Heritage and History

Nottingham has a long history of allotment gardening. The St Anns Allotments are the oldest and largest detached town gardens in Britain, possibly the world. Their unique history and heritage has been recognised and it is a Grade 2* listed site.

Hungerhill Gardens, St Anns. Credit: Nottingham City CouncilThis area has been used by people for more than 600 years. By the 1840s the site was established as ‘pleasure gardens’ to provide space and an opportunity for those who lived in the city to grow their own food and to escape the confines of urban life.

Although the size has changed slightly over time, the gardens are still in their original 1830s layout. There are 670 individual gardens on three connected sites: Hungerhill Gardens, Stonepit Coppice Gardens and Gorsey Close Gardens.

Inside a good example of a 1930s glasshouse on the St Anns AllotmentsThey are a rare survival of a type of hedged gardens, found just outside the centre of industrial towns, which were once common in the 19th century. As well as the unique layout, some plots still contain Victorian buildings, such as summerhouses and glasshouses.

The varied and changing history of the site reflects that of the people around it. To view images from the site see our gallery.

These allotment gardens are a wildlife haven in the centre of the city for many plants, insects, birds and animals.

B&W photo courtesy of www.picturethepast.org.uk

Take a look at our Heritage Display Garden, ‘Oliver’s Plot’!