Dates in Nottingham History

by Joe Earp


John Speede’s map of Nottingham (1610)


Middle to late 5th century AD- Foundation of the Saxon settlement on St Mary’s Hill

868– First historical reference to Nottingham- in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

922– Erection of the first bridge over the River Trent on the present site of Trent Bridge.

1068– Erection of the first Norman fortification on the Castle Rock by order of William the Conqueror.

1109-1112- Approximate date of the foundation of Lenton Priory; first mention of St Peter’s and St Nicholas’s in Nottingham.

1130– First reference to the town name without the letter ‘S’- Nottingham. Previously Snotingaham- “the homestead (ham) of the kinsmen (ingas) of Snot”.

1157- (Henry II): confirms customs held under Henry I; freedom of burgesses to buy and sell holdings; freedom for residents in town, especially from judgment of royal reeve; privileges of market and industry.

1189- (John): repeat of above; freedom from toll at all fairs in realm; confirmation of gild merchant; right to elect royal reeve who collects “farm” of the borough.

1230- (Henry III): confirms 1189, right to collect tolls in Nottingham; coroners to be chosen from burgesses of town.

1230– Foundation of the Franciscan or Grey Friary, on a site near the junction today of Greyfriar’s Gate, Carrington Street and Broad Marsh. Friary dissolved in 1539.

1255- (Henry III): two Charters; freedom from distraint for debts by others outisde Nottingham; exclusion of Sheriff for most functions from town (the “return of writs” clause).

1265- (Henry III): freedom from payment to Sheriff “to have his favour”.

1272- (Edward I): confirms 1255 (both).

1272-  Foundation of the Carmelite or White Friary, on a site between the present Friar Lane and St James’s Street towards the Old Market Square end. Dissolved in 1539.

1284- First mention of the Nottingham Goose Fair in a Charter made by Edward I. 

1314- (Edward II): extension of certain privileges, especially borough court.

1330- (Edward III)- confirms 1314; restores borough to burgesses after confiscation; confirmation of right to hold gaol; quit of certain tolls.

1378– (Richard II): confirms 1330, fair days changed.

1380- 1480- Approximate dates of the erection of a large part of the fabric of St Mary’s Church. The site may have been continuously occupied by a church site since the Anglo-Saxon period, the church is mentioned in Domesday Book.

1395- Earliest reference to a Guildhall.

1399- (Henry IV): confirms 1378; own J.P’S for town, etc.

1414- (Henry V): confirms 1399.

1448- “King’s Hall” first mentioned- Nottingham borough charter.

1449- (Henry VI): confirms 1414; Nottingham incorporated as a county; two sheriffs in place of two bailiffs; Mayor and Alderman to be J.P’s, etc.

1449- “Great Charter”: Guildhall named as Court House for the Borough Court.

1462-(Edward IV): confirms 1449.

1463- (Edward IV): confirms 1157.

From then on the charters were regularly confirmed early in each new reign, without any significant additions.

1531- Gaol ceased to serve Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire- Derbyshire built separate gaol.

1610– The first plan of Nottingham produced by John Speed (see top image).

1631- Shire Hall and Gaol enlarged.

1649- Visit of George Fox to Nottingham, imprisoned. Society of Friends established; met in Spaniel Row; then (by mid- 18th century) in Friar Lane.

1651- Demolition of the Medieval Castle by order of Cromwell’s Council of State. The first Norman castle had been converted into an imposing stone structure in the late 12th century.

1655- Meetings of Independence; close associations with Commonwealth supporters (like Laurence Collin, master gunner at Nottingham Castle; Thomas Palmer, probably the first minister, and a former captain of a troop of horse under Col, Hutchinson, Governor of the Castle; and Captain Wright, another of Hutchinson’s officers and deacon at the “Meeting House”).

1656- Establishment of Presbyterian system in Nottingham.

1660- Restoration of Charles II and Church of England.

1662- Whitlcok and Reynolds ejected from their livings, with John Barret, former rector of St. Peter’s Church; all three live outside Nottingham, at Mansfield or Sandiacre, and visited congregation regularly.

1662- Act of Uniformity. meetings held in secrecy, perhaps in caves under present site. John James, minister, twice in prison, 1662- 1672.

1671-1678- Erection of the present church of St Nicholas, following the demolition in 1643 of the old building by Parliamentary forces.

1674- Commencement of the erection of the new Castle, a fine town mansion, by the first Duke of Newcastle.

1675- Erection of Newdigate House in Castle Gate.

1682- Charters surrendered, and renewed, with royal control over officers.

1689- Toleration Act (of William III and Mary, after deposition of James II) allowed non-conformist chapels.

1692- Cancellation of 1682 charter, renewal of 1449 charter.

1726- New Exchange built in the Market Place.

1730’s- Erection of a town house on the south side of Low Pavement by Rothwell Willoughby.

1732- Erection of Bromley House on Angel Row by George Smith.

1740– First Methodist visit to Nottingham; 1741, John Wesley in Nottingham; 1744 Charles Wesley; 1749, George Whitfield. First chapel built 1766 (Octagon, just off Milton Street); later 1784 moved to Hockley.

1743- The Chapel Bar razed to the ground. It was the last remaining vestige of the medieval town defences.

1744- Guildhall rebuilt.

1770- Shire Hall rebuilt to design of James Gandon.

1788- Founding of High Pavement School.

1789- Gaol extended.

1791- Guildhall rebuilt again.

1802- Unitarian ministry at High Pavement acknowledged.

1804- Closing of the Weekday Market held in the present area of Weekday Cross, a market place older than the large Market Square to the North-West.

1834– New gaol wing added.

1839- The West Croft and Burton Leys, and Derby Road (Lammas Fields) Enclosure Acts passed, enclosing 52 acres of common land.

1845- The Nottingham Enclosure Act passed, enclosing the remaining 1068 acres of common land.

1848– Erection of the First Midland Station on the present site; the first Midland station was constructed on the west side of Carrington street in 1839.

1854- Commencement of building in the Park; scheme completed by 1887 (about 650 houses erected). A few houses had been erected on the north-east side of the Park in 1827.

1857- Erection of the Great Northern Station on the east side of London Road.

1861- Last public execution.

1865- The Enclosure Award made- the completion of the work of the Enclosure Commissioners begun after the Enclosure Act of 1845.

1877- Borough Extension Act: Bulwell, Basford, Radford, Lenton, Wilford, Sneinton parishes and the extra-parochial areas of Standard Hill, the Castle and the Park, and Brewhouse Yard incorporated within the County Borough of Nottingham.

1883- Gaol ceased to be used.

1888- New Guildhall opened in Burton Street.

1891- Old Guildhall site sold to Railway Company for demolition.

1899- Erection of the Victoria Station and construction of the Great Central Railway lines through Nottingham.

1920’s- 30’s- Clearance of slum areas, predominantly composed of back-to-back houses and courts, in central Nottingham. About 3,700 houses demolished; inhabitants rehoused on Corporation estates.

1926- The Exchange building in the Market Place is demolished.

1927- Last Nottingham Goose Fair to be held in Nottingham’s Market place. The fair is moved to the Forest Recreation Ground the following year (1928).

1927-29- Erection of the new Council House in the Market Square. The architect for the building is Thomas Cecil Howitt.

1932– Completion of the new section of Lower Parliament Street, from the junction with Huntingdon Street to London Road.

1932– New extension of the boundaries of Nottingham to incorporate Bilborough and Wollaton parishes and parts of Bestwood Park, Gedling and Colwick parishes, and parts of Arnold and Beeston urban districts.

1951- Further extension of Nottingham boundaries to the present area of 18, 364 acres, to incorporate Clifton parish and a part of West Bridgford urban district.

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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