Street Tales: Market Street

Words: Joe Earp
Illustrations: Mike Driver
Friday 17 October 2014
reading time: min, words

Once upon a time, the proles of Nottingham got one over on the gentry through the medium of road-signage...


Just off the square, we have what is now Market Street. This started out as a narrow alley called Sheep Lane but, due to its limited width, it was a bit of an accident black spot. Pedestrians going up and meeting carts coming down resulted in quite a few people being squashed against the sides, usually resulting in blood stains on the floor and wall. This led to the locals referring to it as Blood Lane.

When it was widened in 1866, the gentry decided to call it Theatre Street, because it led from the Market Square to the Theatre Royal. The market people had other ideas though and the night before the official unveiling some cheeky boggers unscrewed the sign and replaced it with one named Market Street.

The following day was market day and everyone, the gentry and the market people, congregated at the bottom of the freshly widened Sheep Lane for the opening ceremony. The mayor pulled on the cord to reveal the new sign and saying what he saw, proclaimed the new roadway to be “Market Street”. Even though a portion of the assembled crowd – mostly gentry – complained and tried to point out the mayor’s error, they were heavily outnumbered and it’s stayed to this day.

We have a favour to ask

LeftLion is Nottingham’s meeting point for information about what’s going on in our city, from the established organisations to the grassroots. We want to keep what we do free to all to access, but increasingly we are relying on revenue from our readers to continue. Can you spare a few quid each month to support us?

Support LeftLion

Please note, we migrated all recently used accounts to the new site, but you will need to request a password reset

Sign in using

Or using your

Forgot password?

Register an account

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.

Forgotten your password?

Reset your password?

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.