I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Sunday 22nd April

The decision this morning was, do we stay in Nottingham for a day or move on in case we get more rain and get stuck here! Richard perused the weather forecasts and decided that it would be OK to stay put for the day so we set off to visit the City of Caves and Galleries of Justice Museum. Once we found the City of Caves – it is actually in the Broadmarsh shopping centre – we took a tour round some of the 22.3sandstone caves that are under Nottingham. The caves can be dated back to the 13th Century and were originally lived in then became malt kilns to make pottery but by the 16th and 17th Century the caves became associated with the leather trade. Nottingham boasts the only know example of a cave tannery in England but this was closed down in 1639. From then onwards the caves began to disappear as houses and shops were built over them however they were opened again during the war as air raid shelters. During the building of the shopping centre in 1971, pillars and a concrete bridge were constructed around the caves to take the weight of the new buildings without posing any structural threat to the caves themselves. At the Galleries of Justice Museum we were taken into t22.12he old County Court by the Sheriff of Nottingham where he conducted a trial of Robin Hood! After that we went down into the cells where we met a Georgian jailer who told us all about how the jail would have been run. Apparently if you had money you could have a decent cell and food but if you had no money then you would be thrown into the pits and were given bread and water once a day – you also had to pay to be released from prison! When the Victorians overhauled the prison system, the jail was closed due to its appalling conditions and it lay empty from 1878 until 1995. The Shire Hall however, continued to house Nottingham’s criminal and civil courts until 1985 when a new building was built by the canal. The whole visit was food for thought. We walked back to the boat with my feet aching and definitely ready for a rest.

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