10 Facts About Nottingham You Won’t Believe!

Nottingham never ceases to amaze. From the stunning Robin Hood folklore stories to the exponential history, Nottingham is the perfect place for conspiracy theorists or just the average person snooping around for some juicy facts.

If you’re a resident of Nottingham or looking to move there, here are few interesting facts about the city that are not only captivating but will likely get your curiosity antennas alert.

  1. Nottingham has the Smallest Cinema in the world

Are you a fan of the big screen? The experience you get at Screen 22, which is the world’s smallest cinema is unlike anything you have seen before. The cinema is the creation of Steven Metcalf and was started in 2002. The cinema has a seating capacity of 21 people.

Steven, a movie enthusiast, started the cinema to allow people that missed the first screenings of their favourite movies a second chance to see them. It’s more interesting that the small cinema is located only six minutes away by foot from Cineworld, which is currently regarded as one of the most independent cinemas in the country.

If you’re looking for a cosy place to catch up on the latest movies with your friends, this little cinema could be just the place.

  1. Nottingham was once called Snotingham

Residents of Nottingham must be ecstatic with the name change. Believe it or not, Nottingham has not always had this name. Back in 600 A.D, the city was known as Snotingham after an Anglo-Saxon chief called “Snot.”

Loosely translated, the name meant the town of snot people. It’s quite a relief that the name of the city hasn’t stuck.

  1. The Goose Fair

The Goose Fair is not a new or astonishing fact. What might be astonishing is the fact that it has existed since 1284. It was once known for its high-quality cheese. Today, it’s one of the most prestigious fairs in the UK with over 500 attractions, rides, and games.

The Nottingham Goose Fair is held at the Forest Recreation Ground and has been for many years. The Goose Fair is more than 700 years old and qualifies as one of the oldest fairs in the world.

  1. Ibuprofen was invented in Nottingham

Nottingham is also the home for quite some exciting inventions, one of them being Ibuprofen. The famous drug was invented in 1953 by Boots Pharmacist Dr. Stewart Adams while working in a house south of Nottingham. The doctor was performing clinical trials on pain-killing chemicals and Ibuprofen was the only success he had in the trials. He went ahead and tested it on himself for a hangover.

Since then, Ibuprofen has risen to become one of the most popular over the counter painkillers in the market today.

  1. Traffic Lights were invented in Nottingham

Traffic lights save countless lives each day. With the growing number of cars and road users, it’s impossible to think of what the roads would be like without traffic lights.

What’s even more surprising is that this valuable invention has its roots in Nottingham. After seeing thousands of road users die, John Peake Knight, a student from Nottingham High School, came up with an idea. In 1866, he created a system that used a revolving gas-powered lantern that had a red and green light to help control traffic.

The very first traffic light was placed at the Great George Street and Bridge Street junction in Westminster London. Today, traffic lights are a standard feature on the roads everywhere in the world.

  1. Little John could one day replace Big Ben

Little John pales in comparison to the mighty Big Ben. But, the iconic bell packs a variety of interesting facts that might blow your mind away.

Little John is not so little. The gigantic bell which goes off every 15 minutes is the loudest clock bell in the country. Its strike can be heard up to 7 miles. Even more stunning is its 10.5-tonne weight.

In 2015, the Nottingham City Council offered to loan Little John to replace Big Ben if the iconic bell ever fell silent.

Little John doesn’t sound so little now, does he?

  1. Nottingham is the home to Robin Hood

The history between Nottingham and Robin Hood is not a secret. It’s not even surprising but, not mentioning it would be a surprise.

The heroic outlaw from popular English folktales was a highly skilled archer and swordsman. His affection for the poor and disadvantaged pushed him to steal from the rich and give to the poor. He had his team of outlaws called the “Merry Men.”

Did you know that the gigantic oak which served as the hideout for Robin Hood and his Merry Men still stands tall today? It’s located in Sherwood Forest and weighs a staggering 23 tonnes with a girth of over 10 meters and a spread of 28 meters. It also happens to be the biggest oak tree in Britain.

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  1. Wollaton Hall was Batman’s Layer

Fans of the 2012 Batman Dark Knight Rises that have visited the Wollaton Hall, and are keen enough, might have noticed some familiar scenes. That’s because the Wollaton Hall was used as the setting for Wayne Manor in the film.

Since then, the site has attracted more visitors each year in what is known as the Batman Effect as well as improved marketing. In 2014, there were over 290,000 visitors to the Elizabethan Mansion.

  1. The Nottingham Sheriff Exists

The Robin Hood story might be folklore but, the sheriff of Nottingham, who was his arch-nemesis was not. The Sheriff of Nottingham is an actual position that exists to date. The sheriff is responsible for welcoming visitors and promoting the historical associations in Nottingham. The role is not as flashy as it is in the stories, but it creates some realism to the greatest legend in Nottingham.

  1. Nottingham is home to the HP source

The popular HP sauce is yet another product of Nottingham. It was invented by Frederick Gibson Garton while in his packing factory in 47 Sandon Street Nottingham.

The sauce was named HP sauce in 1895 after the inventor learned that the Houses of Parliament were serving his source. This makes Frederick one of the many fine inventors that are born and bred in Nottingham.


Nottingham never ceases to amaze. It’s a great and vibrant city that provides the perfect environment for virtually every personality. It’s packed with history, beauty and as you can tell from these facts, surprises. It makes for the perfect place to live and work for families, bachelors, and bachelorettes.

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