Department of Classics and Archaeology

'Echoes': The City of Caves Oral History Project

Project summary

There are more than 800 caves in the city of Nottingham. From Medieval malting to private cinemas, they have been used in innumerable different ways throughout the city’s history. Now it’s the time for you to share your stories about the city’s caves to contribute to Nottingham’s subterranean story. 

Sharing your story with us will shed more light on the importance of the caves and tell us about the crucial role they plan in Nottingham's urban heritage.

Photograph of the steps leading out of the caves beneath Wollaton Hall.
Steps leading out of the cave system beneath Wollaton Hall. Photographer: Marcus Holdsworth

A team of staff and volunteers at the University of Nottingham will be recording people’s histories of the caves. You might have worked as a volunteer archaeologist, recording caves when large scale developments were happening; you might have sought refuge in the caves as a child, when many were air-raid shelters during the Second World War; or you might have worked in pubs and shops that used the caves as an important part of their business.

We will record an audio file of you telling your story in your own voice and the transcribe the file into a document. Both the recording and transcription will then be used at a variety of public engagement events and stored at the University’s Manuscripts and Special Collections. This will mean that we can continue to expand the story of Nottingham’s caves, preserve these stories for the future, and share them with new audiences. 

Echoes is part of the City of Caves project.

How can I contribute?

To register an expression of interest and tell us a bit more about your story, please complete the online form ('Share your story here' link below). If you would prefer to leave a voicemail for a member of the team, call 0115 84 67269 and leave a message. We will aim to get back to you within 5 working days.

We will not be able to respond to each enquiry or record every story, but we will aim to capture as many stories about different caves, their uses, and their communities as we can. 

The University of Nottingham processes your personal data to in order to collect and share local people's memories/histories, including audio recordings and transcriptions, of the Nottingham caves. The project aims to understand how the caves contribute to Nottingham's urban identity.

Please view our Privacy Notice, which explains how we process your personal data and the rights you have with respect to your personal information.

Share your story here

Do you have any further questions?

Whether you are a community archaeologist, a cave owner, an independent researcher or have any information you would like to share or questions you would like to ask, please get in touch with the project team here.

Email us

A black and white photograph of men in a cave, two on an upper level and one emerging from a lower level. Photo is from the Peverel Research Group Annual Report 1951.

Photo from The Peverel Research Group Annual Report, 1951.


Department of Classics and Archaeology

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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