nottingham. The Georgian-built Shire Hall is home to the Galleries of Justice tourist attraction and was Nottingham's main court and prison building for 200 years from 1780, although the site's use as a court stretches back as far as 1375.

Galleries of Justice in the Lace Market

Wollaton Hall lies about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) to the west of the city centre. This Tudor mansion, built in 1588, is home to the city's Natural History Museum and is set in 500 acres (2.0 km2) of deer park.
Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, partially built into the cave system beneath Nottingham Castle, is a contender for the title of "England's Oldest Pub" due to its supposed establishment in 1189. The Bell Inn on the Old Market Square, and Ye Olde Salutation Inn on Maid Marian Way have both disputed this claim. An episode of the Channel 4 TV documentary series History Hunters tested attributes of the three claimants and found that, while each has its own evidence, none can claim exclusivity. The Trip, whilst the oldest building, was for most of its early life a brewery and not a public house. The Salutation sits on the oldest recognised public house site, but the current building is comparatively recent. The Bell, although not in such an antiquated location, boasts the oldest public house building. There is also conflicting information available: dendrochronology from roof timbers in the Salutation give a date for the building of c.1420 with similar dates for the Bell. Ultimately, the roots of the multiple claims can be traced to various subtleties of definition in terms such as public house and inn.

Nottingham is home to the headquarters of many well-known companies. One of the best known is Boots the Chemists (now Alliance Boots), founded in the city by Jesse Boot 1st Lord Trent in 1849 and substantially expanded by his son John Boot (2nd Lord Trent).
Part of the HMRC complex in Nottingham.Other large current employers include the credit reference agency Experian, the energy company E.ON UK, the tobacco company John Player & Sons, betting company Gala Group, engineering company Siemens, sportswear manufacturers Speedo, high street opticians Vision Express, games and publishing company Games Workshop (creator of the popular Warhammer series), PC software developer Serif Europe (publisher of PagePlus and other titles), the American credit card company Capital One, whose European offices are situated by the side of Nottingham station. Nottingham is also the home of HM Revenue and Customs and the Driving Standards Agency.
Although Boots itself is no longer a research-based pharmaceutical company, a combination of former Boots researchers and university spin-off companies have spawned a thriving pharmaceutical/science/biotechnology sector. BioCity, the UK's biggest bioscience innovation and incubation centre, sits in the heart of the city and houses around thirty science-based companies. Other notable companies in the sector include ClinPhone and Pharmaceutical Profiles. The city was made one of the UK's six Science Cities in 2005 by the then Chancellor Gordon Brown.
Until recently bicycle manufacturing was a major industry, the city being the birthplace of Raleigh Cycles in 1886 and later joined by Sturmey-Archer, the creator of 3-speed hub gears. However, Raleigh's factory on Triumph Road, famous as the location for the filming of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, was demolished in Summer 2003 to make way for the University of Nottingham's expansion of Jubilee Campus.
Nottingham is also joint headquarters of Paul Smith, the high fashion house.
Creative Industries are a target growth sector for the city with graphic design, interiors and textile design being a particular focus. There is already a thriving design industry in the city including Jupiter, Jupiter Digital and the multi-award winning Purple Circle.
Nottingham City Council has recently announced that other target sectors include Financial and Business Services, Science and Technology, Public Sector and Retail and Leisure as part of their economic development strategy for the city. The global Business SMS company Esendex was founded in the Lace Market district and now operates in 6 markets across the world. Ceramics manufacturer Mason Cash was founded and continues to have operations in Nottingham.
The schools and aerial photographers, H Tempest Ltd were Nottingham-based for many years, until relocating to St. Ives (Cornwall) around 1960. A skeleton office remained for many years in the original building next to Mundella School.
Many of the UK's railway ticket machines and platform departure boards run software written by Atos Origin in their offices in Nottingham. Other major industries in the city include engineering, textiles, knitwear and electronics. An increasing number of software developers are located in Nottingham: Reuters and Monumental Games are based in the city, with Free Radical Design located in nearby Sandiacre and Serif Europe based between Wilford and Ruddington, south west of the Trent and east of Clifton.
Nottingham is progressively changing from an industrial city to one based largely in the service sector. Tourism — particularly from the United States and the Far East — is becoming an increasingly significant part of the local economy.
In 2004 Nottingham had a GDP per capita of £24,238 (US$48,287, €35,529), which was the highest of any English city after London, and the fourth highest of any city of the UK, after London, Edinburgh and Belfast.


Nottingham Playhouse and Cathedral reflected in Anish Kapoor's Sky Mirror

Nottingham has two large-capacity theatres, the Nottingham Playhouse and the Theatre Royal (which together with the neighbouring Nottingham Royal Concert Hall forms the Royal Centre) and a smaller theatre space at the University of Nottingham's Lakeside Arts Centre. The city also has smaller theatres with the Nottingham Arts Theatre and the Lacemarket Theatre. There are also several art galleries which often receive national attention, particularly the Nottingham Castle Museum, the University of Nottingham's Djanogly Gallery and Wollaton Park's Yard Gallery. The visual arts in Nottingham will be significantly enhanced in 2008 and 2009 by the opening of New Art Exchange and Nottingham Contemporary. In a new £13.9 million 3000 square metre building on the corner of High Pavement and Middle Hill designed by Caruso St John, N.C. will be one of the largest venues for exhibitions of contemporary art in the UK. Both of the city's universities also put on a wide range of theatre, music and art events open to the public throughout the year.

The Albert Hall, Nottingham

The city has several multiplex cinemas alongside two arthouse cinemas in Hockley. The independent cinemas are the Broadway Cinema, one of the major independent cinemas in the UK and Screen Room, which claims to be the world's smallest cinema (at just 21 seats). Broadway was redeveloped and expanded in 2006. Quentin Tarantino held the British premiere of Reservoir Dogs there in 1992.
There is a classical music scene, with long-established groups such as the city's Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra, Nottingham Harmonic Society, Bach Choir, Early Music Group Musica Donum Dei and the Symphonic Wind Orchestra giving regular performances in the city.
The annual Goose Fair in October is always popular, being one of the largest fairs in the country.
Nottingham won the Britain in Bloom competition, in the Large City category, in 1997, 2001, 2003 and 2007. It also won the Entente Florale Gold Award in 1998.
Nottingham is known for its large teenage alternative scene (rock, punk, emo etc.), the heartland of which is Old Market Square. Another focus for their activities is the Rock City concert venue. The Sumac Centre based in Forest Fields has for many years supported local upcoming musicians, artists and film makers, and a variety of campaign groups.
Nottingham has a strong grass roots "Do it yourself" music culture, and is very in touch with underground trends in modern music. Nottingham is renowned as one of the biggest cities supporting the Dubstep movement of dance music. It also has a strong DIY Punk and Indie/Folk scene based at venues such as The Old Angel Inn, The Rose of England and Lee Rosys Tea in Hockley.
Since 2006, Nottingham has also been the location of the annual Gamecity Festival - an independent game festival which is open to the public and held in the Old Market Square and various other venues across the city.
Nottingham receives around 300,000 overseas visitors each year. Many visitors are attracted by Nottingham's nightlife and shops, by its history, and by the legend of Robin Hood, visiting Sherwood Forest and Nottingham Castle. Popular history-based tourist attractions in central Nottingham include the Castle, City of Caves, Lace Market, The Galleries of Justice, and the City's ancient pubs.
Parks and gardens include Wollaton Park (over 500 acres) near the University Highfields Park on the University of Nottingham campus, Colwick Park, which includes the racecourse, and the Nottingham Arboretum, Forest Recreation Ground and Victoria Park which are in or close to the city centre. Sherwood Forest, Rufford Country Park, Creswell Crags and Clumber Park are further away from the city itself. A new park is being developed in the city at the Eastside City development.
The Nottingham Robin Hood Society was originally formed by Robin Hood historian Jim Lees and two Nottingham teachers Steve and Ewa Theresa West in 1972. Steve and Ewa Theresa played the part of Maid Marion and Robin Hood and attracted a ' band' of like minded followers who ' costumed up ' nearly every weekend for a function. The then society acted in street theatre, appeared at charity events and functions and for several years ' held up ' the appointed Sheriff of Nottingham at the opening of the annual Nottingham Festival. The society also made a film for Japanese Television and joined in picnics and midnight vigils around in Major Oak to promote tourism. Although a Nottingham Robin Hood Society remains, the original society members disbanded after the death of Jim Lees.

Ferris Wheel in Old Market Square

In February 2008, a Ferris wheel was put up in the Old Market Square and was a major attraction of Nottingham City Council's 'Light Night' on February 8. The wheel returned to Nottingham in February 2009 to mark another night of lights, activities, illuminations and entertainment. Initially marketed as the Nottingham Eye, it was later redubbed as the Nottingham Wheel, to avoid any association with the London Eye.

Nottingham Castle - The Ducal Mansion as it stands today, rising above the towers of Nottingham's Inland Revenue offices

Museums and galleries
Brewhouse Yard Museum, a museum of Nottingham Life
The Galleries of Justice - Museum of Law Trust based at the Shire Hall in the Lace Market

Green's Windmill and Science Centre

Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery - home to the city’s Decorative Art and Fine Art collections, along with the Story of Nottingham galleries, and the Sherwood Foresters Regimental Museum.

Nottingham Contemporary - under construction and due to open in autumn 2009.

Nottingham Industrial Museum Nottingham Museums of Costume and Textiles in Castlegate
Nottingham Natural History Museum - based at Wollaton Hall.
Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre in Ruddington is a museum of local transport. It has an eight mile (13 km) long railway where Heritage steam trains and Diesel locomotives are used on passenger runs, a classic Road Transport collection with many Nottingham associated vehicles to see, a miniature and model railway and many other things.


New Buildings on the South Side of the Lace Market area.

Nottingham Royal Concert Hall

The 2,500-capacity Nottingham Royal Concert Hall and 9,500-capacity Nottingham Arena attract the biggest names in popular music. For less mainstream acts and a generally more intimate atmosphere, Nottingham has a selection of great smaller venues including The Salutation, Seven (formerly Junktion 7), The Old Angel, the award-winning dedicated rock music venue Rock City and the smaller sister venues The Rescue Rooms, The Bodega Social Club and Stealth. These venues, with their packed listings and close proximity, make Nottingham one of the centres of live popular music in the UK.
Nottingham Playhouse is the major producing theatre in the city including some new and innovative works.
In the 1980s, Nottingham was barely mentioned in the Good Food Guide; but now there are several restaurant entries and a range of cuisine reflecting the ethnic diversity of the city. The Nottingham Restaurant Awards play a leading role in promoting the industry.
The large number of students in the city bolsters the night time entertainment scene. There are several well established areas of the city centre for entertainment such as Lace Market, Hockley, The Waterfront and The Corner House.
Nottingham also boasts one of only 20 remaining Turkish Baths in the UK


The Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Barnabas from Derby Road

In Nottingham one can find places of worship for all the major world religions, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Taoism and the smaller, but prominent Judaism. The Nottingham Inter-faith Council works to make connections between faith groups and show the wider public the importance of spiritual aspects of life and the contribution faith groups make to the community.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Barnabas on Derby Road was designed by the architect Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, it was consecrated in 1844 and is the cathedral church for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nottingham established in 1850 which covers Nottinghamshire (except Bassetlaw District), Leicestershire, Derbyshire (except Chesterfield and parts of the High Peak), Rutland and Lincolnshire (pre-1974 boundaries).

St. Michaels in the Lace Market

Nottingham has three notable historic Anglican parish churches all of which date back to mediæval times. St. Mary the Virgin, in the Lace Market, a member of the Greater Churches Group is the oldest foundation (dating from the eighth or ninth centuries) but the building is at least the third on the site dating from 1377 to 1485. St. Mary's is considered the mother church of the city and civic services are held here, including the welcome to the new Lord Mayor of Nottingham each year. St.Peter's in the heart of the city is the oldest building in continuous use in Nottingham, with traces of building starting in 1180. St. Nicholas' was rebuilt after destruction in the Civil War.
Unitarian Chapel on High Pavement, now the Pitcher and Piano public houseNon-conformism was strong from the 17th century onwards and a variety of chapels and meeting rooms proliferated throughout the town. Many of these grand buildings have been demolished, including Halifax Place Chapel, but some have been re-used, notably High Pavement Chapel which is now a public house. The offices of the Congregational Federation are in Nottingham. William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, was born in Nottingham in 1829.
Today there are a number of large Christian congregations in Nottingham. These include: The Christian Centre which is a Pentecostal church meeting in the centre of Nottingham; Trent Vineyard who meet in Lenton and is part of the Vineyard churches movement; Cornerstone church who meet in Wollaton; Grace Church Nottingham who meet at Notts County Football Ground, and is part of the Newfrontiers family of churches.

Nottingham is located at 52°58′00″N 01°10′00″W / 52.966667°N 1.166667°W / 52.966667; -1.166667 (52.9667,-1.1667).


The City of Nottingham boundaries are tightly drawn and exclude several suburbs and satellite towns that are usually considered part of Greater Nottingham, including Arnold, Carlton, West Bridgford, Beeston and Stapleford. Outlying towns and villages include Hucknall, Eastwood, Tollerton, Ruddington, Ilkeston and Long Eaton of which the last two are in Derbyshire.

Tollerton Signpost

The geographical area of Greater Nottingham includes several local authorities: Gedling, Broxtowe, Rushcliffe, Ashfield, Erewash and Amber Valley.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting the pictures. I have been looking for pictures on the web because I due to come back to Nottingham two weeks from now and I need input on what's new with the place. Great website!