Find out about the public beatings and squalid conditions that were once a feature of this historic square as you relax and people-watch from a café.
Old Market Square is a large and lively pedestrianized central space overlooked by the dramatic Nottingham Council House. At the heart of the city, the square once played a key role as a shared neutral ground between the English Saxon and French Norman boroughs. Attend fairs, events and political rallies on this popular plaza.
Take a guided tour of the city and learn about history of the square. An important city market was held here from the 11th century until 1928, when it was moved to the old St. John's prison on King Edward Street and later Victoria Centre. Hear tales of its gruesome history, including accounts of the public beatings that took place here and descriptions of the stench of open sewerage that once pervaded.
The majestic council house, identifiable by a pair of stone lions that guard it, is on the eastern side of the square. To the western end of the square is a large water feature with jet fountains. Peruse the high-end boutiques and cafés that line the sides of the square. On a sunny day, order a coffee to-go and join others out on the plaza.
Listen to activists and performers at Speakers’ Corner, a replica of the famous site in London’s Hyde Park. The speakers stand near a statue of the late soccer coach Brian Clough, an outspoken former manager of Nottingham Forest football club. Just east of the plaza is the Nottingham Tourism Centre, which offers advice about events and activities during your stay.
Come between mid-November and early January to explore Nottingham Winter Wonderland. This seasonal event features an ice rink, as well as a festive market with stalls, bars, rides and a nativity scene. The Wheel of Nottingham Ferris Wheel is occasionally set-up here too.
Old Market Square marks the center of Nottingham. Ride the tram to its namesake stop on the plaza or a bus to the nearby Angel Row station. Visit surrounding attractions, such as the Nottingham Playhouse, Lace Market Theater and the Galleries of Justice.