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Nottingham is relatively unusual among big manufacturing cities in Britain in having a mediæval and pre-industrial past of equal importance to its more recent one. The first evidence of settlement dates from pre-Roman times, and it is possible that the Romans also lived in the area. After the Romans departure at around 410 AD, independent Brythonic kingdoms emerged everywhere in Britain. The Nottinghamshire area was briefly covered by the kingdom of Elmet from late 5th century to the beginning of the 7th century. In Anglo-Saxon times, around 600 AD, the site formed part of the Kingdom of Mercia, where it was known as "Tigguo Cobauc" meaning "a place of cave dwellings", until falling under the rule of a Saxon chieftain named Snot, whereby it was dubbed "Snotingaham" literally, "the homestead of Snot's people" (Inga = the people of; Ham = homestead). Snot brought together his people in an area where the historic Lace Market in the City can now be found. Nottingham was captured in 867 by Danish Vikings and later became one of the Five Burghs - or fortified towns - of The Danelaw. In the 11th century, Nottingham Castle was constructed on a sandstone outcrop by the River Trent. The Anglo-Saxon settlement developed into the English Borough of Nottingham and housed a Town Hall and Courts. A settlement also developed around the castle on the hill opposite and was the French borough supporting the Normans in the Castle. Eventually, the space between was built on as the town grew and the Old Market Square became the focus of Nottingham several centuries later. In 1276 a group of Carmelite friars established a Friary on what is now Friar Lane with lands that included a guesthouse on the site of what is now The Bell Inn. The town became a county corporate in 1449, giving it effective self-government, in the words of the charter, "for eternity". The Castle and Shire Hall were expressly excluded and technically remained as detached Parishes of Nottinghamshire. During the Industrial Revolution, much of Nottingham's prosperity was founded on the textile industry; in particular, Nottingham was an internationally important centre of lace manufacture. However, the rapid and poorly planned growth left Nottingham with the reputation of having the worst slums in the British Empire outside India. Residents of these slums rioted in 1831, in protest against the Duke of Newcastle's opposition to the Reform Act 1832, setting fire his residence, Nottingham Castle. In common with the UK textile industry as a whole, Nottingham's textile sector fell into headlong decline in the decades following the World War II, as British manufacturers proved unable to compete on price or volume with output of factories in the Far East and South Asia. Very little textile manufacture now takes place in Nottingham, but the City's heyday in this sector endowed it with some fine industrial buildings in the Lace Market district. Many of these have been restored and put to new uses. Nottingham was one of the boroughs reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, and at that time consisted of the parishes of Nottingham St Mary, Nottingham St Nicholas and Nottingham St Peter. It was expanded in 1877 by adding the parishes of Basford, Brewhouse Yard, Bulwell, Radford, Sneinton, Standard Hill and parts of the parishes of West Bridgford, Carlton, Wilford (North Wilford). In 1889 Nottingham became a county borough under the Local Government Act 1888. City status was awarded as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Queen Victoria, being signified in a letter from the Prime Minister the Marquess of Salisbury to the Mayor, dated 18 June 1897. Nottingham was extended in 1933 by adding Bilborough and Wollaton, parts of the parishes of Bestwood Park and Colwick, and a recently developed part of the Beeston urban district. A further boundary extension was granted in 1951 when Clifton and Wilford (south of the River Trent) were incorporated into the city.  Robin Hood Robin Hood statue in Nottingham Robin Hood statue in Nottingham The legend of Robin Hood first arose in the Middle Ages. Robin Hood is said to have lived in Sherwood Forest, which extended from the north of Nottingham to the north side of Doncaster, Yorkshire. Although Robin Hood is generally associated with Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, some authors (eg Phillips & Keatman, 1995) argue that he came from Yorkshire. Hood's main adversary was the Sheriff of Nottingham. Today the office of Sheriff of Nottingham is a ceremonial position with no real jurisdiction. Whilst the accuracy of the legend is questionable, particularly the finer points, it has had a major impact on Nottingham, with Robin Hood imagery a popular choice for local businesses and many modern tourist attractions exploiting the legend. The Robin Hood Statue in Nottingham is within walking distance from the Old Market Square.  Caves of Nottingham The Nottingham Caves have always formed an important part of the region, at first providing shelter and sanctuary, but growing to house thriving tanning works and in modern times becoming a tourist attraction. The caves are artificial, having been carved out of the soft sandstone rock by prospective dwellers, and have grown to become a complex network under the city. The city has more manmade caves than anywhere else in the country and this whole cave network has Scheduled Ancient Monument protection equal to that of Stonehenge, making Nottingham Caves a site of vast importance to the heritage of the United Kingdom. Part of the network can be viewed by the public at the City of Caves attraction which is accessed from the upper mall of the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre. Before the industrial revolution, the cave network was substantially expanded and became home to a large proportion of the poorer populace, particularly those involved in the tanning industry. The majority of the caves were thought to have been used for storage by the 18th century and were still inhabited until around 1924 when the last family (the Shore family) moved out of the caves in Ilkeston road; they came into use again as air raid shelters during World War II. A section of the cave network under the Broadmarsh shopping centre is now open as a tourist attraction, and some parts are still used as pub cellars. Another section of the caves, under the castle, is still in regular use as the indoor rifle range of the Nottingham Rifle Club. In addition, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem Inn, a pub that claims to be the oldest in Britain, is partly built into the cave system below the castle and still retains access from the beer cellars to the castle through the cave inside castle rock. Although the pub's building only dates from the 16th or 17th century, the caves themselves may date to the 11th century and could have been the site of the brewhouse for the castle.  Nottingham Castle Nottingham Castle, founded by William the Conqueror, famed through the Middle Ages as one of the country’s finest strongholds, and where Charles I raised the Royal Standard in 1642 no longer exists, and has been replaced by a classical ducal palace. Of the mediæval castle only the (restored) gatehouse, and the ruined remains of some walls/foundations survive.