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Published: March 23rd 2021
17th March - Nottingham
Nottingham began in the 6th century as a small settlement called Snotta inga ham. The Anglo-Saxon word ham meant village. The word inga meant 'belonging to' and Snotta was a man. So its name meant the village owned by Snotta. Gradually its name changed to Snottingham then just Nottingham.
In the late 9th century the Danes conquered North East and Eastern England. They turned Nottingham into a fortified settlement or burgh. The town had a ditch around it and an earth rampart with a wooden palisade on top.
In the early 18th century Daniel Defoe described Nottingham as one of the most pleasant and beautiful towns in England. From the late 17th century salt glaze stoneware was made in Nottingham. In the 18th century the hosiery industry boomed. There was also a lace industry although it was quite small.
In the late 19th century Nottingham corporation created parks and recreation grounds. The Goose Fair evolved from an event where people bought and sold goods to a pleasure fair. Nottingham County Football Club was founded in 1862. Nottingham Forest was founded in 1865.
Electric trams began running
in Nottingham in 1901. The last ones ran in 1936.
In the late 20th century the main industries in Nottingham were textiles, tobacco, bicycles, pharmaceuticals and printing.
Boots is now a household name with stores all over the world and a number of hugely successful own-brand ranges. It’s risen from humble beginnings to become the well-known and loved company it is today.
Between 1887 and 1891, Boot moved his office from Goose Gate to Island Street.
By the turn of the 20th Century there were around 250 stores - and pharmaceutical manufacturing started at Island Street in response to the outbreak of the First World War.
In the 1940s penicillin was manufactured from Island Street, another important development.
Decades later, between 1989 and 1992, plans were drawn up by Boots to redevelop the site and build a conference centre, hotel and heritage site.
Those plans were abandoned and, in October 1993, Boots agreed the sale of the Island Street site to Nottingham City Council.
In 1988 all chemical production ceased at Island Street, while warehousing had stopped by 1994.
In the years after the Norman Conquest in 1066, William, King of England began asserting his control over his new territory and began to build Nottingham Castle in 1068, which would have been a wooden motte-and-bailey castle.
After the death of King Stephen in 1154, Henry II was crowned. Henry added stone walls to Nottingham Castle’s wooden palisades and built many new buildings, including his favourite: “a house for the king’s falcons”.
Neither Henry V nor his son Henry VI showed much interest in Nottingham, but it was at Nottingham Castle in 1461 that 18-year-old Edward, the Earl,if March proclaimed himself King during the Wars of the Roses. Later that year, after defeating both Jasper Tudor’s Lancastrian army and Henry VI’s forces, Edward was crowned king in Westminster Abbey.
Under the Tudors Nottingham Castle fell into ‘decay and ruin’. Henry VIII visited only once in 1511, the last time a monarch would stay at the castle.
On 22nd August 1642, King Charles I raised his standard at Nottingham Castle effectively declaring war on his own people and his Parliament, consequently starting the British Civil War. Nottingham and its castle were not
Charles’ for long and he quickly left after finding little support in the town.
By 1649 Charles had lost the war and would later lose his head with John Hutchinson being one of the signatories of his death warrant. Nottingham lost too. At the end of the Civil War, John ordered the demolition of what remained of Nottingham’s medieval castle and walls hoping that they could never again be used militarily against the people of Britain.
In World War Two, the castle was requisitioned by the Army and used as a lookout station and stores.
Since 1878, the castle has been a museum for Nottingham and its community.
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, England's oldest inn, was once a well-known pit stop for crusader knights. It is said that King Richard the Lionheart and his men are more than likely to have gathered at this historic royal dwelling before journeying to Jerusalem in 1189AD, thus giving the pub its unusual name.
Nottingham is often called the city of caves !
The caves were dug for many reasons: as workplaces, such as a medieval tannery, as homes,
as secret passages and tunnels, such as those at Castle Rock; as storerooms, brewhouses, and public houses; as prisons and dungeons; and in more recent history, as air raid shelters during the Nottingham Blitz. Scattered across the city are small doors and gates, complete with rusty padlocks that cover access points into the greatly interconnected labyrinth.
Legend has it that Robin Hood was an outlaw living in Sherwood Forest with his ‘Merry Men’ – but did he really exist?
There are several versions of the Robin Hood story. The Hollywood one is that of a handsome man – Errol Flynn – clothed in garments of Lincoln green, fighting for the rights of the oppressed and outwitting the evil Sheriff of Nottingham.
However the first known literary reference to Robin Hood and his men was in 1377, and the Sloane manuscripts in the British Museum have an account of Robin’s life which states that he was born around 1160 in Lockersley (most likely modern day Loxley) in South Yorkshire. Another chronicler has it that he was a Wakefield man and took part in Thomas of Lancaster’s rebellion in 1322.
All versions of the
Robin Hood story give the same account of his death. As he grew older and became ill, he went with Little John to Kirklees Priory near Huddersfield, to be treated by his aunt, the Prioress, but a certain Sir Roger de Doncaster persuaded her to murder her nephew and the Prioress slowly bled Robin to death. With the last of his strength he blew his horn and Little John came to his aid, but too late.
Little John placed Robin’s bow in his hand and carried him to a window from where Robin managed to loose one arrow. Robin asked Little John to bury him where he duly did.
A mound in Kirklees Park, within bow-shot of the house, can still be seen and is said to be his last resting place. Little John’s grave can be seen in Hathersage, Derbyshire.
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