Heritage Buddies

Heritage Buddies banner image

A partnership project with Historic England

NCVS is working in partnership with Historic England to lead on a new Heritage Buddies Project. This is an innovative pilot project to test and trial an approach to delivering social prescribing and wellbeing through heritage in local settings. Our pilot is operating across Nottingham City.

This is part of the “whole-community approach to social prescribing”, as adopted by the National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP). NCVS has developed a similar approach for connecting with nature, in partnership with Natural England, NASP and local partners. We are now keen to share and use the learning and experience gained from the ‘Green Buddies’ scheme, delivered through GreenSpace: our local green social prescribing scheme, to develop the Heritage Buddies Project.

The project will test and trial the use of volunteers in both befriending and heritage organisations to support people to engage with local heritage and the historic environment, as a way to improve their health and wellbeing.

Read more here.

Discovering heritage activities in Nottingham

Heritage sites, events, and activities offer an opportunity to reconnect us with our local heritage and historic environments. They are also a great way to meet new people, share interests and learn new things. Participating in heritage-related events, or volunteering at a heritage site, can create a sense of belonging which in turn can help to combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.

If you're looking for an activity for yourself, or for someone you support, we've collated an A to Z listing to help you get started.

Please note that the organisations and sites listed below aren't necessarily participating in the Heritage Buddies pilot project. We are working with a small number of heritage and befriending organisations, and NCVS is unable to provide volunteers to accompany individuals on general visits. Our learning from the pilot will be shared to benefit the wider community.

This isn't an exhaustive list. If you know of other sites and activities in Nottingham City which could be added, please share the details by emailing communications@nottinghamcvs.co.uk.

Backlit Gallery

Backlit is an internationally renowned artist-led, public gallery and studios supporting arts and culture in Nottingham, housed in a historic Victorian building. The building was originally a flourishing textile company established in 1872 by Samuel Morley, an English woollen manufacturer and political radical who pioneered progressions in industry, human rights, anti-slavery, and adult education. Backlit has explored the history in the online resource Morley Threads Archive.

Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library, founded in 1816, is a flourishing independent lending library situated in the centre of Nottingham and is one of the few remaining subscription libraries in the country. In addition to the many fine reading rooms spread over three floors of a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse, there is a beautiful walled garden, which is one of only two remaining in the city centre.

Canal and River Trust

The Canal and River Trust cares for a 2,000-mile-long, 200-year-old network of canals, rivers, reservoirs and docks across England and Wales. There are many ways to get involved in our waterways in Nottingham and surrounding areas.

Canalside Heritage Centre

The historic weir cottages at Beeston Lock were once the family homes of people who made their living on the canal. Established by a group of dedicated local people, passionate about telling the story of the waterways, the aim of the Canalside Heritage Centre Charitable Trust has been to renovate and restore the weir cottages at Beeston Lock into sustainable use as a heritage, education and arts centre for all.

City Arts

City Arts breaks down barriers to reconnect people with art, culture and creativity. Since 1977, they've collaborated with communities and artists to create and explore art of all kinds.

Friends of Bestwood Country Park

Friends of Bestwood Country Park was formed in late 2007 and focuses its activities a few miles north of Nottingham in Bestwood Country Park. The group promotes the interests of the park, its historic buildings, habitats, flora and fauna, as well as its human visitors.

Friends of Gedling Country Park

Friends of Gedling Country Park was formed in late 2014 to help develop and maintain the new country park, situated on the site of the old Gedling Colliery.

Friends of Wollaton Park

Friends of Wollaton Park is an established project set up by local residents who love Wollaton Hall and Deer Park and they regularly help the Park Rangers with conservation volunteering.

Friends of Woodthorpe Grange Park

Woodthorpe Grange Park is an impressive large green space that sits on the edge of the city. Within the park lies The Grange, a 19th century Grade II listed manor house which sits amidst a mix of landscapes and includes formal gardens, green houses, grassland and small wooded areas. The Friends of Woodthorpe Grange Park is a voluntary group of like-minded people who care for the park and its environment.

Green's Windmill and Science Centre

Green's Windmill in Sneinton was built by the father of notable scientist and mathematician George Green in 1807. Today the working Mill is a popular museum and science centre.

Heritage Open Days

England's largest festival of history and culture. Every September thousands of volunteers across England organise events to celebrate our fantastic history and culture. It's your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are free to explore.

Lakeside Arts

Lakeside Arts is the University of Nottingham's public arts programme. Lakeside is responsible for supporting several of the University's Museums and Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Malt Cross

Built as a Victorian music hall in 1877, the venue was named after the Malt Cross Monument, a trading site for malt that also served as a speakers’ corner, standing at the bottom of St James’ Street in the late 15th century.

National Justice Museum

A museum of crime, punishment and social justice, the National Justice Museum is based in the Grade II* listed Shire Hall in Nottingham. Over five floors, the building houses a Victorian courtroom, Georgian gaol, and cells that date back hundreds of years.

New Art Exchange

New Art Exchange (NAE) is a ground-breaking, award-winning and internationally recognised creative space in the heart of Hyson Green, Nottingham. They are dedicated to promoting excellence in culturally diverse contemporary arts through exhibitions, events and engagement initiatives.

Newstead Abbey

Steeped in over 800 years of history, Newstead is a monastic Abbey from the late 12th century and former home of Romantic poet Lord Byron. Boasting 300 acres of parkland, explore the gardens, lake and beautiful estate.

Nottingham Arboretum

This Green Flag award winning park is Nottingham's oldest public park and the closest park to the city centre. A historic, beautifully maintained park that is home to an important collection of over 800 trees, some of which are from the original collection planted in the 19th century.

Nottingham Black Archive

Nottingham Black Archive is dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of people of African descent in Nottingham.

Nottingham City Council Museums Service

Nottingham City Council’s Museums & Galleries is the oldest municipal museum service outside of London. It promotes the rich history preserved within the walls of seven historic sites across the City.

Nottingham Castle and Brewhouse Yard Museum

Discover 1,000 years of history at Nottingham Castle and its grounds, including the historic caves and curated art exhibitions and collections. Sitting at the foot of the Rock, Brewhouse Yard is one of Nottingham Castle’s hidden gems. Brewhouse Yard and its 17th Century cottages tell the stories of some of the people who lived here over four hundred years.

Nottingham City of Caves

Nottingham has the UK's largest network of caves - over 800 are hidden beneath its streets. At The City of Caves, you can discover the largest publicly available section of this vast underground network.

Nottingham Civic Society

Nottingham Civic Society aims to preserve and enhance the character of the city by advising and campaigning, and leads a programme of guided historical walks.

Nottingham Contemporary

Nottingham Contemporary is one of the largest galleries of contemporary art in the UK. The gallery hosts regular changing exhibitions of international art. Nottingham Contemporary is set in an iconic building, designed by the award-winning architects Caruso St John, in the heart of city centre.

Nottingham Hidden Histories Team

On this site you will find a series of history, folklore and archaeological related articles and information.

Nottingham in Photographs

Photographs of Nottingham at the turn of the 21st century - a snapshot in time between 2000 and 2020.

Nottingham Industrial Musuem

This collection explores our rich industrial history from The Industrial Revolution to the early 20th century and can be found in the Stable block of Wollaton Hall and Deer Park. Exhibits reflect the railway, bicycle, motorcycle, lace, telecommunication, pharmaceutical, and tobacco industries.

Nottingham LGBTQ Archives (Nottinghamshire's Rainbow Heritage)

Celebrates Nottinghamshire’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) lives, hidden history and culture.

Nottingham Local Studies Library

Holds an extensive collection of resources including books, ephemera, newspapers, periodicals, photographs and maps covering Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Based in the new Central Library at the Broad Marsh. Visit to discover more about your heritage, your local area or your family history.

Nottingham Narrowboat Project

A volunteer led charity providing a practical hands-on canal and river experience to all sections of our local community. The website includes a short film on the history of the Nottingham and Beeston Canal.

Nottingham Playhouse

Nottingham Playhouse is one of the UK’s leading producing theatres making bold and thrilling theatre and welcoming some of the biggest names in touring comedy, dance and music. Anish Kapoor's Sky Mirror is a must see piece of art, located at Nottingham Playhouse.

Nottingham Women's History Group

Aims to celebrate, promote and research the contribution made by women to Nottingham’s history. The suffrage self-guided walk highlights places and events important to the struggle for women to get the vote here in Nottingham.

Nottinghamshire Archives (Inspire: Culture Learning and Libraries)

Extensive archives to discover a wealth of local history. Resources to help you research your past, uncover family history and explore Nottinghamshire’s rich heritage.

Nottinghamshire Gardens Trust

Nottinghamshire Gardens Trust is one of a number of County Gardens Trusts affiliated with The Gardens Trust. Our aim is to promote the conservation and enjoyment of the county’s parks and gardens, their history and heritage.

Nottinghamshire Heritage Gateway

The Nottinghamshire Heritage Gateway is designed to provide a guide to the heritage resources of the county, and a history of Nottinghamshire featuring the latest research.

Nottinghamshire Local History Association

Brings people and organisations together interested in all aspects of local history in the county. Hosts a directory of Useful Links - useful to local historians.

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is the leading wildlife conservation charity working to protect and enhance the wildlife and habitats of Nottinghamshire.

Picture Nottingham

Holds the online photographic archive for the Nottingham Local Studies Library. The website also contains digitised images of maps, plans and illustrations. Use this free resource as your first port of call for photographs of all aspects of life in Nottingham.

Sherwood Voices

A series of audio walks that tell a new story of the culture, identity and history of the Sherwood Forest area.

STAA at St Ann's Allotments

STAA is a charitable organisation based on the historic St Ann's Allotments site in Nottingham. Their events include guided heritage tours of the allotments, volunteering opportunities and community open days. St Ann’s Allotments has a rich and varied history spanning 700 years and the STAA heritage archive is a detailed repository of this heritage.

Standing In This Place

An arts and heritage project by sculptor Rachel Carter in collaboration with the Legacy Makers group formed in 2014 by Bright Ideas Nottingham and the collaborative community-academic Global Cotton Connections project. It looks to highlight the contributions and connections between white mill workers and black enslaved women uprooted to the Americas, showing how their stories and histories are connected by cotton, sorrow, strength and resilience.

Stonebridge City Farm

An urban farm in the heart of Nottingham offering a safe space for families and the community to enjoy themselves.

Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall Nottingham

The Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall are two of the UK’s most vibrant and thriving touring venues, leading the way for arts and entertainment in the East Midlands region.

The Thoroton Society

The Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire is the county's principal historical and archaeological society. It has a long pedigree, having been established in 1897, and is named in honour of Dr Robert Thoroton who published the first history of Nottinghamshire in 1677.

Visit Nottinghamshire

Ideas for things to do and places to visit if you are interested in local heritage and historic environments.

William Booth Birthplace Museum

The William Booth Birthplace Museum in Sneinton is dedicated to telling the story of William Booth, his wife Catherine, their family and the role they played in the formation of The Salvation Army. You can join the curator on a walking adventure as you follow a trail of historical facts to discover the truth about William Booth’s formative years in Nottingham.

Wollaton Hall and Deer Park

Wollaton Hall is one of the country’s finest Grade I listed Elizabethan buildings with the largest dedicated Natural History Museum in Nottinghamshire. Herds of deer and a range of wildlife roam 500 acres of parkland at Wollaton, which is home to all kinds of habitats, including grassland, wetland and woodland.

York Archaeology

York Archaeology is a self-funded educational charity and a leading professional archaeological organisation operating throughout the UK. Their Nottingham Office (previously known as Trent & Peak Archaeology, founded in 1967), whilst mainly a commercial unit, has developed and worked on a number of community based projects with local community groups, through which volunteers can learn new skills and build a better understanding about their local heritage.