Discover Nottingham’s Lace Market on a heritage audio trail

Lace Market blog lead image

Nottingham is famed for many things but something that is quite literally woven into the fabric of the city’s past is of course, lace. Once the centre of lace production and enjoying growth and prosperity as a result, Nottingham supplied beautiful garments and household items to adorn the homes of the wealthy across the UK and indeed the world.

If you’re interested in learning more about Nottingham’s lace history, then there are few better places to start than the Lace Market Heritage Audio Trail. Available from Nottingham’s Galleries of Justice Museum, this trail takes you on a walking tour around Nottingham’s Lace Market area. There’s history around every corner and a story in every cobble.


One of the plaques along the Lace Market Heritage Audio Trail

The trail is narrated by the easy-listening voice of Joanna Lumley. Upon leaving the doors of the Galleries, the tour starts with clear instruction on how to begin the journey. The first point on the trail is an 18th century town house, situated opposite the Nottingham Contemporary and a few metres away from Weekday Cross. It’s worth noting that each point on the trail has a plaque with a stone carving upon it and brail for those with visual impairment. You are also able to rewind the narration or skip forwards or backwards at any time if you wish to hear a description again.

From the lace house I was guided a short distance up High Pavement to the Pitcher & Piano – once a Unitarian Chapel. Famous names who have worshiped here over the years include the wealthy Pierrepont family and a certain Lord Byron in his younger years. The next stop was The Galleries of Justice Museum itself, the city’s old county gaol, home to crime and punishment throughout many decades and concealing grim stories around every corner.

From the Galleries, explore the magnificent St Mary’s Church before winding your way around the graveyard and into the heart of the lace industry at Broadway. When you stand on Broadway you’re immediately drawn upwards as you look at the foreboding lace buildings towering above you on either side. They’re intricate in their design and crucial to Nottingham’s lace story. The next stop on the tour is even more impressive, with a look at the Adams & Page building – once a lace warehouse and showroom and the largest building in the area. A short walk back up Stoney Street will then bring you to a building showcasing the works of Watson Fothergill – a man whose designs adorn many a Nottingham street with their gothic exterior and recogniseable brickwork. You will then end the tour with a look at a 21st century addition to Nottingham’s Lace Market – the National Ice Arena; symbolising the shift from industry to entertainment in the Lace Market.

The Lace Market Heritage Audio Tour is well worth an explore and even if you’re Nottingham born and bred, I can guarantee you will learn something new. Click here to find out more.

The trail costs just £2.95 and is available from the reception at the Galleries of Justice Museum – simply ask a member of staff for more information. The trail takes roughly an hour to complete.

Posted on 01 September 2015
Featured author: Tom

Nottingham lad who’s a proud Notts County fan, cheese fiend, chocaholic and loves travelling and music.

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  • Can you please tell me the history of the man’s head icon on the entry of the lacehouse?

    Posted by B Cleaver

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    A very lucky marketeer in her dream job. Passionate about all things Nottinghamshire and firmly believes if you work really hard and are kind, amazing things will happen!

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    Addicted to music and learning languages. Loves reading, gardening, travelling and everything new media related.

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    Writer and amateur local historian with an affection for English eccentrics. Returned to Nottingham in 2013, only to fall in love with the creative and cultural goings of the city.

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