Nottingham, a town of England, capital of Nottinghamshire, and a county in itself, situated on the river Leen near its junction with the Trent, and on the Nottingham canal and the Midland railway, 108 m. N. N. W. of London; pop. in 1871, 86,621. The suburban villages dependent upon Nottingham have a population of about 40,000. The town is built on the side of a steep hill, and many of the streets rise in terraces. On the summit of a precipitous rock 133 ft. above the surrounding meadows are the ruins of "the castle," a large mansion built by the duke of Newcastle in 1674, on the site of a fortress erected in the time of William the Conqueror; it was burned in the reform riots of 1831. In 1872 there were 77 places of worship, of which 23 belonged to the church of England. There are five lunatic and blind asylums, hospitals, several libraries, and a mechanics' institute. The principal manufactures are lace, which was here first made by machinery, cotton and silk hosiery, and ale. - Nottingham is a place of great antiquity, and derives its name from the Saxon Snotingaham, which is descriptive of its position as a retreat in rocks, since there were formerly many caverns in the soft rock on which its castle was built, of which a few remain.
During the wars of the barons the castle was attacked and taken by the earl of Derby, and after the deposition of Edward II. it became the residence of Queen Isabella and her paramour the earl of March. Several parliaments were held here. In 1485 Richard III. marched from Nottingham, where he had assembled his forces, to the battle of Bos worth field. In the civil war Charles I. set up his standard in Nottingham in 1642, but the place fell in 1043.