Historic cave rediscovered beneath cellar in Nottingham house

A historic cave previously unknown to experts has been rediscovered under a Nottingham house.

The cave was found beneath the cellar of the rented terraced house on Mansfield Road, Sherwood.

Students living in the house discovered workmen had left a door unlocked on the ground floor after installing a new emergency lighting system over Christmas.

Curious about what was inside, the residents first explored the cellar – then were shocked to find another door which led to another set of stairs and the cave below.

They later contacted archaeologists who say it was previously unknown to experts and was probably created around 200 years ago.

It is now being added to a database charting Nottingham’s hidden underworld.

One of the student tenants, Jack Banting, 21, said: “We had a look inside and it turns out there was a staircase which lead down to a basement, and then we found another set of stairs which went down again.

“It’s amazing that we’ve been living in this house for so long and it turns out we’re living above a cave system, its crazy.”

Tenant Jack Banting opening basement door.
The cave is accessed through an ordinary-looking door in a hallway leading to a cellar.

Nottingham City Council’s acting city archaeologist Scott Lomax, visited the cave to verify it.

He is now adding it to an official database of city caves, and says similar discoveries are being made all the time

He said: “You can even see some of the original pick axe marks from when the cave was created, perhaps from over 200 years ago.”

The cave was found beneath 239 – to the left of the pink house

The tenants were excited to have a new cellar – but were also weary about their unexpected cave.

Tenant Jaymi Sudra said: “We just thought it was two rooms down here initially and then discovered the other door that went down into the cave.”

Nottingham is largely built on sandstone which is very soft and easy to excavate, but safe enough to support buildings.

The city has more than 700 caves from the 18th and 19th centuries. The earliest have been dated back to as early as 1250.

Scott said the students cave would have been used as a “private cellar for the people who lived in a property above and its quite small but big enough to store things such as wine and beer”.

For now this cave will be recorded on the Nottingham City Historic Environment record and from there further research may be conducted, he added.

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