Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sandstone caves of Nottingham

Video: Nottingham Caves Survey
Boing Boing mentions a post over at the BLDG BLOG on the caves of Nottingham, which are being mapped as part of the Nottingham Caves Survey. They are, in many respects, similar to those at Cappadocia (manmade, cut into sandstone bedrock and cliffsides).

The storied history of the caves which inlcudes ties to Robin of Locksley--has long been the spark of tall tales. From the article:
Incredibly, there are more than 450 artificial caves excavated from the sandstone beneath the streets and buildings of Nottingham, England—including, legendarily, the old dungeon that once held Robin Hood—and not all of them are known even today, let alone mapped or studied. The city sits atop a labyrinth of human-carved spaces—some of them huge—and it will quite simply never be certain if archaeologists and historians have found them all.

"Even back in Saxon times, Nottingham was known for its caves," local historian Tony Waltham writes in his helpful guide Sandstone Caves of Nottingham, "though the great majority of those which survive today were cut much more recently." From malt kilns to pub cellars, "gentlemen's lounges" to jails, and wells to cisterns, these caves form an almost entirely privately-owned lacework of voids beneath the city.
Here's a look at some maps they've created:

Some interior shots:

Images: Nottingham Cave Survey and BLDG BLOG