Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Article - Wonders hiding under our feet (Nottingham)

THE Nottingham Caves Survey is providing a fascinating view of the city's subterranean architecture.

It has given an indication of the extent of the city's cave system, but also the variety of caverns and the multifarious uses they have been out to.

The images we publish today are intriguing. They cannot fail to captivate the imagination and leave us wanting to know more.

Therein lies the potential of Nottingham's caves from a visitor and tourism perspective.

As well as showing what's down there, the caves survey, which is managed by the York Archeological Trust, has demonstrated the level of interest.

YouTube videos of the caves, large and small, which have been posted by the trust, have attracted a staggering 165,000 hits from 27 countries.

And project manager Dr David Strange-Walker points out his work has "really started to put Nottingham back on the map for having caves".

For many, and certainly those from outside the city, the caves are part of Nottingham's hidden history.

The opportunities to see the caves are currently limited. The Nottingham Caves attraction, (currently closed pending refurbishment of the Broadmarsh Centre), Nottingham Castle, and The Galleries of Justice, give some openings, but the possibilities are surely much greater.

We have said many times that Nottingham has failed to have effective policies in place over many years to protect and promote its wonderful heritage. As a result, many museums and attractions have closed, or access been curtailed in recent years.

A comprehensive strategy is needed to make the most of what we've got in the city and county. The caves survey is another reminder that is much more than most.

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