Nottinghamshire was the home to the Volunteer
battalions known as the Sherwood Foresters and parts of the Notts and Derby
It is in the east Midlands of England. A low-lying county in the valley
of the river Trent, some of the area drains as fenland, but the Sherwood
Forest area comprises undulating higher land and attractive woodland scenery.
The climate tends to be dry, as the county is rather sheltered by the Derbyshire
hills. Kelly remarks that 'seed-time and harvest are therefore earlier than
in the other northern shires'.
Many abbeys and castles were built in the area during the Middle Ages. Remains
of some of the significant ecclesiastical establishments, such as Southwell
and Nottingham, still existed at the start of the twentieth century, but
some of the important castles, including Newark and Nottingham, were largely
dismantled in the English Civil War. One of its most famous figures was
the outlaw Robin Hood, who is supposed to have inhabited Sherwood Forest
in the thirteenth century with his band of merry men and Maid Marian, armed
with bows and arrows, illegally hunting the King's deer, fighting tyranny
and robbing the rich to give to the poor.
Nottinghamshire's main river is the Trent. This was complemented by navigable
rivers and canals, so that the county was linked by water to the whole of
the rest of England. There was also an extensive railway system and communications
with the rest of England, including London, were good. The Trent was a main
trading route for much of the area.
Many of the men who served in the Great War would have worked in the mining
and extraction industries. There was a coalfield in the south west of the
county, in the Mansfield area. Sand, gravel and clay were quarried in the
same region; and gypsum was extracted in the north. Paving stones, limestone,
bricks and plaster (at Newark) were important products. There were some
blast furnaces and smelting near the coalfields.
The city of Nottingham was the heart of the stocking trade. The county was
also known for its lace, framework knitting, thread, bobbinet, silk, worsted
and cotton industries. Some of these were carried out even in the villages
as well as in the small towns.
A lot of corn was grown in the county, but some cheese was also produced.
Nottingham Goose Fair at the beginning of October was renowned. It was an
important fair for cheese and cattle.
The county town is Nottingham, which was one of the largest towns in England
at the beginning of the twentieth century. Its population was twice that
of the other major town, Basford and three times that of Mansfield. Of the
county population of just over 514000 in 1901, nearly 240000 people lived
in Nottingham itself.
the first attempt at content
The Drill Hall Project - Charting a neglected legacy