Weekly City Spotlight: Nottingham


The Council House in Nottingham’s Old Market Square

Famously associated with the legend of Robin Hood, the city of Nottingham is located in the East Midlands.  Those choosing Nottingham for a city break can expect a chance to explore attractions such as its Castle and the amazing underground caves, with examples of finest architecture located throughout the city.   Home to 2 universities, the city offers an array of museums and galleries and a fantastic nightlife, in addition to great sporting venues and an abundance of shops and restaurants.

Historic Nottingham
Granted city status in 1897, at the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, the city of Nottingham dates back as far as 600 AD, and was referred to in Anglo-Saxon times as Tigguo Cobauc – which translates to Place of Caves.

Famous for its trade in the 15th century of Alabaster religious sculptures, Nottingham would also prove to be an important centre for textiles, recognised globally for its lace industry.  The Lace Market area today is a protected heritage site, and features many examples of the red brick Victorian buildings built during this time of industrial boom.  Also found in the Lace Market area is the Galleries of Justice Museum, within the Shire Hall, the site of the Victorian Police Station, Courtrooms and Prison, which date back to the 14th century.

With so many historic buildings found in the city, Nottingham is also home to some of the oldest pubs in England with The Bell Inn (1437), Ye Olde Salutation Inn (1240) and Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem dating back to 1189.

Robin Hood
At the site of the Castle in Nottingham there can be found the famous status of Robin Hood, which celebrates the special association the city has with the English folklore legend.  With the legend of Robin Hood dating back as early as the 14th century, a rhyme from the 15th century refers to Robyn Hode in Scherewode stod, with Sherwood Forest in Nottingham home to Robin Hood, who together with his band of Merry Men, famously robbed the rich to give to the poor.

Robin Hood

Statue of Robin Hood located near Nottingham Castle

With the tale of Robin Hood the subject of many books and films, the city of Nottingham hold 2 main events each year in honour of the legendary figure.  The Robin Hood Festival takes place in the summer with the Robin Hood Pageant held in October at the Castle.  The Nottingham Robin Hood Society is also located within the city.

Popular Culture
Nottingham is a historic and cultural city, and has also been a focus in popular culture.

Films & TV
Once Upon a Time in the Midlands (2002) – stars Robert Carlyle, Kathy Burke and Rhys Irfans and is set in Nottingham.  Written and directed by Shane Meadows, this comedy drama was filmed in Nottingham, with Porchester Junior School also featuring in the production.

Twenty Four Seven (1997) – again written by Shane Meadows together with Paul Fraser, shots of Nottingham feature in this film which stars Bob Hoskins and Danny Nussbaum, and explores the attempt of one man to improve the lives of gang youths through boxing.

A Room for Romeo Brass (1999) – this collaboration between Paul Fraser and Shane Meadows would see Nottingham again feature as a key filming location.  A Room for Romeo Brass stars Martin Arrowsmith, Darren O. Campbell and Dave Blant, when friendship and character are both put to the test as a stranger enters Romeo and Gavin’s lives.

Saturday Night & Sunday Morning (1958) by Alan Sillitoe, is set in Nottingham, with main characters Arthur and Brenda beginning an affair after a drunken Saturday night.  Such was the success of this book that Sillitoe’s adaptation would star Albert Finney in the 1960 film.

Bows Against the Barons (1934) by Geoffrey Trease is a children’s story also set in Nottingham and tells the tale of a peasant boy who joins Robin Hood and his men in a bid to fight for the common people, the story takes place late in the life of Robin Hood.

The Killing Jar (2006) by Nicola Monaghan is an award winning debut novel, reflecting on the life of Kerrie Ann Hill, who grows up in an environment surrounded by drugs.  Set in Nottingham this gritty novel explores the toll drugs take on people’s lives and those lucky enough to escape from the scene.

Social Media
Additional information on Nottingham can be found on its official website Experience Nottinghamshire as well as its Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube accounts.

Famous Faces
William Booth – was born on 10 April 1829 in Nottingham and famously founded The Salvation Army in 1865, becoming its first General a position he held until 1912.

George Ingham Barnett – was a respected architect who is credited with the design of many famous buildings in St Louis, Missouri. Born in Nottingham in 1815 Barnett’s work includes the Old Courthouse, Tower Grove House and Park and Missouri Governor’s Mansion.

Thomas and Paul Sandby – both born in Nottingham were famous painters and noted as founding members of the Royal Academy of Arts located in London, which was established in 1768.

Wollaton Hall
Located in Lambourne Drive, Wollaton Hall is a beautiful Elizabethan mansion which provides an amazing home for the Natural History Museum.  With the Hall having been completed in 1588 and the design of Robert Smythson, admission is free to explore the Hall, Museum and its grounds, with this Nottingham landmark offering something for everyone.

Nottingham Castle
With the original structure built in 1067 by William the Conqueror, today Nottingham’s magnificent Castle welcomes over 250,000 visitors each year, who flock to explore this breath-taking structure which contains a fantastic number of collections and historical displays.  From the Museum Galleries to the Castle Caves, learn more about its famous residents and Nottingham’s history in wondrous surroundings.

Nottingham Council House
Standing 200 feet high, the domed Grade II city hall is known as the Nottingham Council House, which can be found in the Old Market Square.  Dating back to 1927 when work began on the Thomas Cecil Howitt design, it would take 2 years to complete the structure which is a fine example of neo-baroque architecture.  Today the Council House is used at the City’s Register Office as well as providing the stage for high profile events held within the city.

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