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Heritage Calling

1000 years ago Nottingham was known as Tigguocobauc: the house of caves. It’s likely the first caves were carved beneath the cliff of sandstone on which the city was founded but as the town grew, so did the number of caves beneath it.

What were Nottingham’s caves used for?

Butcheries, beer cellars and ice houses were common but the survey has also mapped medieval dungeons, chapels, tanneries, kilns for malt and pottery, ‘gentlemen’s caves’ and secret (and not-so-secret) tunnels to Nottingham castle.

Victorian pub cellars beneath the Sir John Borlase Warren Inn Victorian pub cellars beneath the Sir John Borlase Warren Inn

The Victorians also used the caves as stables, for cold and fireproof storage, or as tourist attractions, follies, and summerhouses. In the 20th-century there were catacombs, garages, and air-raid shelters. There is even an underground skittle alley, with a slot carved in one wall for your ball to return through.

Statues and a carved sofa in a Victorian folly at Fishpond Drive. Statues and a carved sofa in a…

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