Every week in Nottingham two new caves are discovered; adding to the hundreds already found; and many that have yet to be.

Another new cave has been discovered on Lower Parliament Street, under the site of an old pub. The new found cave is said to be from the Georgian and Victorian era, with some preserved artefacts in the cave also.

The caves date back to the 12th Century when people would dig underground for wells, cellars in pubs, and cesspits. The ground in Nottingham is sandstone, an easy material to dig and one that does not collapse.

Recently, a Nottingham resident discovered one under her house. Daniella Gray, a student at Nottingham Trent University, knew there was something behind a locked door but never imagined what it actually was.

 

“We then found some more steps leading down to a small room, this was the cave”
Daniella Gray, Nottingham Trent Student

“The door had always been locked since we moved into the property, but we returned from the Christmas holidays to find it had been opened. My housemates and I went down some steps and discovered three rooms, all covered in Halloween decorations”.

“We then found some more steps leading down to a small room, this was the cave. We found out from the archaeologist who came round that it would have been used as a storage space for wine and beer”.

Audio: Daniella Gray

The majority of caves in Nottingham are under the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre. The City of Caves gives guided tours to tourists who come from all over the world.

Christie Fern, Education facilitator thinks that its amazing that there is so much history in Nottingham.

An 18th Century tannery

“I’ve worked here for five years and every time I give a tour I am still amazed at the history that is underground. Many were used as storage space for under peoples houses, others as tanneries, and in 1940 as Bomb Shelters”.

Audio: Christie Fern

“There is another world that is under ours, many do not know that it exists. But those who come to visit City of Caves expect to see just a whole in the ground, and are surprised about what they were actually used for”.

Audio: Christie Fern

David Knight, an archaeologist from Nottingham specialises in cave excavation, thinks that the caves are the only kind in the world.

“We are lucky to have a rich source of sandstone which makes it easy to dig down. That is why there are so many caves here, because its so easy to dig”.

Audio: David Knight

 

“Nottingham City Council is currently developing new planning guidelines for people who find caves, what the best thing to do is once they have been found”

David Knight, Archaeologist 

“Around the world there are not many other places that have sandstone like we do, that why no other complex cave networks exist. Its important to preserve the caves so we can see why and how they were used. Nottingham City Council is currently developing new planning guidelines for people who find caves, what the best thing to do is once they have been found”.

A kitchen from the 18th century

So if you are interested at finding out what is beneath your feet then there are plenty of caves all over Nottingham to explore.