Status Ceremonial & (smaller) Non-metropolitan county
Origin Historic
Region East Midlands
- Total
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
Ranked 27th
2,160 km²
Ranked 24th
2,085 km ²
Admin HQ West Bridgford
ISO 3166-2 GB-NTT
ONS code 37
NUTS 3 UKF15/16
- Total (2004 est.)
- Density
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
Ranked 17th
479 / km²
Ranked 10th
Ethnicity 94.1% White
2.5% S. Asian
1.5% Afro-Carib.

Nottinghamshire County Council

Executive Labour
Members of Parliament
Image:Nottinghamshire Ceremonial Numbered.png
  1. Rushcliffe
  2. Broxtowe
  3. Ashfield
  4. Gedling
  5. Newark and Sherwood
  6. Mansfield
  7. Bassetlaw
  8. Nottingham (Unitary)

Nottinghamshire (abbreviated Notts) is an English county in the East Midlands, which borders South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire. The county town is traditionally Nottingham, at 52°57′17″N, 1°09′29″W, though the council is now based in West Bridgford, just outside the city.

The districts of Nottinghamshire are Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Broxtowe, Gedling, Mansfield, Newark and Sherwood, and Rushcliffe. The City of Nottingham was administratively part of Nottinghamshire between 1974 and 1998 but is now a unitary authority although it remains part of the traditional and ceremonial county.

As of 2006 the county is estimated to have a population of just over one million. Over half of the population of the county live in the conurbation of Greater Nottingham which also spreads into Derbyshire. The conurbation has a population of about 650,000, though less than half live within the city boundaries.


Nottinghamshire lies on the Roman Fosse Way, and there are Roman settlements in the county, for example at Mansfield. The county was settled by Angles around the 5th century, and became part of the Kingdom, and later Earldom, of Mercia. However, there is evidence of Saxon settlement at Oxton, near Nottingham, and Tuxford, east of Sherwood Forest. The name first occurs in 1016, but until 1568 the county was administratively united with Derbyshire, under a single Sheriff. In Norman times the county developed malting and woollen industries. During the industrial revolution canals and railways came to the county, and the lace and cotton industries grew. In the 19th century collieries opened and mining became an important economic sector, though these declined after the 1984-5 miners' strike.

Until 1610, Nottinghamshire was divided into eight Wapentakes. Sometime between 1610 and 1719 they were reduced to six — Newark, Bassetlaw, Thurgarton, Rushcliffe, Broxtowe and Bingham, some of these names still being used for the modern districts. Oswaldbeck was absorbed in Bassetlaw, of which it forms the North Clay division, and Lythe in Thurgarton.

Nottinghamshire is famous for its involvement with the legend of Robin Hood. This is also the reason for the amount of tourists who visit places like Sherwood Forest, City of Nottingham and the surrounding villages in Sherwood Forest.

Physical geography

Nottinghamshire, like Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, sits on extensive coal measures, up to 900 metres (3,000 feet) thick and occurring largely in the north of the county. These are overlaid by sandstones and limestones in the west and clay in the east[1]. The north of the county is part of the York plain. The centre and south west of the county, around Sherwood Forest, features undulating hills with ancient oak woodland. Principal rivers are the Trent, Idle, Erewash and Soar. The Trent, fed by the Soar and Erewash, and Idle, composed of many streams from Sherwood Forest, run through wide and flat valleys, merging at Misterton. The highest point of the county is Newtonwood Lane, Newton (Grid reference SK456605) at 204m/669ft.

Nottinghamshire is sheltered by the Pennines to the west, so receives relatively low rainfall at 641-740mm (25-29 in) annually[2]. The average temperature of the county is 8.8-10.1 degrees Celsius (48-50 degrees Fahrenheit)[3]. The county receives between 1321 and 1470 hours of sunshine per year[4].


Nottinghamshire is represented by members of parliament, of which nine are members of the Labour Party, and two are Conservatives. Geoff Hoon, representative for Ashfield, is a front-bench member of the government. Kenneth Clarke of Rushcliffe is a former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The County Council is Labour controlled. There are 67 councillors, of which 38 are Labour, 25 are Conservatives and four are Liberal Democrats[5].

Economy and industry

In 1998 Nottinghamshire had a GDP per-capita of £12,000, and a total GDP of £12,023 million. This is compared to a per-capita GDP of £11,848 for the East Midlands, £12,845 for England and £12,548 for the United Kingdom. Nottingham has a GDP per-capita of £17,373, North Nottinghamshire £10,176, and South Nottinghamshire £8,448[6]. In October 2005 the United Kingdom had 4.7% unemployment, the East Midlands 4.4%, and Nottingham travel-to-work area 2.4%[7].

National and County cricket player Harold Larwood.
National and County cricket player Harold Larwood.


Nottinghamshire was home to the poet Lord Byron and the author D H Lawrence.

Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club is a first class cricket club who play at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. They won the County Championship in 2005. Nottingham Forest is a League One football club and Notts County and Mansfield Town are in League Two. Other notable teams are Nottingham Rugby Football club and Nottingham Panthers Ice Hockey Club.

Settlements and communications

The council house and a tram in Nottingham market square.
The council house and a tram in Nottingham market square.

The traditional county town, and the largest settlement in the traditional and ceremonial county, is Nottingham. The City is now administratively independent, but suburbs including Arnold, Carlton, West Bridgford, Beeston and Stapleford are still within the administrative county and West Bridgford is now home of the county council.

There are several market towns in the county. Newark-on-Trent is a bridging point of the Fosse Way and River Trent, but is actually a Anglo-Saxon market town with a now ruined Castle. Mansfield sits on the site of a Roman settlement, but grew after the Norman Conquest. Worksop, in the north of the county, is also an Anglo-Saxon market town which grew rapidly in the industrial revolution with the arrival of canals and railways and the discovery of coal. Newark, Mansfield and Worksop have suffered from the decline of mining since the 1984-5 miners' strike. Other market towns include Arnold, Bingham, Hucknall, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, and Retford.

The main railway in the county is the Midland Main Line which links London St Pancras Station to Sheffield via Nottingham. The Robin Hood Line between Nottingham and Worksop serves several villages in the county. The M1 motorway runs north-south through the county, connecting Nottingham to London, Leeds and many other towns and major roads. The A1 road runs through Newark and Worksop. The Nottingham East Midlands Airport is just outside the county in Leicestershire, while the Robin Hood Airport lies just inside South Yorkshire. These airports serve the county and several of its neighbours. Together the airports have services to most major European destinations, and the East Midlands airport now also has services to North America and Caribbean countries. As well as local bus services throughout the county, Nottingham and its suburbs have a tram system, Nottingham Express Transit.

Places of interest


  1. ^ Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 1911. "Nottinghamshire, Geology".
  2. ^ Met Office, 2000. Annual average rainfall for the United Kingdom.
  3. ^ Met Office, 2000. Annual average temperature for the United Kingdom.
  4. ^ Met Office, 2000. Annual average sunshine for the United Kingdom.
  5. ^ Nottinghamshire County Council, 2005. Election Results.
  6. ^ Office for National Statistics, 2001. Regional Trends 26 ch:14.7.
  7. ^ East Midlands Observatory, 2005. Labour Market Statistics for October 2005.
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