Nottingham Street Tales: Bar Gate (Chapel Bar)

by Paul Nix


In Nottingham any thoroughfare with “Bar” in it’s name denotes one that would bar or block your passage at some point or time; as in a Toll Bar, a point where you would have to pay to continue along that route. Any thoroughfare with “Gate” in it’s name denotes “Place” or “Place of” from: C13: Old Norse, gata, path.

Originally Bar Gate, the place of the bar, and the site one of the town gates. When this gate went out of use, one of the drum towers was converted into a small chapel for passing travellers. This was the catalyst for the name change to “Chapel Bar” at a later time.

Incidentally, the other drum tower of the gateway was lived in by an individual with horticultural leanings and he grew all manner of plants and flowers on the top of it – to a point where, due to a proliferation of plants, it was locally known as “The Hanging Gardens Of Babylon”.


About nottinghamhiddenhistoryteam

Originally formed in 1965 to try to save or at least record before destruction the cave sites continually discovered during the major redevelopment of the City that took place in Nottingham in the 1960′s. Almost every day new sites were unearthed and destroyed before anyone was notified; last thing they wanted was someone telling them to stop what they were doing; TIME is MONEY. The word HIDDEN in the Team’s title is because a lot of what was being invisibly lost in the redevelopment was our early history in the caves, they are under most, if now all, of Nottingham. In the 80’s and 90’s the Team conducted with the help of Dr Robert Morrell and Syd Henley, research and work on Nottingham’s history, folklore and local archaeology. The Team published quarterly magazines on their findings. The Team lapsed for a few years after the death of Paul Nix who was the team leader for thirty plus years. The Team has reformed and is now back working on Nottingham local history. On this blog you will find a series of history, folklore and archaeological related articles and information. Most of the material published will be specifically related to Nottingham/shire local history.
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