Nottinghamshire

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Nottinghamshire (abbreviated Notts) is an English county in the East Midlands, which borders South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire. The county town is traditionally Nottingham, though the council is now based in West Bridgford, a suburb of Nottingham (at a site facing Nottingham over the River Trent).

The districts of Nottinghamshire are Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Broxtowe, Gedling, Mansfield, Newark and Sherwood, and Rushcliffe. The City of Nottingham was administratively part of Nottinghamshire between 1974 and 1998 but is now a unitary authority although it remains part of the historic and ceremonial county.

As of 2006 the county is estimated to have a population of just over one million. Over half of the population of the county live in the conurbation of Greater Nottingham which also spreads into Derbyshire. The conurbation has a population of about 650,000, though less than half live within the city boundaries.

Nottinghamshire lies on the Roman Fosse Way, and there are Roman settlements in the county, for example at Mansfield. The county was settled by Angles around the 5th century, and became part of the Kingdom, and later Earldom, of Mercia. However, there is evidence of Saxon settlement at Oxton, near Nottingham, and Tuxford, east of Sherwood Forest. The name first occurs in 1016, but until 1568 the county was administratively united with Derbyshire, under a single Sheriff. In Norman times the county developed malting and woollen industries. During the industrial revolution canals and railways came to the county, and the lace and cotton industries grew. In the 19th century collieries opened and mining became an important economic sector, though these declined after the 1984-5 miners' strike.

Until 1610, Nottinghamshire was divided into eight Wapentakes. Sometime between 1610 and 1719 they were reduced to six – Newark, Bassetlaw, Thurgarton, Rushcliffe, Broxtowe and Bingham, some of these names still being used for the modern districts. Oswaldbeck was absorbed in Bassetlaw, of which it forms the North Clay division, and Lythe in Thurgarton.

Nottinghamshire is famous for its involvement with the legend of Robin Hood. This is also the reason for the amount of tourists who visit places like Sherwood Forest, City of Nottingham and the surrounding villages in Sherwood Forest.

Nottinghamshire was mapped first by Christopher Saxton in 1576, the first fully surveyed map of the county was by John Chapman who produced Chapman's Map of Nottinghamshire in 1774. The map was the earliest printed map at a sufficiently useful scale (1 statute mile to one inch) to provide basic information on village layout and the existence of landscape features such as roads, milestones, tollbars, parkland and mills.

Nottinghamshire, like Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, sits on extensive coal measures, up to 900 metres (3,000 feet) thick and occurring largely in the north of the county. There is an oilfield near Eakring. These are overlaid by sandstones and limestones in the west and clay in the east. The north of the county is part of the York plain. The centre and south west of the county, around Sherwood Forest, features undulating hills with ancient oak woodland. Principal rivers are the Trent, Idle, Erewash and Soar. The Trent, fed by the Soar and Erewash, and Idle, composed of many streams from Sherwood Forest, run through wide and flat valleys, merging at Misterton. The natural highest point of the county is Strawberry Bank, in Huthwaite.

Nottinghamshire is sheltered by the Pennines to the west, so receives relatively low rainfall at 641-740 mm (25-29 in) annually. The average temperature of the county is 8.8-10.1 degrees Celsius (48-50 degrees Fahrenheit). The county receives between 1321 and 1470 hours of sunshine per year.

Nottinghamshire contains the ancestral home of the poet Lord Byron, Newstead Abbey, which he sold in 1818. It is now owned by Nottingham City Council and open to the public. The author D. H. Lawrence was from Eastwood in Nottinghamshire. The north of the county is also noteworthy because of its connections with the Pilgrim Fathers. William Brewster, for example, came from the village of Scrooby and was influenced by Richard Clyfton who preached at Babworth church.

Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club is a first class cricket club who play at Trent Bridge in West Bridgford. They won the County Championship in 2005. Nottingham Forest are a Championship football club following promotion in 2008, Notts County are in League Two and Mansfield Town are a Conference National team having been relegated from the Football League, also in 2008. Other notable teams are Nottingham Rugby Football club and Nottingham Panthers Ice Hockey Club.

Nottinghamshire has international twinning arrangements with the province of Wielkopolska (Greater Poland) in western Poland, and with its capital city, Poznan.

Wording courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.org/

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