St James's Street is established

In the same year as the first Castle is established in Nottingham, the road that would later become St James's Street is formed. It created a medieval thoroughfare between the Castle site and the historic market place. It was named after the chapel of St James which stood on the street and over the years was know as Jamgate, Sancti Jacobi, Seynt Jame Lane and St James Lane.


Nottingham Castle

Nottingham’s motte and bailey castle was replaced by a stone one. It became one of the most substantial fortresses of the medieval period and a residence for both nobles and royalty.


Trade begins in market square

Nottingham was granted a charter by Henry II which granted the people certain rights. These included the right to hold a weekly market and a fair in Market Square once a year.


The Importance of The River Trent

Nottingham was very important for trade and craftsmanship during this time and merchants used the Trent to transport their produce. The charter of 1155 allowed tolls to be charged to them if they wanted to come into the town and use sections of the river.


Nottingham's Wall rebuilt

Nottingham town wall was rebuilt by Henry II after many sieges and wars which had destroyed it.



Robin Hood becomes the outlaw hero of the people, sticking up for the poor and waging war against the King and the powerfully rich barons who live off the heavily taxed and unfairly treated peasants of Sherwood Forest.



Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is one of the oldest pubs in Nottingham and in England. During the twelfth century knights would stop off here on their way to The Holy Land.


Early Industry

1200 By the 13th century, Nottingham was making tiles and pottery


The Caves

Caves and passages excavated in the sandstone have been used for more than a thousand years as hiding places, churches, cellars, houses and work places. Some were used as workshops, for example, by fishmongers (on Fisher Gate) and butchers (on Goose Gate) and as underground breweries.


Breweries Underground

Malting was also an early industry; barley came from the Vale of Belvoir and the natural water from Nottingham. Cave temperature was perfect for both brewing and storing. The town became renowned for the quality of the beer it produced and much was exported across the country. Most pubs stored their beer in caves.


The Magna Carta

King John signs The Magna Carta, restricting the power of rulers over their subjects.


The Carmelite Friary

The Carmelite Friary is established between St James's Street and Friar Lane - The Friary played an important part in the developing trade on our street and may have had connections to the development of our caves, although this has yet to be proven.


First Goose Fair

The Goose Fair is first held in Nottingham. Before the days of it being an Entertainment Fair it was originally used for showing, selling and trading produce and for hiring labour


Street Names

Many of the trades which developed in Nottingham during the Middle Ages are reflected in Nottingham’s street names; Barker Gate (where the tanners worked); Wheeler Gate (where the wheelwrights worked); Lister Gate (listers were dyers); Pilcher Gate (sellers of furs); Bridlesmith Gate where metalworking took place.


The Black Death

The plague arrived in Newark, at the trade junction of what is now the A1 and the River Trent which was then a major waterway. Within a year, half Nottingham’s 3,000 population had died.


The Peasants' Revolt

All people in Nottingham who took part in the Peasants’ Revolt were outlawed or fined large amounts of money by the Sheriffs of Nottingham who took a harsh stance against the rebellion.


The Wars of the Roses

The wars for the crown between the Lancastrians and Yorkists lasted from 1421 to 1487. On the whole, Nottinghamshire came out for the Yorkist cause, Nottingham being one of the useful bases for Edward 1V who eventually won.


Richard III Leaves Nottingham for Bosworth

During the Wars of the Roses, Richard III left Nottingham Castle to meet Henry Tudor at Bosworth in Leicestershire. Richard was defeated and Henry became king, founding the House of Tudor. During Henry VII’s reign the castle continued to be a royal fortress.


The Malt Cross Monument

The music hall was named after a stone monument which stood at the bottom of St James’ Street from about 1485. Malt was traded here and over the years the spot became a speakers’ corner and a site for religious preaching and political declarations.


First Mention

First mention of the original Malt Cross trading post - stationed at the foot of St James's Street just off Market Square, it is where the Malt Cross got its name.


The 'Bugholes'

In 1503 the earliest isolation hospitals ('bugholes’) in Nottingham were recorded. At various times, these housed victims of plague outbreaks and leprosy.


Henry VIII visits Nottingham

King Henry VIII stays at the Carmelite Friary, which was located across from the present day St James' Street.


King Henry VIII dissolves the monasteries

Following the passing of the Act of Supremacy in 1534, Henry VIII dissolves the monasteries.


The Carmelite Friary shuts

Nottingham's Carmelite Friary finally shuts following the dissolution of the monasteries.


Goose Fair

Although Goose Fair had been established for many years previously, it first appears in the official record in 1541.


Carmelite Friary redeveloped

Sir John Manners rebuilds the former Carmelite Friary and St James' Street. On Friar Lane he builds Dorothy Vernon's House.


Nottingham Castle

By 1600 Nottingham Castle was no longer used as a royal residence and it slowly sank into disrepair. In 1622, the roof of the Great Hall had fallen down and it required a lot of maintenance. This was the beginning of the decline of the building as a ‘real’ castle.


The Cavaliers and Roundheads in Nottingham

Charles I happily visited Nottingham and raised his standard here, but the following year, parliamentary troops (The Roundheads) had occupied Nottingham. At the castle, they were attacked by royalist troops (The Cavaliers) in 1643 and in 1644. There was a great fight, the castle was severely damaged and many prisoners were taken. The Royalists never retook the castle and in 1651 Oliver Cromwell ordered that it should be destroyed to stop it from ever falling in to Royalist hands.


The Underground Tanneries

By this time there were 47 tanneries in Nottingham. The majority were in the Marsh area of the town. The city has the UK’s only surviving medieval underground tannery which was used between 1500 and 1640. This can be visited today as part of the tour of Nottingham’s Caves.


A New Building on the Castle Site

The wealthy Cavendish family replaced the medieval castle with a baroque-style ducal palace. The garden was enclosed by much of the walling of the outer bailey and the old castle’s gatehouse.


Jobs for the Workers

Nottingham has a population of about 5,000 and the hosiery industry is booming. This means more working class people arriving in Nottingham for whom suitable entertainment had to be provided.


The Roebuck

First mention of a 'common ale house' on the site, known at that time as the Roebuck Inn. It was run by manager William Taylor.


The Malt Cross Caves

The Malt Cross site was first listed as an inn at about this time. The caves beneath are likely to have been store rooms or used for brewing and storing ale. The well would have been used for drawing up water for the brewing process. The herringbone brick floor would have been a Victorian addition to make the floor level for better storage.


Boom in Public Houses

The growth of beer manufacture and sale in Nottingham was at its height. By 1799 there were 156 public houses in Nottingham, 17 of them on Long Row alone!


The Luddite Rebelion

The Luddite Rebellion was sparked here when Nottingham workmen destroyed stocking frames used to make hosiery. There were forty four separate attacks on hundreds of machines. The rebellion spread across the North and West from here.


The Reform Act

The Reform Act was designed to make the British electoral system more fair but it was defeated by the House of Lords. Rioters protesting against this outcome burnt down many of Nottingham city’s buildings including the Castle and Colwick Hall.


The Theatres Act

The Theatres Act enables local authorities to licence theatres, leading to the evolution of Music Halls


Charles Weldon

Charles Weldon purchases the Malt Cross Inn at auction for £2,220 and is given permission to redevelop it. Copyright belongs to Nottinghamshire Archives - Malt Cross, Charles St,6.4.1877, new PH


Malt Cross is Built

The Malt Cross Music Hall is built by Charles Weldon and architect Edwin Hill. Copyright belongs to Nottinghamshire Archives - Malt Cross, Charles St,6.4.1877, new PH


Charles Weldon

On the opening night of The Malt Cross the band of The Royal Alhambra was booked to play. Less than three months later Charles Weldon had taken over the management of both The Malt Cross and The Alhambra.


Thomas Walker Fined

Thomas Walker fined 20s for throwing bags of flour at people in the Malt Cross.


Dogs at Malt Cross!

Mr Hulse, the manager of Malt Cross at the time, put on a dog show here featuring over 80 dogs!


Holborn Restaurant

A restaurant, named 'The Holborn', opens in the Malt Cross' basement


Malt Cross Landlord Fined

Landlord Arthur Birley Johnson is fined 40 shillings for selling alcohol outside of permitted hours


George Lashwood

George Lashwood, a popular comedian and singer, graces the Malt Cross.


Lewis T. Donkersley

Lewis T. Donkersley manages the Malt Cross and maintains the Holborn Restaurant "under the music hall".


Bigger Audiences to Entertain!

Trade opportunities had been growing rapidly in Nottingham and by this time the population was about 240,000 ...... and with bigger populations came bigger audiences!


Mabel Hind

Performers like Mabel Hind come thick and fast through our doors... This postcard is within the Malt Cross Archive Collection.


Objection to renewal of licences

Local Dentist Mr Blandy objects to the renewal of licences for Inns in St James' Street calling it 'the most disgraceful street in Nottingham'.


Lewis T Donkersley

Landlord Lewis Donkersley applies to renew the Malt Cross' licence stating '1,614 people passed along the balcony last Saturday without a word of complaint'.


Sam Torr takes charge of the Malt Cross

Sam Torr takes charge of the Malt Cross - a popular performer and previous owner of the Gaiety Theatre in Leicester, Sam Torr is most famous for his performances of "On the Back of old Daddy'O".


Charles Henry Strange takes command

Charles Henry Strange takes command of the Malt Cross Music Hall - at times during his tenure there were more waiters than customers! The Music Hall closed its doors later that same year.


Malt Cross Closes

Malt Cross was closed by the Council which was cracking down on the drinking culture in Nottingham. It did this by removing music licences from the music halls. Without a licence they were unable to put on live acts and could not then attract the audiences they needed to survive.


The Malt Cross building is sold

After two years laying dormant, The Malt Cross building is sold by owners Warwick and Richardson.


Archaeological Discovery

The foundations of the Carmelite Friary’s wall are discovered on Beastmarket Hill, next to The Market Square.


Friar Lane widened

Nottingham Council widens Friar Lane, demolishing Dorothy Vernon's House which had stood there since 1572.


Cave Air Raid Shelters

By this time 86 caves were acting as public air raid shelters in Nottingham to protect the population from bombing during the war. The largest was in Radford where up to 9,000 people could shelter. The sandstone caves also provided sand for sandbags.


George Lashwood

Mr George Lashwood, who had performed at the Malt Cross Music Hall, died leaving an estate worth £132,000, nearly £4million at today's prices.



By this time the Malt Cross has already been used for a number of years as a warehouse by Chapman and Watson (lace merchants).


Trattoria Conti opens

The Malt Cross site is sold to Mario and Romano Berni who divide the upper and lower floors of the site and create Nottingham's first Michelin starred restaurant, the 'Trattoria Conti' in the basement floors.


La Contessa

The restaurant in the basement of the Malt Cross is showcased in the Nottingham Observer magazine's feature on that year's Italian Food and Wine Festival.


The Potter's House openshouse

The Potter's House opens as a dry bar, famous for its chips and hot chocolates.


The Malt Cross opens

The Malt Cross opens its doors once more, this time run by the Malt Cross Trust as a trendy café bar and gig venue.


The Malt Cross has major refurbishment

The Malt Cross has major refurbishment thanks to donations from the Heritage Lottery Fund, WREN, CPD Trust and many others.


Discoveries at Malt Cross

During the renovation works at Malt Cross, fake walls, a concealed room and a secret passageway to a 13th century cave were discovered.