When the Great Northern Railway along with the London & North Western Railway arrived in Nottingham both railway routes, along with a goods station for the LNWR on Manvers Street, meant considerable alterations and destruction to the area of Nottingham known as Sneinton Hermitage.

Sneinton Hermitage before the arrival of the railways
Sneinton Hermitage after the arrival of the railways
Sneinton Hermitage after the closure of the railways

Sneinton Hermitage at the Manvers Street end consisted originally of a narrow road and a cliff face named after a medieval religious house cut into the rock face. It had included a circular rock chapel 12 metres in circumference and 6 metres high supported by 6 large pillars. The cliff face, 300 metres long, contained Nottingham’s largest group of cave dwellings including a coffee-house and two pubs. Many of these were of two storeys with stone staircases.

Sneinton Hermitage 1888

The LNWR, GNR and later Nottingham Suburban Railway routes from the city centre, Manvers Street Station and out towards Colwick have been closed with the majority of the railway route and associated infrastructure demolished and lost to subsequent redevelopment. The GNR railway route from Manvers Street to Colwick is now a public footpath while the high stone retaining wall along Sneinton Hermitage, which covers the sandstone cliff, enclosing the remains of the LNWR Manvers Street Goods Station and the caves below, is now occupied by housing with a business occupying the former basement level of the station.

The Engineering Journal from 1900 gives a description alongside photographs and drawings of the building of the railway through Sneinton Hermitage:

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