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Nottinghamshire ( or ; abbreviated Notts) is an English county in the East Midlands, which borders South Yorkshiremarker, Lincolnshiremarker, Leicestershiremarker and Derbyshiremarker. The county town is traditionally Nottinghammarker, though the council is now based in West Bridgfordmarker, a suburb of Greater Nottingham (at a site facing Nottingham City over the River Trent).

The districts of Nottinghamshire are Ashfieldmarker, Bassetlaw, Broxtowemarker, Gedlingmarker, Mansfieldmarker, Newark and Sherwoodmarker, and Rushcliffemarker. The City of Nottinghammarker was administratively part of Nottinghamshire between 1974 and 1998 but is now a unitary authority although it remains part of the historic and ceremonial county.

As of 2006 the county is estimated to have a population of just over one million. Over half of the population of the county live in the conurbation of Greater Nottinghammarker which also spreads into Derbyshiremarker. The conurbation has a population of about 650,000, though less than half live within the city boundaries.


Nottinghamshire lies on the Roman Fosse Way, and there are Roman settlements in the county, for example at Mansfieldmarker. The county was settled by Angles around the 5th century, and became part of the Kingdom, and later Earldom, of Merciamarker. However, there is evidence of Saxon settlement at Oxtonmarker, near Nottingham, and Tuxfordmarker, east of Sherwood Forestmarker. The name first occurs in 1016, but until 1568 the county was administratively united with Derbyshire, under a single Sheriff. In Norman times the county developed malting and woollen industries. During the industrial revolution canals and railways came to the county, and the lace and cotton industries grew. In the 19th century collieries opened and mining became an important economic sector, though these declined after the 1984-5 miners' strike.

Until 1610, Nottinghamshire was divided into eight Wapentakes. Sometime between 1610 and 1719 they were reduced to six – Newark, Bassetlaw, Thurgartonmarker, Rushcliffe, Broxtowe and Bingham, some of these names still being used for the modern districts. Oswaldbeck was absorbed in Bassetlaw, of which it forms the North Clay division, and Lythe in Thurgarton.

Nottinghamshire is famous for its involvement with the legend of Robin Hood. This is also the reason for the amount of tourists who visit places like Sherwood Forestmarker, City of Nottinghammarker and the surrounding villages in Sherwood Forest.

Nottinghamshire was mapped first by Christopher Saxton in 1576, the first fully surveyed map of the county was by John Chapman who produced Chapman's Map of Nottinghamshire in 1774. The map was the earliest printed map at a sufficiently useful scale (one statute mile to one inch) to provide basic information on village layout and the existence of landscape features such as roads, milestones, tollbars, parkland and mills.

Physical geography

Nottinghamshire, like Derbyshiremarker and South Yorkshiremarker, sits on extensive coal measures, up to 900 metres (3,000 feet) thick and occurring largely in the north of the county. There is an oilfield near Eakringmarker. These are overlaid by sandstones and limestones in the west and clay in the east. The north of the county is part of the Yorkmarker plain. The centre and south west of the county, around Sherwood Forest, features undulating hills with ancient oak woodland. Principal rivers are the Trent, Idlemarker, Erewashmarker and Soarmarker. The Trent, fed by the Soar and Erewash, and Idle, composed of many streams from Sherwood Forest, run through wide and flat valleys, merging at Mistertonmarker. The natural highest point of the county is Strawberry Bank, in Huthwaitemarker.

Nottinghamshire is sheltered by the Pennines to the west, so receives relatively low rainfall at 641–740 mm (25–29 in) annually. The average temperature of the county is 8.8-10.1 degrees Celsius (48-50 degrees Fahrenheit). The county receives between 1321 and 1470 hours of sunshine per year.


Nottinghamshire is represented by eleven members of parliamentmarker, of which nine are members of the Labour Party, and two are Conservatives. Geoff Hoon, representative for Ashfieldmarker, is a front-bench member of the government. Kenneth Clarke of Rushcliffemarker is a former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Following the 2009 local elections (see Nottinghamshire Council election, 2009), the County Council is Conservative controlled, a gain from Labour. There are 67 councillors, 35 of which are Conservative, 13 are Labour and 9 are Liberal Democrat. Local government is devolved to seven local borough and district councils, Bassetlaw, Gedling, Newark and Sherwood and Rushcliffe are Conservative controlled while Mansfield is controlled by the local Independent forum. Ashfield and Broxtowe have no overall control but are led by the Labour and the Liberal Democrat groups respectively.In 2007, Nottinghamshire County Council won an Ashden Award for their work converting coal-fired boilers in schools to burn wood pellets.

Economy and industry

In 1998 Nottinghamshire had a GDP per-capita of £12,000, and a total GDP of £12,023 million. This is compared to a per-capita GDP of £11,848 for the East Midlands, £12,845 for England and £12,548 for the United Kingdom. Nottingham has a GDP per-capita of £17,373, North Nottinghamshire £10,176, and South Nottinghamshire £8,448. In October 2005 the United Kingdom had 4.7% unemployment, the East Midlands 4.4%, and Nottingham travel-to-work area 2.4%.

Along the Trent on the county's eastern edge, close to the former coalfields, are two large power stations of Cottammarker and West Burton. High Marnhammarker is now closed. South of Nottingham, again near the Trent, is the Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Stationmarker and near Newark there are plans for a gas-turbine power station at Staythorpe, next to the Trent, on the site of the former Staythorpe A & B coal-fired power station. There are two current coal mines at Thoresby between Edwinstowemarker and Ollertonmarker, and Welbeck at Meden Valemarker near Market Warsopmarker. The pit at Harworthmarker, in the far north of the county, faced closure in 2006, but was mothballed instead. Many pits in the Worksop and central-Nottinghamshire areas were closed in the 1990s.


Secondary Education

The county has comprehensive secondary education with 47 state secondary schools and 7 independent schools, including Worksop College, and the City of Nottingham LEA has 18 state schools and 6 independent schools, not including sixth form colleges.

GCSEs in Nottinghamshire

9,700 pupils took GCSEs in Nottinghamshire LEA in 2007. The best results were from the West Bridgford Schoolmarker, closely followed by Rushcliffe Comprehensive School and the Minster School in Southwellmarker. All schools in the Rushcliffe district perform very well, except for Dayncourt School Specialist Sports Collegemarker in Radcliffe on Trentmarker. The lowest performing was the Queen Elizabeth's Endowed School in Mansfield. In the city, the best results came from the Trinity Catholic Schoolmarker and the Fernwood School in Wollatonmarker.

At A level, the best was The Becket Schoolmarker followed by the West Bridgford School with outstanding results. These are higher than the main independent school in the county, Worksop College. In the city, Bilborough Collegemarker does the best, although not as good as the two West Bridgford schools. The Nottingham Bluecoat Schoolmarker (not far from the Trinity School) does reasonably well, however the best results of all come from the all-male Nottingham High Schoolmarker closely followed by the all-female Nottingham High School for Girlsmarker, both independent schools with the best results of all schools in the East Midlands.

GCSE Results by District Council

District % of pupils gaining 5 grades A-C including English and Maths in 2007
Rushcliffe 61.9
Gedling 46.2
Broxtowe 41.3
Ashfield 38.3
Newark and Sherwood 38.2
Mansfield 35.1
Bassetlaw 34.8
(City of Nottingham Unitary Authority) 33.1
(Average for Nottinghamshire) 41.7
(Average for England) 46.8

Higher education

Nottingham Trent University (formerly Trent Polytechnic) is one of the most successful post-1992 universities in the UK. The University of Nottinghammarker (situated between the QMCmarker and Beestonmarker) is a Russell Group university and very well-renowned, offering one of the broadest selection of courses in the UK. It has close links with the Boots company. Both universities combine to make Nottingham one of the biggest student cities. NTU also has an agricultural college near Southwell and the University has one at Sutton Boningtonmarker.


Nottinghamshire contains the ancestral home of the poet Lord Byron, Newstead Abbeymarker, which he sold in 1818. It is now owned by Nottingham City Council and open to the public. The author D. H. Lawrence was from Eastwood in Nottinghamshire. Toton, Nottinghamshire was the birthplace and home of English folk singer-songwriter Anne Briggs (1944 - ), well known for her song 'Black Waterside.' The north of the county is also noteworthy because of its connections with the Pilgrim Fathers. William Brewster, for example, came from the village of Scrooby and was influenced by Richard Clyfton who preached at Babworthmarker church.

Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club is a first class cricket club who play at Trent Bridgemarker in West Bridgford. They won the County Championship in 2005. Nottingham Forest are a Championship football club following promotion in 2008, Notts County are in League Two and Mansfield Town are a Conference National team having been relegated from the Football League, also in 2008. Other notable teams are Nottingham Rugby Football Club and Nottingham Panthers Ice Hockey Club.

Nottinghamshire has international twinning arrangements with the province of Wielkopolskamarker (Greater Poland) in western Polandmarker, and with its capital city, Poznanmarker.

Settlements and communications

The council house and a tram in Nottingham market square.
See also: list of places in Nottinghamshire.

The traditional county town, and the largest settlement in the historic and ceremonial county boundaries, is Nottinghammarker. The City is now administratively independent, but suburbs including Arnoldmarker, Carltonmarker, West Bridgfordmarker, Beestonmarker and Staplefordmarker are still within the administrative county and West Bridgford is now home of the county council.

There are several market towns in the county. Newark-on-Trentmarker is a bridging point of the Fosse Way and River Trent, but is actually an Anglo-Saxon market town with a now ruined Castle. Mansfieldmarker sits on the site of a Roman settlement, but grew after the Norman Conquest. Worksopmarker, in the north of the county, is also an Anglo-Saxon market town which grew rapidly in the industrial revolution with the arrival of canals and railways and the discovery of coal. Newark, Mansfield and Worksop have suffered from the decline of mining since the 1984-5 miners' strike. Other market towns include Arnoldmarker, Binghammarker, Hucknallmarker, Kirkby-in-Ashfieldmarker, and Retfordmarker.

The main railway in the county is the Midland Main Line which links Londonmarker St Pancras Stationmarker to Sheffieldmarker via Nottingham. The Robin Hood Line between Nottingham and Worksop serves several villages in the county. The East Coast Main Line from London King's Cross to Doncaster, Leeds, York, Hull Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Scotland serves the eastern Nottinghamshire towns of Newark and Retford. The M1 motorway runs north–south through the county, connecting Nottingham to London, Leedsmarker and many other towns and major roads.

The A1 roadmarker follows for the most part the path of the Great North Road, although in places it diverges from the historic route where towns have been bypassed. Retford was by-passed in 1961 and Newark-on-Trent was by-passed in 1964, and the A1 now runs between Retford and Worksop past the village of Ranbymarker. Many historic coaching inns can still be seen along the traditional route.

The East Midlands Airportmarker is just outside the county in Leicestershiremarker, while the Robin Hood Airportmarker lies within the historic boundaries of Nottinghamshire but is just inside South Yorkshiremarker. These airports serve the county and several of its neighbours. Together the airports have services to most major European destinations, and the East Midlands Airport now also has services to North America and Caribbeanmarker countries. As well as local bus services throughout the county, Nottingham and its suburbs have a tram system, Nottingham Express Transit.

Places of interest

Football in the County

Nottinghamshire is home to three professional football clubs, namely Nottingham Forest who play at The City Groundmarker, Notts County who play at Meadow Lanemarker and Mansfield Town who play at Field Millmarker, as well as smaller non-league clubs like Eastwood Townmarker and Retford United.

Nottingham Forest used the Nottinghamshire crest as their own until the 1980's.


  1. Chapman's Map of Nottinghamshire 1774. Nottinghamshire County Council ISBN 0-902751-46-8.
  2. Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911. "Nottinghamshire, Geology". Accessed 2005-12-11.
  3. Met Office, 2000. Annual average rainfall for the United Kingdom.
  4. Met Office, 2000. Annual average temperature for the United Kingdom.
  5. Met Office, 2000. Annual average sunshine for the United Kingdom.
  6. Nottinghamshire County Council, 2009
  7. Ashden Awards. "Wood fuel heating for schools". Accessed 2009-05-22.
  8. Office for National Statistics, 2001. Regional Trends 26 ch:14.7 (PDF). Accessed 2005-12-24.
  9. East Midlands Observatory, 2005. Labour Market Statistics for October 2005. Accessed 2005-12-24.
  10. Nottinghamshire County Council. Transnational partnerships.

External links

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