Bromley House Library

England: Hidden Nottingham

Yesterday I was invited on a wonderful tour around the ‘hidden gems’ of Nottingham by my friend, Chris. Being fairly unfamiliar with Nottingham, more or less everything was new to me but even our other more-experienced companions – Jo, Maria and Angie – were impressed. We stopped to admire various building exteriors that the busy Saturday shoppers didn’t give a second glance. Time after time, we ducked into a unassuming doorway or wandered into a secluded courtyard to be faced with a completely unexpected sight.

The absolute highlight for me was the true treasure that is Bromley House. You could walk past every day and never notice it from the pavement.

Bromley House Library

It was built as a private residence in 1752 but, since 1816, has been a subscription library, one of very few left in the country. Chris and her family are members which allowed us a sneak peek into this tranquil oasis. The first thing we did was take a stroll around the walled garden, enjoying it’s spring-time flowers, transported away from the busy streets.

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

After this, we ascended the stairs to the library. There was a reading room stacked high with shelves of old books. Naturally I was drawn to the travel section!

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Upstairs was a photographic studio and dark room, opened in 1841. Here, the first photograph in the Midlands, a daguerreotype, was taken.

Bromely House Library

Bromely House Library

We enjoyed exploring the maze of higgledy-piggledy eaves rooms with a camera collection and, of course, more books!

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

A few more snaps from around the building including the Meridian Line which was first laid in the 1820s then replaced in brass in 1834. In 2013 it was discovered under a carpet, having been hidden for 110 years!

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library Meridian Line

Such a privilege to be able to explore!

Another lovely find was St Mary’s church. Light streamed in through the stained-glass windows as the organist practised away.

St Mary's church

St Mary's church

St Mary's church

St Mary's church

St Mary's church

St Mary's church

St Mary's church

St Mary's church

The day’s sustenance came from a French bistro-style lunch at Le Mistral; herbal teas and unusual juices from the delicatessen Delilah; and coffees from The Malt Cross. Here are a few photos of the latter which is an amazing converted Victorian music hall, run by a community charity and steeped in history.

The Malt Cross

Malt Cross Music Hall

The Malt Cross

The Malt Cross

Malt Cross Music Hall

Malt Cross Music Hall

Next door is an amazing print shop, Pop Press, who were stamping their logo onto their paper bags using this foot-operated press:

Pop Press

I also loved the street art in Hockley:

Hockley street art

Hockley street art

Hockley street art

Hockley street art

The countdown is on to our next adventure now… 4 weeks today we fly to Nepal and then onto India! Very excited!

love photography Hockley

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One thought on “England: Hidden Nottingham

  1. Dear Steph,

    Can’t tell you how delighted we are that Nottingham has made it to your ‘world wandering wonderings’ photo blog! Your photos are WONDERFUL – so good to see familiar sights through someone else’s eyes. You definitely have talent/potential career as a photo journo!

    Love the BH garden pics – there was that lovely cool green light yesterday! The euphorbia against the tree trunk is especially vivid. Spotted the ‘Syria as it is’ book title. One of the books I photographed has the title ‘Syria – Caliphate in the East’ (looks a similar age to your bk). Glad you saw the ‘throwing herself about’ notice’ in the Malt Cross powder room. Sure that Jo will love her 2 pics – she looks so relaxed and happy (mine aren’t quite as sharp as yours). Also loved the street art in Hockley….prob done by NCN art/design school students.

    Please let me know if you and Dean would like to more time in BH….can show more Nottm quiet places.

    Chris & David xx

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