A tour of old Nottingham - the French borough

This is a short photographic tour of Nottingham, from the Lace Market down to the Castle. We continue with the French borough around the Castle.


Hounds Gate

Hounds Gate, NottinghamHounds Gate is another of the ancient medieval streets of Nottingham. Its name is a reminder of Nottingham's time as part of the Danelaw, for "gata" was the Scandinavian term for street. At the bottom of Hounds Gate a familiar church can be discerned. St Peter's and St Nicholas' were both founded to serve the inhabitants of the French borough which grew up around the Castle. Hounds Gate runs parallel to Castle Gate and leads from St Peter's, past the Salutation Inn and St. Nicholas' Church, and up to the Castle entrance. It has been bisected by Maid Marian Way, but our town planners have recently tried to make amends by installing a pedestrian-controlled crossing.


St Nicholas's Church

St Nicholas' Church, NottinghamThe third medieval church of Nottingham, situated near the Castle. The original building was demolished by Colonel Hutchinson in 1643 at the time of the Civil War, because snipers had used the tower as a vantage point for firing on the Castle. The present fine brick building was constructed fairly recently, between 1671 and 1682. Its churchyard was once a secluded garden, but is now open to the traffic of Maid Marian Way. It is fortunate to have an enthusiastic and evangelical congregation.
St Nic's Church website


Castle Road

Castle Road, NottinghamCastle Road is a favourite spot for tourists and locals alike, where al fresco living is possible for much of the year (weather permitting). Opposite the Castle, and just up from the famous Trip to Jerusalem Inn and the Brewhouse Yard museum, you can enjoy a quiet pint, a cup of coffee, or an ice cream (according to taste) just a few minutes walk from the bustle of the City Centre and the roar of traffic on Maid Marian Way.


The Castle

Nottingham CastleNot the abode of the Sheriffs of Nottingham, alas. The original building was destroyed by Parliamentarians in 1651 at the end of the Civil War. The ruins were cleared by the first Duke of Newcastle who built a ducal palace on the site. This building lasted until the Reform Riots of 1831 when it was set on fire and left a roofless ruin for over forty years - before it was restored and started a new life as England's first municipal museum and art gallery, a rôle that it still performs today. However, parts of the medieval castle are still visible round the edges - the remains of some towers, as well as the gatehouse and some of the outer curtain wall. The large open area in the photograph is the Middle Bailey. If you are visiting be sure to see Mortimer's Hole, a steep stairway bored down through the sandstone on which the Castle is built, and the system of caves and dungeons beneath the Castle.

Link to the English borough

© St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 5th July 1997