Discover more about our famous pioneers, such as great architects and mathematicians. From Watson Fothergill (the architect famous for having a positive effect on Nottingham's cityscape) to Ada Lovelace the mathematician who was the daughter of Lord Byron.
Watson Fothergill (Architect)
Watson Fothergill (1841-1928) is famous for having a positive effect on Nottingham's cityscape. He was the son of a wealthy lace manufacturer and merchant and at the age of 11 moved to Nottingham. Heavily influenced by European gothic architecture, he became known as Nottingham's most flamboyant Victorian architect. Follow the Watson Fothergill Trail around the city and discover the buildings he designed, which include his offices in the Lace Market and the Rose of England pub on Mansfield Road. Alternatively, you can choose the Architecture Ale Trail. This particular trail will take you around most well-known and best loved pubs located within some of the finest buildings in Nottingham.
Sneinton born William Booth (1829 - 1912) worked as an apprentice in a pawnbroker's shop in Nottingham from the age of 13. He became increasingly aware of the poverty in which people lived. He and his wife founded the East London Christian Mission in 1865. Their aim was to help meet the spiritual and material needs of the poor. The Mission became known as The Salvation Army in 1878. Further details about William Booth, including the Birthplace Museum and Trail can be found here.
Ada Lovelace (Mathematician)
Described as an analyst, metaphysician, and founder of scientific computing, Ada Lovelace became a lifelong friend of Charles Babbage, the computer pioneer. She wrote about his "Analytical Engine" with such clarity and insight that her work became the defining text explaining the process now known as computer programming. Her father was the poet Lord Byron. She never knew him as a week after she was born, he left for Italy and died in Greece when Ada was eight years old.
T. Cecil Howitt (Architect)
Designer of the Nottingham Council House, described by some as the finest municipal building outside London. It was built on the site left vacant after the demolition of the old Exchange in the 1920's. Four statues stand at the base of the 200 foot high dome, representing commerce, civic law, prosperity and knowledge, the hallmarks of the City of Nottingham. Two stone lions guard its fine colonnaded facade, while behind its pillars, cherubs toil at traditional Nottingham trades. The ten-and-a-half ton bell, Little John, is renowned as the deepest-toned in Britain.
George Green (Mathematician)
George Green was one of the most remarkable of nineteenth century physicists, a self-taught mathematician whose work has contributed greatly to modern physics. Born in Nottingham in 1793, the only son of semi-literate baker, he showed `an intense application to mathematics'. Having completed just four terms at school, he started an apprenticeship in his father's mill at the age of 14. Seven years later he published the first of many books. In 1830 he met his patron Sir Edward Bromhead at Cambridge University. Although he died in 1841, his theories in electricity and magnetism, and wave theory in sound and light, were rediscovered and developed from 1845. He gained posthumous reputation amongst 19th and 20th century mathematicians and scientists.
Today, Green's Windmill, in Sneinton, is a working Mill which is a popular museum and science centre. It teaches new generations of children about the valuable work of George Green and is still fully functional.
William Lee, the inventor of the knitting frame was born around 1563/64 in Calverton. After a Cambridge education, he returned to Nottinghamshire to become curate at the parish church of St. Wilfrid's. He produced his first frame in 1589. When he failed to secure a patent from Queen Elizabeth I, he took his invention to France. Sadly he died in relative obscurity around 1612. William's brother, James, brought the frames back from France and started the manufacture of silk and woollen stockings. Even though William Lee wasn't there to see it, his invention was destined to welcome in the modern hosiery industry.
Julian Marsh (Architect)
Nottingham architect Julian Marsh is a five-times RIBA Award winner. His city based company Marsh:Grochowski 'architects, urban and interior designers' was responsible for the design of Hart's Hotel, the boutique hotel standing on the site of the ramparts of Nottingham Castle, The D.H. Lawrence Pavillion at the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Playhouse Square Sky Mirror in collaboration with artist Anish Kapoor.
Thomas Hawksley (Engineer)
Thomas Hawksley (1807 - 1893) was born at Arnot Hill House in Arnold and is considered to be one of the greatest water engineers of the 19th century, as well as being a social reformer. In his lifetime he achieved international recognition for developing the first pressurised clean water supply available at the turn of a tap. At his first waterworks, near Trent Bridge, he pioneered a pressurised water system which meant that for the first time people could have running water at any time of the day.
Hawksley was also responsible for much of the planning and design work at Papplewick Pumping Station. Today visitors can explore this magnificent piece of industrial heritage and even see it in action during special 'steaming weekends'.
Over his life-time Hawksley designed 150 water works for major towns in Britain and countries such as Sweden, Germany and Barbados in the West Indies. You can also see one of his steam-powered pumps at Nottingham Industrial Museum.