My Favourite Spots in Nottinghamshire by William Ivory

Southwell Minster

This week we are sharing William Ivory’s favourite places in Nottinghamshire. If you would like to share your ‘favourites’ with us, email us at or use the comment section below. You may feature on our blog and our various social media platforms.


Award-winning writer William Ivory was born in Southwell, Nottinghamshire.  He attended the Minster School and London University.  However, he left university after only a year and became a dustman for Newark and Sherwood District Council.

His TV work includes series like Common as Muck, A Thing Called Love and The Sins, as well as a recent adaptation of DH Lawrence’s Women in Love and The Rainbow.  Stage plays include Bombers Moon and The Retirement of Tom Stevens.  His latest feature film was Made in Dagenham, starring Bob Hoskins and Sally Hawkins.  Bert and Dickie, a single feature for BBC1, set during the 1948 Olympics and starring Matt Smith will be screened in Summer 2012.  In 2009, William was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Nottingham.

These are his favourite spots in Nottinghamshire.

1)       Southwell Minster – A magnificent sandstone Cathedral at the heart of a beautiful Georgian town. The great thing about the Minster is it’s unfussy-ness. It hasn’t been over adorned or mucked about with; it remains as it ever was, stark and functional.

2)       Nottingham Playhouse – A glorious, brutal, piece of architecture, even more striking now, thanks to the Sky Mirror, it is one of the leading theatres in the country. As a lad I went there to see Richard Eyre’s company with my dad and decided I wanted to be a writer. Plays like Comedians and Touched elicited a shocking, visceral response which I knew instantly I wanted to provoke in others.

3)       Nottingham Contemporary – A building which, in itself is a work of art and which invariably contains exhibitions which make me smile. I love to wander though the galleries and marvel at the wit and the passion of the contributors. I also adore the fact that a world renowned facility sits in my home town, not in London or Manchester!

4)       Bromley House Library – Tucked away on Angel Row is a small piece of heaven: Nottingham Subscription Library. It is a dark red brick building built in 1752 . It is grade II listed and contains a fantastic central spiral staircase. It also has a beautiful walled garden. In the summer I like to sit there, listen to the birds, read a book and giggle that Maid Marion Way is only 150 yards away!

5)       Meadow Lane – Home of the original and the first Football League Club, Notts County. I was taken there, aged about eight by my cousin Tony from Southwell and have been going back ever since. A place of happy memories and terror!

6)       DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum – From this little house, surrounded by pits and blackness, and from choking coal fires, came England’s bravest and greatest modern writer. Stand in it, wander the town, cycle around the surrounding land towards Brinsley and Moorgreen reservoir and shiver.

In Autumn 2012, William Ivory’s new play, Diary of a Football Nobody, opens at Nottingham Playhouse.  The play is a candid warts-and-all tale, based on former Notts County Dave Mcvay’s hilarious memoir Steak…Diana Ross.

5-20 October

Nottingham Playhouse

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 credit: Martine Hamilton Knight


Posted on 08 May 2012
Featured author: melissa.gueneau

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