Did you know? Facts about Nottinghamshire

  • Nottinghamshire covers some 2,160 square kilometres / just under 850 square miles
  • Nottinghamshire is a hot bed for sport with links to Raleigh, one of the world's oldest and best-known bike brands. Although production of the bicycles no longer happens in the county, the designs, wheel building and bicycle building continues, with the UK headquarters based in Eastwood.
  • Nottingham has more sports facilities per head of the population than anywhere else in Europe.

Nottinghamshire has more sports facilities per head of population than anywhere else in Europe.

  • The iconic Trent Bridge cricket ground - the world’s third oldest test match venue - is next door to Nottingham Forest FC, one of only two English clubs to have won consecutive European Cups, with the National Watersport Centre at Holme Pierrepont based further down the River Trent. 
  • Forest were the first team to wear shin guards, invented by club player Samuel Widdowson in 1874.
  • Some other great creations came from the County, including  tarmac, traffic lights, and ibuprofen. Edgar Hooley created tarmac in 1901. A year later, the first road to be tarmacked was in West Bridgford.

Nottinghamshire is where things including ibuprofen and traffic lights were invented.

  • Notts County FC is the world’s oldest professional football club.
  • Ice dancing champions Torvill and Dean once trained at the National Ice Centre.
  • Nottinghamshire County Council’s County Hall building was built in 1938 using Portland Stone – the same material used to build the Houses of Parliament, St Paul's Cathedral and Buckingham Palace.
  • Five-time Olympic gold medalist Sir Steven Geoffrey Redgrave CBE trained at Holme Pierrepont’s Regatta Lake.
  • Wysall is among the very few villages in Nottinghamshire where those from their community who served in the First World War all, incredibly, managed to return home safely.
  • Shelford’s pretty village streets were actually once the scene of a bloody battle in the English Civil War in the 1600s.
  • The gold painted post box outside of the post office in Lowdham is in honour of local hero and Paralympic sprinter Richard Whitehead.

The gold post box was painted in honour of sprinter Richard Whitehead.

  • Hockerton is home to the Hockerton Housing Project, which is the UK’s first earth-sheltered, self-sufficient ecological housing development. Look out for the grass covered houses.
  • Retford is home to the Mayflower Pilgrims Visitor Centre. The pilgrims started their separatist movement here before setting out on their epic journey to America.
  • Clumber Park boasts Europe’s longest double avenue of lime trees along its grand entrance. It was previously voted the most romantic place in the East Midlands.
  • Edwinstowe is a historic village in the heart of Sherwood Forest, home of Robin Hood. Legend has it that it was here, at the beautiful Church of St Mary, that Robin married Maid Marian. The High Street is home to a statue in their honour.
  • Sherwood Forest is an awe-inspiring nature reserve of 900 ancient oak trees, most of which are over 500 years old - including the legendary Major Oak, thought be to over 800 years old, and which was once the hideout of the world’s most famous outlaw, Robin Hood and his band of merry men.
  • At the time the Major Oak began its life, there were only a few thousand people living in Nottinghamshire, in roughly 300 villages.
  • Rufford Abbey Country Park, regularly voted the county’s favourite free tourist attraction, is set in the estates and grounds of a former 12th century Cistercian Monastery and country house.
  • Southwell is home of the Bramley Apple, one of the most famous of British Apples. The story goes that the original Bramley apple pip was planted at the bottom of a cottage garden at 75 Church Street in around 1810.

Nottinghamshire is home of the Bramley Apple.

  • Blidworth Parish Church of St Mary dates from the 15th Century and is reputed to be the burial place of Will Scarlet, one of Robin Hood’s famous outlaws.
  • Historic Newstead Abbey, set in a glorious landscape, with its formal gardens and parkland, was once the ancestral home of the romantic poet Lord Byron.
  • The county is home to other literary legends. DH Lawrence was born and raised in Eastwood - the award winning D.H Lawrence Heritage Museum/Centre in Eastwood is a testament to his life and work.
  • Nottingham-based clubs such as Notts County and Nottingham Forest may be among the oldest clubs in the world – but in Field Mill,  Mansfield Town FC has the oldest football ground.
  • Mansfield is the birthplace of the Quaker religion founded by George Fox in 1647.


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