The significance of Nottingham to England is hardly overstated. This eastern midlands city, although famed for its legendary ties with Robin Hood, placed England on the map during the industrial revolution. The city gained fame for its bicycle, lace making and tobacco industries.
Its origins can be traced back to 600 AD, when it was part of Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms. It was not until 869 when it was captured by the Danes that the story of Nottingham began to unfold. The battle with the Danes continued with intermittent treaties until 919, when Edward the Elder captured it. In 921, Edward fortified the area on the Southern bank of the Trent, connecting it with the down by a bridge. His successor subsequently established a mint. His coins, bearing the Nottingham mark were later found.
Construction of the Nottingham castle began in the 11th century, ordered by William the Conqueror. The area housed the Town Hall and Law Courts. The castle served a strategic position for English nobles and royalty for centuries to follow because of its location near the crossing of the River Trent.
In 1194, supporters of Prince John captured Nottingham Palace in an historic battle. In October 1330, the castle was to become a victim of a coup staged by Edward III against his mother and her lover, on the eve of his 18th birthday. Both were acting as Regents. Edward’s mother was forced to retire to the Castle Rising Castle and her lover was executed a month after the takeover.
These events did not arrest economic growth over the following centuries. By the 15th century, Nottingham had developed a thriving export trade in religious sculpture made from alabaster. In 1449, it became a county corporate, effectively gaining self-governance. The industrial revolution spurred the city’s growth, with the textile industry flourishing with the production of lace. This growth came with its disadvantages. It earned Nottingham the notoriety of having the worst slums in the British Empire outside of India.
In 1831, residents rioted against the Duke of Newcastle for his opposition to electoral reforms in England and Wales. The rioters set fire to the Nottingham Castle, where the Duke resided. In 1889, the city was given city status as part of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. In the aftermath of World War II, Nottingham’s textile sector took a serious knock as manufacturers struggled to compete on price with their counterparts in the Far East and South Asia. Today, the textile sector is no longer significant in Nottingham’s economy, with growth mainly coming from the creative and financial sectors. Relaxing in bed at nighttime can be hard in the 21st century. We lead such stressful lives that if we don’t have the right mattress, such as a memory foam, we will never feel refreshed in the morning.
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