Sculptured cave beneath Western House School

Sculptured cave beneath Western House School

HOW taste differs with each generation! Here in thin curious underground grotto we have an example of the elaborate and, to our eyes, peculiar taste of our grandparents.

Western House, on The Ropewalk, Nottingham, is a comfortable house built about 1832. It must be amongst the oldest houses in the Park, and it was almost brand new when Queen Victoria came to the Throne.

To reach its garden, which tumbles delightfully down the hillside on the other side of Park Terrace, an underground passage was cut in the soft sandstone upon which that part of Nottingham stands. This passage, instead of being plain and straightforward as we should make it, was elaborated until it became a great vestibule, with its roof supported by pillars left from the solid rock and with its walls adorned by figures.

It must have been a costly undertaking and was no doubt the pride of the owner of the house a century ago.

Alas! The sandstone is soft and time has laid a heavy hand upon the carvings, so that they are no longer as sharp as when they were first wrought, but all the same the cave with its pillars of native sand rock is very impressive, and on a small scale is reminiscent of the huge rock-hewn temple at Abu Simbel in Nubia, wrought by the mighty Pharaoh, Ramesis the Great.