There’s A City Of Caves Beneath This Unsuspecting Town – And Most Locals Don’t Even Know About It

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Image: Dun.can / Glen Bowman

In the English city of Nottingham, shoppers and workers go about their days oblivious to the secrets beneath their feet. Underground, a vast network of hidden chambers crisscrosses through the soft sandstone. But these rocks have kept their secrets for more than a thousand years.

Image: E. Staveley and H. M. Wood

Amazingly, there has been a settlement in Nottingham’s location since before the 5th century, when the Anglo-Saxons arrived in England. Prior to this, the region was inhabited by Celts who dubbed the city Tigguo Cobauc in the old Brythonic language – which translates as Place of Caves.

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Image: Fletcher’s Guides

The first known reference to Tigguo Cobuac was made by Asser, the Bishop of Sherborne, in 893 AD. After the Anglo-Saxons invaded, the settlement was taken over by Snot, a Saxon chieftain. Thereafter, it became known as Snotingaham – “the homestead of Snot’s people” – from which the modern city’s name is derived.

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