[Image: A 3D laser scan of the Peel Street Caves—actually a former sand mine beneath the city—courtesy of the Nottingham Caves Survey].
It’s hard to resist a note that says a “new cave” has been “uploaded,” but the Nottingham Caves Survey—previously mentioned here—has announced just that, putting 3D laser scans of the incredible Peel Street Caves on their website.
Like smoke rings breaking apart and slowly looping inside the planet, their near-endless recursivity makes it almost impossible to see where they begin.
[Image: Plan of the Peel Street Caves, courtesy of the Nottingham Caves Survey].
The “caves,” however, are really a former sand mine:
It is thought that the mine was in use from around 1780 to 1810. However it is possible that the mine was worked from an even earlier date, acting as a direct source of sand for a nearby glass works which was in operation until 1760. The mine was forgotten until about 1892 when the caves became a tourist attraction, “Robin Hood’s Mammoth Cave.” A map of 1844 shows a number of properties on Mansfield Road. Some of these have basements cut into the sandstone which open out into the sand mine.
The caves were transformed into bomb shelters during WWII. How spectacular to own one of those basements, though, that “open out into the sand mine”—and how doubly spectacular to discover such a connection only accidentally, tapping on a hollow wall downstairs or finally forcing open a door that had been rusted shut, finding, there both beneath and behind your house, this strange labyrinth of voids uncoiling through the city.
Read more at the Nottingham Caves Survey (or previously on BLDGBLOG).