Nottinghamshire contained the City of Nottingham from 1974 until 1998 when it became a unitary authority but part of Nottinghamshire for ceremonial purposes.
Nottinghamshire’s involvement with the legend of Robin Hood is the reason for the amount of tourists who visit places like Sherwood Forest, City of Nottingham and the surrounding villages in Sherwood Forest. The University of Nottingham initiated the Nottingham Cave Survey in an attempt to reinforce the connection to Robin Hood and increase tourism to the area. 3D laser scanners will be used to document over 450 sandstone caves within Nottingham, producing three dimensional records.
The name Nottinghamshire first occurs in 1016, but until 1568 the county was administratively united with Derbyshire, under a single Sheriff. The Roman Fosse Way lies through Nottinghamshire and there are examples of Roman settlements within the county. Nottinghamshire was settled by Angles around the 5th century, and became part of the Kingdom, and later Earldom, of Mercia. However, there is evidence of Saxon settlement at Oxton, near Nottingham, and Tuxford, east of Sherwood Forest.
Woolen industries and malting were developed in Nottinghamshire in Norman times and the lace industry grew with the advent of the industrial revolution. Collieries opened in Nottinghamshire in the 19th century allowing mining to become an imprtant economic sector.
Nottinghamshire was divided into eight Wapentakes until 1610. Sometime between 1610 and 1719 they were reduced to six - Newark, Bassetlaw, Thurgarton, Rushcliffe, Broxtowe and Bingham, some of these names still being used for the modern districts.
The first mapping of Nottinghamshire took place in 1576 by Christopher Saxon, John Chapman produced the first fully surveyed map of Nottinghamshire in 1774. This map contained information on roads, villages, tollbars, parklands, mills, milestone and physical features and was the first map of a sufficiently useful scale to be widely used.
The north of Nottinghamshire is particularly rich in coal measures, at some points up to 900 metres thick. There is an oilfield near Eakring. These are overlaid by sandstones and limestones in the west and clay in the east.
Principal rivers are the Erewash, Trent, Soar and Idle. The Trent River is merged by its tributaries at a point near the town of Misterton. Strawberry Bank in Huthwaite is the highest natural point in Nottinghamshire at 203m, while Silverhill, a spoil heap left by the former Silverhill colliery, is the highest man-made point at 205m. Nottinghamshire is sheltered by the Pennines to the west, so receives relatively low rainfall at 641-740 mm annually.
The poet Lord Byron had his ancestral home of Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire, which he later sold in 1818. Nottingham City Council now owns the building and has opened it to the public. Eastwood in Nottinghamshire was the home to the well known author D.H.Lawrence.
Toton was the birthplace and home of English folk singer-songwriter Anne Briggs, well known for her song 'Black Waterside'. Northern Nottinghamshire has strong links with the Pilgrim Fathers. William Brewster, for example, came from the village of Scrooby and was influenced by Richard Clyfton, who preached at Babworth.
Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club are a first class cricket club who play at Trent Bridge in West Bridgford. They won the County Championship in 2010. Nottinghamshire has a number of notable football teams, Notts County play in League One, Mansfield Town are a Conference National side and Nottingham Forest are a Championship Club. Other notable sporting teams are the Nottingham Rugby Football Club and the Nottingham Panthers Ice Hockey Club. Nottinghamshire is twinned with the province of Wielkopolska in Poland and its capital city, Poznan.