City Of Caves, Nottingham | BaldHiker

The National Justice Museum in Nottingham is where my journey to explore the history of subterranean Nottingham began.

I booked a ticket for a networking event including coffee and pastries followed by a tour of The City of Caves, a morning hosted by The National Justice Museum, who also run the cave tours. 

The morning began at 9am where I met some lovely people to connect with. We were guided to the caves entrance and taken on a fascinating tour beneath the city by our cave tour guide, Nico. 

Nottingham was once described as ‘Tig Guocobauc’ which means place of caves in old Brythonic by the Welsh Bishop of Sherbourne Asser in ‘The Life Of King Alfred’ (893).

The city sits on a soft sandstone ridge, this is easily dug into using basic tools, so caves and dwellings were commonly created, the heritage, history and tales of these continue to fascinate us.

Many of the oldest pubs here continue to use the caves for seating areas to serve traditional ales alongside the modern cocktails and great food. 

I found the history of these hand carved caves through the ages really intriguing. There used to be so much activity going on underground, people’s homes, a tannery, a source of clean water, a place to store food and ale and illegal activities taking place below some of the pubs, the caves were also used as an air raid shelter in the war.

Each period in our history had another way to make use of this underground space. Oh yes there were also cess pits dug out here, because obviously where there are people there is waste too.

But that is another great story told so perfectly by our guide, don’t worry there is no sign or smell of that now of course, just a hollow where it once was. 

Fresh water well inside caves

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