Posted by Paul Griffiths as 3: Season Three
Located in middle of Nottingham’s Lace Market, the Grade II Georgian listed building is an unique site in the history of the British legal system. It is the only place in the country where you could be arrested, sentenced and executed all in one place.
It has been a court since 1375 and is also where hundreds of prisoners were sentenced to be hanged. This execution took place publicly on the front steps of the building.
The magnificent Victorian Civil Courtroom that now dominates the Galleries dates back to 1887, was used up until 1986 and was the home to many famous libel and divorce cases.
As well as a court of law there has been a gaol here since 1449. The impressive array of cells, corridors and yards that extend around the building were home to both the condemned and to those who were to be deported to Australia. It is only recently that warrens of medieval tunnels were discovered underneath the building.
Today it is an award-winning museum, housing not only the Courtroom and the Gaol but also the largest collection of police memorabilia in the country. Alongside this is the Wolfson Resource Centre, comprising an unrivalled collection of archives of the
the history of war with documents and records dating back to the 1500s. This archive includes the Nuremberg Collection; a scrapbook of records, postcards and letters from the famous trials after WWII collected by the chief judge.
First broadcast: 9th December 2003
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