The previously Anglo-Saxon settlement was developed into the
English Borough of Nottingham, complete with law courts and a town hall. Nottingham
Castle was constructed in Nottingham by the river Leen in the 11th century and a
settlement also developed around the castle on the hill opposite. The space
between these settlements was eventually built upon and allowed the Old Market
Square to become the focus of Nottingham some centuries later.
During the Industrial Revolution, much of Nottingham's
prosperity was founded on the textile industry. Nottingham gained worldwide
recognition for its bicycle industries and lace making and the city became an
internationally important centre of lace manufacture.
In the sporting world, Nottingham's biggest claim to fame is
undoubtedly being home to the world's oldest professional football club, Notts
County, who were formed in 1862.
Nottingham is home to a multitude of different architectural
styles, with buildings dating from the twelfth century. Architects such as
Alfred Waterhouse, Thomas Chambers Hine and Nottingham's own Watson Fothergill
produced elaborate buildings in the 19th century to meet the expansion
generated by increasing industrial output.
The geographical centre of Nottingham is usually defined as
the Old Market Square, the largest city square in the UK. The square is
dominated by the Council House, which replaced The Nottingham Exchange
Building, built in 1726. Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, partially built into the
cave system beneath Nottingham Castle, is a contender for the title of
"England's Oldest Pub" due to its supposed establishment in 1189.
Many well known companies have their headquarters in
Nottingham. One of the best known is Boots the Chemists founded in the city by
John Boot, 1st Baron Trent, in 1849 and substantially expanded by his son Jesse
Boot, 2nd Baron Trent into a retail
company known throughout the world. Nottingham was also the birthplace of
Raleigh Cycles with cycle manufacturing being a major industry in Nottingham
until recent times. Nottingham is also joint headquarters of Paul Smith, the
high fashion house.
Nottingham receives around 300,000 overseas visitors each
year. Many visitors are attracted by Nottingham's nightlife and shops, by its
history, and by the legend of Robin Hood, visiting Sherwood Forest and
Nottingham Castle. Popular history-based tourist attractions in central
Nottingham include the Castle, City of Caves, Lace Market, The Galleries of
Justice, and the City's ancient pubs.
Nottingham Goose Fair is one of the oldest travelling fairs
in the country and is held annually during the first week of October. The fair
is held on the Forest Recreation Ground. Nottingham won the large city category
of Britain in Bloom in 1997, 2001, 2003 and 2007. Video games are represented
in Nottingham at the Game City annual videogame festival.