The exhibition 'Nottingham Park: From Ducal Estate to Urban Residence' ran from October 2002 to January 2003. It told the story of the Park's transformation from a green oasis in the centre of Nottingham to an exclusive 19th century residential area, illustrating its different uses and how it was viewed, both by its owners and the people of Nottingham.
Nottingham is unusual in having a residential area like the Park so close to its commercial centre. The corporate identity of the Park, still run as a private estate, is even more rare. The explanation for its creation and survival lies in the story of the Dukes of Newcastle, who owned the area for almost 300 years.
The archive of the Dukes of Newcastle under Lyne, whose Nottinghamshire family seat was at Clumber, has formed part of the library collections at the University of Nottingham since 1955. Ranging in date from the twelfth to the twentieth centuries, it includes both political and estate papers, and contains material from all over the world.
The post-Newcastle management of the Park in the twentieth century is recorded in another collection held at the University, the archive of the Nottingham Park Estate.
The exhibition offered the first public display of many items concerning the Park's history, and included items from both the Newcastle family papers and the Nottingham Park Estate Archive. It used accounts, deeds, letters, architectural plans and illustrations to chart the area's development from 17th century woodland to modern residential estate, revealing the historical background to one of Nottingham's most distinctive locations.
This online version of the exhibition consists of a series of pages based on the display boards, plus a selection of the items that were exhibited.