|| The first evidence
of life in Nottingham dates back to the Romans when it
was known as ‘Tiggou Cobauc’, which means
‘a place of cavy dwellings’.
However, Nottingham’s name as we know it now derives
from a later settlement built by the Anglo-Saxons, which
was named after landowner Snote, giving us Snottingham.
Luckily in the 11th century the Normans invaded the area
and decided to get rid of the “S”, leaving
us with the name Nottingham.
Nottingham is mentioned in the Domesday Book of
1086 as a place of less than 200 inhabitants. By 1300
the population had risen to 3,000, but dipped to around
2,000 in 1400.
In 1068 the Normans built Nottingham Castle [map],
which became an important stronghold, defending a major
route to the north of England. Most of the buildings in
medieval Nottingham were constructed of wood, except stone
constructions like the castle and a handful of other important
buildings. They also built a number of abbeys and cathedrals,
including the famous Newstead Abbey [map].
After being given a Royal Charter in the late 11th century,
the town hosted two markets trading leather, wool,
cloth and pottery; a large affair on Saturdays and
a weekday market at Weekday Cross close to the present
day Lace Market.
Over the years Nottingham grew from a thriving agricultural
centre, to an area of traditional trades such as tanning,
wool-drying and brewing. But it was in the 17th century
that the town really became famous when King Charles
I cemented the start of the English Civil War by raising
his flag in Nottingham.
It was during this period that Nottingham Castle was destroyed,
but the city soon recovered and then moved on into the
approaching Industrial Revolution.
By the late 1700's thousands of citizens had prosperous
employment as framework knitters but poor conditions led
to the Luddite riots in 1811, when workers smashed
machines in fear that their livelihood was at risk from
advances in technology.
During the Victorian era there was a dramatic expansion of the lace industry, and the streets around St Mary's
Church were lined with towering lace warehouses, which
exported the material all over the world.
Nottingham was made a city in 1897 by Queen Victoria,
whose statue can be seen at Victoria Embankment on the
north bank of the River Trent. At this time Nottingham
also became the centre for several major companies including the Raleigh Cycle Company, Players cigarettes
and the Boots Company, which was founded by Jesse Boot,
a great benefactor to the city.
Along with lace, the 19th century saw the rapid growth
of coal mining in Nottinghamshire, which continued
into the 20th century until its swift decline in the 1980s.
Today the population of Nottingham stands at around 286,000,
while the city covers 7,470 hectares of land and has six
markets, 138 parks and open spaces, and three parliamentary