Nottingham Miscellany

NOTTINGHAM CAVES
--

The City of Nottingham and much of the surrounding area stands on what was once known as 'bunter sandstone' but is now commonly referred to as 'Sherwood Sandstone', a rich orange / brown coloured porous rock that is very easily worked with quite basic implements.  Because of this, generation after generation of city dwellers going back many centuries, have worked the rock to create dwellings, places of work, or more commonly, just additional rooms and cellars under or at the back of more conventional houses. More recently many caves were used as air-raid shelters during WW2.  Hundreds of these caves still exist but the vast majority are in private ownership and not generally open to the public.  The photographs below were taken during a tour of caves organised by The Nottingham Civic Society to whom I am indebted for kindly inviting me to join them. The tour was to caves in what was the old  Drury Hill / Low Pavement area, some of which are open to the public and others that are not.

-

RETURN TO MISCELLANY

SITE HOME PAGE

-
SCROLL DOWN TO SELECT THEN  CLICK ON THUMBNAIL TO VIEW ENLARGED IMAGE
-
'The City of Caves'

The first set of photographs were taken in 'The City of Caves' a visitor attraction run by the Egalitarian Trust , a registered charity. These caves have been dressed up to illustrate the uses to which they were put, and to provide more interest to the visitor.  They are accessible from an entrance on the upper mall of The Broad Marsh shopping centre. Visit their web site for more details: http://www.cityofcaves.com/index.asp
These caves were saved from destruction when the shopping centre was built and were under properties on the old Drury Hill. The caves include a very interesting and  unique medieval leather tannery that was in use between 1500 and 1640 in a cave dating from 1250 AD

-
NM00521.JPG (72806 bytes) NM00522.JPG (59162 bytes) NM00523.jpg (49270 bytes) NM00524.JPG (103360 bytes)
NM00521 NM00522 NM00523 NM00524
NM00525.JPG (68893 bytes) NM00526.JPG (71417 bytes) NM00527.JPG (69857 bytes) NM00528.JPG (58415 bytes)
NM00525 NM00526 NM00527 NM00528
NM00529.JPG (64994 bytes) NM00530.JPG (60596 bytes) NM00531.JPG (61619 bytes) NM00532.JPG (61453 bytes)
NM00529 NM00530 NM00531 NM00532
NM00533.JPG (73858 bytes) NM00534.JPG (65788 bytes) NM00535.JPG (62848 bytes) NM00536.JPG (64901 bytes)
NM00533 NM00534 NM00535 NM00536
NM00537.JPG (51248 bytes) NM00538.JPG (71201 bytes) NM00539.JPG (74018 bytes) NM00540.JPG (76238 bytes)
NM00537 NM00538 NM00539 NM00540
-
'The Western Caves'

The six photographs below show more caves very near to those in the above section.  These caves are still being cleared and explored by a team of dedicated volunteers and are NOT open to the general public. If funds can be found, it is hoped that at some point in the future, they will be included in the 'City of Caves' visitor attraction.  The most interesting feature is a cave that clearly was once a stable for horses.

NM00541.JPG (73405 bytes) NM00542.JPG (79461 bytes) NM00543.JPG (66200 bytes) NM00544.JPG (69398 bytes)
NM00541 NM00542 NM00543 NM00544
NM00545.JPG (62997 bytes) NM00546.JPG (46592 bytes)
NM00545 NM00546
-
The Willoughby House Caves

Not far away from the old Drury Hill lies Low Pavement, towards the top of which stands the impressive Willoughby House  that is now home to the Paul Smith fashion store.  Under the gardens of this fine house are the three caves shown below. They were originally accessed via a steep staircase from the house garden but in WW2 they were used as air-raid shelters and to facilitate easy access by the public, a second narrow access tunnel was created from a small piece of 'no mans land' that is now behind the Broad Marsh Centre.  The original purpose of these impressive chambers is not clear but it is believed that they were used for drinking parties where the gentry could enjoy a cool drink in equally cool surroundings.  They would also no doubt have been used for the general storage of wines and ales. When entering from the house one would descend the stairs and arrive at a short tunnel. To the right and left are further short tunnels leading to two very similar chambers with central supports. Moving straight on from the bottom of the stairs one enters the main much larger chamber with its massive decorated central support 

NM00547.JPG (175950 bytes) NM00548.JPG (50636 bytes) NM00549.JPG (52210 bytes) NM00550.JPG (66585 bytes)
NM00547 NM00548 NM00549 NM00550
NM00551.JPG (66004 bytes) NM00552.JPG (56875 bytes) NM00553.JPG (59745 bytes) NM00554.JPG (75526 bytes)
NM00551 NM00552 NM00553 NM00554
NM00555.JPG (62288 bytes) NM00556.JPG (42251 bytes)
NM00555 NM00556
Other examples of Nottingham sandstone caves and tunnels that can be found on this web site
CLICK ON THE RED LINKS
-
The Park or The Duke of Newcastles Tunnel

Accessible by the public from Derby Road, The Ropewalk or via Tunnel Road from The Park Estate.
-

Sneinton Hermitage

NOT generally open to the public, but look out in the local press for special Heritage Day openings.  The fronts of caves are visible from street.
-

The Rock Cemetery

Whilst the cemetery is open to the public, the catacomb tunnel is NOT.
However, both entrances to the tunnel and other caves are clearly visible.
-

 The Castle Rock Caves

The caves within the Nottingham Castle rock are open to the general public for guided tours on limited days of the week.  Check on opening times before visiting. Also note that this tour is not likely to be suitable for the disabled or infirmed as there are approximately 300 steps to be climbed either up or down.
-

Hollowstone

None of these caves are open to the public. All are either bricked up or barred but the entrances are clearly visible.

-
SCROLL UP TO SELECT THEN CLICK ON THUMBNAIL TO VIEW ENLARGED IMAGE
A

RETURN TO MISCELLANY

SITE HOME PAGE

a
-
-
-
-