Video: Notts TV’s Hugh Casswell explores inside the Convent Street caves
Archaeologists have now opened up previously undiscovered Nottingham caves containing centuries-old graffiti and artefacts that date back to medieval times.
Notts TV revealed last week a network of caves left untouched for 120 years had been discovered under a college building site.
However archaeologists have only now dug far enough down to gain full access and Notts TV has now been given an exclusive tour inside.
Hundreds of artefacts have been discovered, with archaeologists saying the caves are completely changing their understanding of Nottingham.
The discovery was made during ongoing building work for a new new media hub building for Confetti Institute of Creative Institute of Creative Technologies, on Convent Street in the city centre.
It was first found when builders uncovered a hole as they attempted to find a sandstone bed under the site.
Now, the top of the caves has been uncovered with expert able to fully access the them safely to finish their excavation, expected to be completed by the end of Friday (March 17).
Among the intriguing discoveries are a set of initials, ‘GH’ carved into a limestone wall.
Project supervisor Joe Groarke said: “Our preliminary research hasn’t discovered an owner or landlord of the pub that has these initials.
“It could well be the first person who excavated the cave or the first landlord possibly.
“We know that these caves go back to at least 1841 but we haven’t discovered any records that go back any further than that but it’s something we will look more into.”
Mr Graorke said he had no idea how big the caves would be when the group initially found them.
He said: “When we first put a camera through a little hole, we could only see a small amount of the caves – we could see a tiny bit of the staircase, and we could see the bottles on the shelf.
“There was so much spoil in this middle part but we really had no idea how far that could go back so it has been a lot of hard work moving it by hand up the staircase.
“Now we’ve found a passageway that links to the other cave but that cave is older, maybe 18th century.
“In the Victorian period, they tended to use bricks but this pillar we have found seems to have been earlier as it’s limestone.”