N O T T I N G H A M S H I R E
Nottingham is known for the legend of Robin Hood, Player cigarettes, Raliegh bicycles, Charles I taking up in Nottingham Castle during the Civil War, the spinning machine of Richard Ackwright, the Luddite revolt in protest against technology and lace; not in that order necessarily.
Whatever the order, it is a fact that Nottingham is part of British history and legend. And the town has spawned a number of very successful entrepreneurs among them Dr. Bowden who built the nation's largest chain of chemist shops, "Boots the Chemist," from his original shop in Goosegate, Nottingham. He also started the Raleigh Bicycle Company on Raleigh Street in 1887, ten years after John Player opened his plant to make rolled cigarettes. Both grew to be quite successful.
Nottingham is also known for protest movements. In 1811, Luddites took action against the machines that were destroying the town's cottage industry, knitting. Strangely enough, the success of their knitting enterprises came as a result of another machine, the stocking frame, invented in 1589 by William Lee. Their way of life, however, was forever changed by a succession of machines that came with the Industrial Revolution. The spinning frame introduced in 1769 by Ackwright, the spinning jenny the very next year by James Hargreaves, and the lace making machine invented by Loughborough resident, John Heathcoat in 1809. They changed the face of Nottingham which is still known for its lace the world over.
The town's famous castle was also destroyed by order of Parliament after Charles I was defeated. The Duke of Newcastle rebuilt on the site, but his mansion was later burned by Nottingham townspeople in protest over the Duke's anti-reform stance which helped to defeat Parliament's Reform Bill in 1831. The castle has since been restored as a museum and art gallery. If you are planning a visit to Nottingham in October you'll be treated to their annual Goose Fair dating back to medieval times.
Virtual Nottingham Your guide to Robin Hood country.
The City of Nottingham Public information service.
East Midlands Tourist Board Treasures of Middle England.
Arts Centre University of Nottingham.
University of Nottingham
Farm Holiday Bureau Sherwood Forest & Nottinghamshire