Nottingham Street Tales: Market Street – or Blood Lane to Nottingham Folk!

by Paul Nix

Market Street started out as a narrow alley called Sheep Lane but due to its limited width quite a few accidents happened, pedestrians going up meeting carts coming down caused people to be squashed against the sides – usually resulting in blood stains on the floor and wall. This led to the locals referring to it as Blood Lane.

When it was widened (civic improvements in 1866) the aim of the Gentry was to name it Theatre Street, because it led from the Market Square to the Theatre Royal. The market people had other ideas and the night before the official unveiling some of them unscrewed the sign and replaced it with one stating Market Street.

The following day was market day and everyone, the Gentry and the market people, congregated at the bottom of the widened Sheep Lane for the opening ceremony.
The Mayor pulled on the cord to revel the new sign and proclaimed the new roadway to be “Market Street”, even though a portion of the assembled crowd – mostly Gentry – complained; but they were heavily outnumbered, and tried to point out the Mayor’s error when it was already too late.

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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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