Old Market Square & Left Lion

Old Market Square Nottingham NG1 2DT

Nottingham’s civic centrepiece, the Old Market Square is an attractive, airy piazza with a fancy water fountain at one end and the Council House at the other. In the eleventh century, this was where the Normans from one end of town traded with the Saxons from the other, without much goodwill – as evidenced by good old Robin Hood, the scourge of the always–contemptible Sheriff of Nottingham. In the 1920s, the scourge of Nottingham was unemployment. This prompted the City Council to undertake an ambitious make-work scheme, one resulted being the construction of the Council House, a fine edifice with a large dome and a raft of Art Deco features. One of these features is the Left Lion, plonked at the front of the Council House and the place where hundreds of couples have begun their first dates – there is even a local magazine called after the famous stone beastie. The Council House has a balcony and it’s here that just about anyone with a local connection who has ever won anything is presented, most notably the football manager Brian Clough and ice-skaters Torvill & Dean.  The square was redesigned and upgraded in 2007 in three shades of granite – white, beige and dark grey – and the large water feature has both jet fountains and waterfalls: kids adore it.