To provide you with the best experience on this website, cookies are used. By using the site it's assumed that you're happy with our use of cookies. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. More info on cookies.
Allow cookies

Nottingham Lace History

The Lace Market area is probably the oldest part of the city of Nottingham, with evidence of the earliest rural settlement have been found around Belward Street and Bellar Gate near the current site of the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham and National Ice Centre dating from fifth and sixth centuries.

Pre-dating the arrival of the Normans, the Lace Market was the Saxon area of Nottingham. This is apparent from existing place names as the word ‘Gate’ arose from the Danish ‘gata’ meaning street. A Norman area of the town - centred around the castle - emerged following the Norman Conquest, and it was then that the city became merged.

The Lace Market then became the administrative area of the city and developed into the commercial and cultural sector in the Middle Ages. This can be seen in place names such as Fisher Gate (fish sellers) and Fletcher Gate (butchers). Shire Hall became the administrative centre for the county from 1449 and takes its name from the Sheriff. The current building, now a museum, was built in 1770.

The invention of the knitting frame by William Lee of Calverton in Nottinghamshire radically changed the area and eventually gave the Lace Market its name. Richard Arkwright established a small cotton mill in Hockley in 1768 and this led to the development of back to back housing for mill workers. Lace was manufactured on a frame adapted from that of William Lee and was further improved by John Heathcote and John Levers in the early 19 century. By the 1840s lace making was changing from a domestic industry into an international export.

This resulted in the high density warehouses and narrow streets that are characteristic of the area today. You can still see great Victorian buildings such as the Adams building on Stoney Street and Barker Gate House, designed by the famous architect Watson Fothergill.

You’ll find more information on specific buildings and areas of the Lace Market in the Places to see section.

Heritage audio tours are available from the National Justice Museum for just £2.95 each and the self-guided tour takes around 30-45 minutes.

Do

Type
Location
Keyword

Special offers

  1. Food and Drink

    Food and Drink

    We have a host of special offers at restaurants, bars and cafes throughout Nottinghamshire to make your money go further during your visit.

    From: Friday, 1st January 2016

    To: Sunday, 31st December 2017

Things to Do Highlights...

Dinosaurs of China: Ground Shakers to Feathered Flyers

Dinosaurs of China: Ground Shakers to Feathered Flyers

World-exclusive exhibition, coming to Europe for the first time! From Saturday 1 July till...

Satellite Exhibition: Dinosaurs of China - Ground Shakers to Feathered Flyers

Satellite Exhibition: Dinosaurs of China - Ground Shakers to Feathered Flyers

From Saturday 1 July till Sunday 29 October 2017 This satellite exhibition is in conjunction...

The Nottingham Beach 2017

The Nottingham Beach 2017

13th July – 3rd September 2017 This summer, the seaside will once again arrive in the city as...

Southwell Music Festival 2017

Southwell Music Festival 2017

Thursday 24 - Bank Holiday Monday 28 August 2017 Southwell Music Festival is an annual,...