Nottingham before the Ice (Centre) age

The National Ice Centre has been part of Nottingham since 2000, and for me at least it’s difficult to recall the street layout and buildings before it.

Checking a late 1940s/early 50s map of the site on Insight Mapping, it’s clear the changes were considerable.

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Barker Gate’s eastern end nowadays halts at the junction with Belward Street and Bellar Gate, but before the National Ice Centre’s construction it continued on another 150 or so meters to form a junction with Southwell Road and Lower Parliament Street. Here’s an image looking down modern Barker Gate taken today.

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And this is the view from Southwell Road, looking towards Barker Gate.

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The word ‘barker’ can refer to both someone who strips a tree of bark for the purposes of tanning (leather production), and also to those who tended sheep at pasture. Knowing that tanning was a popular trade in bygone Nottingham, I suspect the former is the meaning in the case of Barker Gate, but am not certain. ‘Gate’ in this case is an evolution of the word ‘gata’, which simply meant street.

After the change to Barker Gate, the most obvious change was the demolition of the old Nottingham Ice Stadium, which had occupied part of the site since 1939. You can read a Wikipedia article on the old building here.  Below I’ve put an image which overlays the old stadium position with the modern street map.

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Consulting our bygone map, we can also see a pub (‘PH’) that was lost when the National Ice Centre was constructed. I’ve made a red overlay showing its position on the modern map, and also took a picture this morning of that spot nowadays.

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The pub was The Old Cricket Players. You can see a photo of the pub from 1995 on Picture The Past here. There’s a nice detail of the pub sign (also on Picture The Past) here.

You’ll also notice on the bygone map a large graveyard which occupies the southeast portion of the modern site. The Wikipedia article on the National Ice Centre states that bodies from this graveyard were exhumed during the modern construction. If there’s any ghostly activity in the southernmost portion of the current complex, we can probably blame the disturbance of this once hallowed ground.

Going back further on Insight Mapping, we can see that the first Ice Stadium (the smaller green area on the map below) was built on land previously occupied by Lomas’s Yard, Silverwood Place, and Paradise Place. Machine Street and Count Street were also lost, whilst the development of the tram and bus depot (the large, green area) meant the loss of Sun Street, Abinger Street, Patriot Street, Wassal Street, White Street, Pomfret Street, Earl Street, Carter Gate, Carter Place, Fredville Street, Water Street, Pollock Street, Kelly Court and Holland Yard among others. Stanhope Street remained in name, but was not exactly in its original location.

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