Historic Nottingham - Part 2 - Brewhouse Yard Museum
w/e 18 March 2007
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Following one of Malcolm Sales' "100 Walks In Nottinghamshire" Part 2 of this occasional series looking at Historic Nottingham takes us from Castle Road into Brewhouse Yard and the Museum of Nottingham Life.

Brewhouse Yard Museum

The museum is housed in five seventeenth century cottages in Brewhouse Yard. There were once twenty houses in the area and it is recorded that it was a thriving community with, at its peak, over 120 people living here. These five houses now have interconnecting doors and the exhibits spread over all three floors. Entry is gained via a small shop where joint tickets for the castle and the museum may be purchased along with many souvenirs and keepsakes to commemorate a visit.
1900s Rooms

On the ground floor there are a couple of rooms depicting life in the early 1900s. The "hands on" museum encourages visitors to touch and feel many of the exhibits and plastic covered sheets are strategically placed giving lots of extra information. The one pictured titled "Range Kitchen" which refers to the room pictured bottom left above says that "On Friday nights everyone would take turns to have a bath in front of the fire with hot water from the range." Whilst this may not be a surprise to people of a certain age, it is probably an eye-opener to many of the youngsters in school parties that visit the museum.

Grocer's Shop, Oak Beams

The ground floor of the converted cottages also has a room laid out as a grocer's shop from the Edwardian period with old packages, packets and tins. Notices advertising such things as Ling's Tapioca Flakes, Scotch Oatmeal, Chicken and Poultry Groats and Crawford's Ginger Nuts at only 7d a pound (that's about 3p in today's money) vie for attention with milk churns and old fashioned weighing scales. In an oak beamed back room there is a display about the fabric of the buildings and information panels reveal that tests on the beams have resulted in them being dated variously from 1565 until 1701.
The Caves

A door leading out of the back of the building does not go as you would normally expect, into the open air outside but directly into low passages and caves in the sandstone cliff behind.

Even here there are numerous museum exhibits including an example of an Anderson Shelter. Shelters like this were built here during the Second World War and a photo panel records the visit to Nottingham in January 1939 of Sir John Anderson after whom the shelters were named. Walking through the caves and more displays from the war years including washing machines and cookers, the return to the museum building is achieved by passing an old sheet strung across an alcove bearing the words "A woman's work is never done".
Changing Times

Climbing the stairs to the second storey takes us into a more recent era with several displays, one of which has memorabilia from the 1960s under the heading "The Times They Are A-Changin'". Mini cars, Daleks, kipper ties, books, toys and games not forgetting The Beatles can all be found in a packed display cabinet. Wall PanelDispensing ChemistThere is also a wall panel (left) showing how the museum site has developed over the years and another room has been set out as a Victorian dispensing chemist's shop (right) with all manner of pills and potions - quite appropriate when you consider the county was the birthplace of John Boot (1815-1860) who founded Boots the Chemists and whose son Jesse, later to become Lord Trent, turned it into a national concern.
Shop Fronts

Another flight of stairs takes us to the top floor and here there are more shops but these have been recreated to show how they would have looked in the 1920s at street level from the outside. A party of young schoolchildren was being shown round whilst we were there by a lady in period costume. The children too had been given smocks and tunics to wear and it was obvious that they were thoroughly enjoying the experience. Learning for them was fun but the museum caters for all ages and a visit is highly recommended. I have only scratched the surface in these few images - there is much more to be seen.
Mortimer's Hole

But now it is time to move on and make our exit onto Castle Boulevard from where, looking back we can see the Trip To Jerusalem pub towards the right and more caves and passages in the sandstone on the left. One of these marks the exit from Mortimer's Hole, a manmade passage named after Roger Mortimer, the Earl of March and lover the then Queen of England, Isobel. Mortimer was implicated in the death of Edward II whose son Edward III planned a daring raid on the castle via this passage that took place on 19th October 1330. Mortimer was captured and taken to London, his life coming to an end on the 30th of November when he was hung, drawn and quartered. His remains were left on Traitors Gate but his name lives on beneath Nottingham Castle.

 Back to Part 1
 Historic Nottingham Index
 Forward to Part 3

Site Navigation

"Pick A Picture"
Weekly Favourites
Latest Images
Holidays &
Days Out
Special Features
The Guest Page
Site search Web search

powered by FreeFind
Jigsaw Puzzles
Recommended Links

Terms & Conditions of Use
This website is copyright but licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.
Please credit the photographer Garth Newton, or add a link to these pages.