Nottingham has a long history shrouded in drama, mystery and myth. From the world-famous outlaw, Robin Hood, to three literary giants - Lord Byron, DH Lawrence and Alan Silitoe - the city's heritage is literally made of legends.
It is difficult to pinpoint when the town first began to emerge, but we can say that Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age artifacts have all been found in the River Trent and Britain's only known Ice Age rock art was discovered at Creswell Crags near Worksop ─ a significant archaeological find.
The Place of Caves
Nottingham's remarkable network of Anglo-Saxon tunnels and caves indicate that people inhabited the area as far back as the medieval period. The area that makes up what it is now Nottingham city centre was even once known as Tiggua Cobaucc ─ Place of Caves.
The caves were carved out of the sandstone upon which most of the city is based and used across the centuries for a variety of reasons:
- storage and industry, such as a medieval tannery
- 19th century slums
- World War II bombing shelters
- beer cellars beneath the city's pubs
Many of the caves remained inhabited until 1845 when the St Mary's Enclosure Act banned the rental of cellars and caves as homes for the poor.
During the Anglo-Saxon occupation the town fell under the rule of a Saxon Chief called Snot, when it became known as Snotengaham ─ "the homestead of Snot's people." In 867 the Danish Vikings occupied the town and then in 1086 the Normans took control, dropping the 's' from the town's name.