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St Nicholas' Church, Nottingham. Medieval Church and Sniper's Hideout

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The Parish of St Nicholas was one of three medieval Parishes in Nottingham alongside St Mary’s and St Peter’s.

There was a medieval church on the current site, but the building which stands today was built in the 17th century.













Picture: St Nicholas Church Nottingham. ©Mercin Archaeological Services CIC 2013.


The Church of St Nicholas' is first mentioned in the foundation charter of Lenton Priory from 1103-8 where an annual pension was confirmed to the prior and convent of 15 shillings annually.

It is therefore believed to have been founded before the Norman conquest, probably in the eleventh century.

The medieval church contained a Chantry dedicated to St Mary- possibly situated in the Lady chapel which is also mentioned in the records.

There was also a Guild or fraternity of St Mary associated with the church.

With the Norman conquest the church found itself in the French quarter of Nottingham outside the walls of the castle- this location would eventually lead to its downfall.

Speeds 1610 map suggests the medieval church had a nave and possibly one or two isles, along with a west tower complete with a spire. Stapleton in his 1903 book 'churches and monasteries of Old Nottingham' suggest the tower and spire were of Decorated Gothic architecture.

This medieval building has sadly been destroyed, but the story of its downfall is fantastic in itself.

It is well documented that Colonel Hutchinson Governor of Nottingham Castle ordered its destruction in 1643 during the English Civil Wars.

The church was garrisoned by Royalists who used it to fire on the Parliamentarians in the castle.

The diary of Colonel Hutchinson's wife, Lucy states ' There was an old church called St Nicholas' Church, whose steeple so commanded the platform that the men could not play the ordnance without woolsacks before them. From this church the bullets played so thick into the outward Castle Yard that they could not pass from one gate to another, nor relieve the guards, but with great hazard' (Stapleton 1903).

After the town was cleared of Royalists the Colonel had the church taken down so that it could not be used against them again.

A fabulous tale rich in the history of Olde Nottingham Towne...

In 1678 a new church was erected in brick which exists to this day, and is the subject of the photograph above…





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The Sherwood Forest
National Nature Reserve Archaeology Survey

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Long term Research at 
King John’s Palace:
Ancient Royal Heart of Sherwood Forest

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The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Training Fieldschool

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“Scirwuda- Mapping the Greenwood”: Place-names,
Ghost and Shadow woods of Sherwood Forest Project

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Investigating Thynghowe Viking
Meeting Site

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Searching for the 
The Battle of Hatfield

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Edwinstowe Church Survey

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 Fieldswork at St Edwin’s Chapel

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St Mary’s Norton- Cuckney Church Survey

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 Mapping Medieval Sherwood Forest

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Settlement Development in the Forest

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Sherwood Heath Survey

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Researching Edward IIs fortification at Clipstone Peel

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Ransom Wood Survey

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Thoresby Estate Survey

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The Landscape of Wellow Project

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The Cistercians of Rufford Project:
Settlement Development, Dynamics and Desertion.

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Sherwood Forest Environmental Survey

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World War II in Sherwood Forest - Mapping the camps, munitions and more

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World War I in Sherwood Forest - Mapping the camps, munitions and more

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Coal Mining in Sherwood Forest

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