Newdigate House in Castle Gate was the "open prison" for Marshall Tallard, the commander of the French army, after he was defeated and captured in Bavaria, at the Battle of Blenheim, by the Duke of Marlborough in 1704. He lived here for 6 years, as a prisoner of war.
This was quite a luxurious prison, as Castle Gate was where the homes of Nottingham's wealthiest citizens were located in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and Newdigate House was one of the grandest buildings on the street. It was built in 1675 for the Newdigate family. It now houses Nottingham's top restaurant, World Service.
3 miles south of the city centre is the Nottingham University district of Beeston. In the centre of its pedestrian precinct is one of the nicest sculptures in England: the Beeston Beekeeper, sometimes known as George. He is sitting on a bench looking across a hedgerow at a beehive. The details, like the bees clinging to the hive and the net on the beekeeper's floppy hat, beside him on the bench, are wonderful.
The bandstand in the grounds of Nottingham Castle was built in Victorian times when the gardens were opened as a recreational park for local people. Bands used to entertain promenaders here at weekends. Brass bands still give occasional performances here.
Surprisingly the headquarters of the Inland Revenue, the government's tax administrator, is not in London, but in Nottingham. It moved here in the 1990s, and its futuristic building is one of the city's landmarks.
In St. Mary's Churchyard, in the Lace Market area, there is a unique tombstone made of clay. It was for the daughters of William and Elizabeth Sefton, who died in 1714. William Sefton was a manufacturer of clay pipes, and when his children died, instead of purchasing a tombstone, he made one from a mass of pipe clay and scratched his own epitaph in the soft clay. He then baked it in the factory oven, to harden it. It seems to be remarkably resilient and has outlasted some of the granite and marble tombstones.
The Screen Room claims to be the smallest cinema in the world. It has only 22 seats. It is in Broad Street opposite Broadway Cinema. It shows the same sort of films as Broadway Cinema: mostly inependent and foreign language films. Currrently, for example, they are showing the South Korean films, "Oldboy" and "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" and the South African film, "Tsotsi".
Admission: Adults £5.30, Students £4.10
The Sherwood Foresters Regimental Museum may sound a bit boring, but it is one of the most fascinating small museums I have visited. It is housed inside Nottingham Castle. There are impressive displays of uniforms, weapons, medals and photographs, recording the regiment's history from its origins as Colonel Houghton's Regiment in 1741 to its involvement in various conflicts and wars including the capture of Quebec from the French in 1759, the Burma War of 1826, the Boer War , the Crimean War, the First & Second World Wars, Palestine, Cyprus, Northern Ireland and Bosnia.
In this museum I discovered battles and wars that I never even knew the British army had taken part in. For example, I found out that in the nineteenth century, Britain invaded nearly every corner of the globe from Addis Ababa to Buenos Aires.
Weekday Cross was the original town centre of Nottingham, before it shifted to the Old Market Square. For hundreds of years the Weekday Cross stood in front of the town hall, and markets were held here from Saxon times. The stone market cross is still here, but it has been moved slightly from its original location.
Highfields park is a couple of miles out of the city centre, but has been well kept by the city council.
The view across the lake from the main entrance off University Boulevard (opposite the Tennis centre) is very impressive.
You will also find four croquet courts here where top matches, including test matches (internationals) are played. They are a friendly crowd (i've played there several times) and often willing to show people the basics if possible.
Goose Fair is one of Europes largest travelling fairs with more than 150 rides and games and stalls. It starts on a wednesday and goes through to the saturday night finishing at 11:30pm.
Nobody really knows how it got its name other than folk used to bring Geese from Lincolnshire and Norfolk to sell here ready for fattening up for xmas. The fair then started yrs later and its original site was on the Old Market Sq but later came here to the Forest Recreation Ground at the turn of the century.
When its due to open on the wednesday the Lord Mayor rings 2 silver bells to declare it officially open !
The Cellar Caves extend from near the entrance of the Inn an continues to slpoe downwards all the time for about 100ft under the Castle Rock so that they are almost under the banstand in the Castle Grounds !
Down here in the cellar you will find the old 'Cock-Fighting ' pit, a relic of the days when gambling and drinking went hand in hand. Beer baiting was also reportedly held in this room to. Now it is used as the main cellar for the pubs many beer kegs, as seen below.
The Dungeons are air-condtioned by small narrow bore holes that pass through the rock in different directions, so no matter which way the wind was blowing, fresh air was always able to flow through the caves.
Once used to form part of the private quarters and was used as a museum. Today visitors from all over can sit and relax with a pint whilst looking at further historical knowledge, pictures and photos.
There's a big Nottingham goose fair annually. It is the 708th Goose fair in 2002. It is traditionally held in Nottingham on the first Thurs, Fri, and Sat of October yearly. The fair covers about 18 acres with lotsa rides and games stalls for both adults and children.
There are also lotsa stalls selling food, but for they are all selling about the same type of food. Not much choice though. Common ones are chips, mushy peas, hot dogs, burgers, candy floss, toffee apples, and a couple of chinese food stall.
It seems like brandy snaps is a traditional goose fair food. A bit too sweet for my taste.