Yesterday I was invited on a wonderful tour around the ‘hidden gems’ of Nottingham by my friend, Chris. Being fairly unfamiliar with Nottingham, more or less everything was new to me but even our other more-experienced companions – Jo, Maria and Angie – were impressed. We stopped to admire various building exteriors that the busy Saturday shoppers didn’t give a second glance. Time after time, we ducked into a unassuming doorway or wandered into a secluded courtyard to be faced with a completely unexpected sight.
The absolute highlight for me was the true treasure that is Bromley House. You could walk past every day and never notice it from the pavement.
It was built as a private residence in 1752 but, since 1816, has been a subscription library, one of very few left in the country. Chris and her family are members which allowed us a sneak peek into this tranquil oasis. The first thing we did was take a stroll around the walled garden, enjoying it’s spring-time flowers, transported away from the busy streets.
After this, we ascended the stairs to the library. There was a reading room stacked high with shelves of old books. Naturally I was drawn to the travel section!
Upstairs was a photographic studio and dark room, opened in 1841. Here, the first photograph in the Midlands, a daguerreotype, was taken.
We enjoyed exploring the maze of higgledy-piggledy eaves rooms with a camera collection and, of course, more books!
A few more snaps from around the building including the Meridian Line which was first laid in the 1820s then replaced in brass in 1834. In 2013 it was discovered under a carpet, having been hidden for 110 years!
Such a privilege to be able to explore!
Another lovely find was St Mary’s church. Light streamed in through the stained-glass windows as the organist practised away.
The day’s sustenance came from a French bistro-style lunch at Le Mistral; herbal teas and unusual juices from the delicatessen Delilah; and coffees from The Malt Cross. Here are a few photos of the latter which is an amazing converted Victorian music hall, run by a community charity and steeped in history.
Next door is an amazing print shop, Pop Press, who were stamping their logo onto their paper bags using this foot-operated press:
I also loved the street art in Hockley:
The countdown is on to our next adventure now… 4 weeks today we fly to Nepal and then onto India! Very excited!