Bat-fans visiting the sleeping Nottinghamshire village of Gotham have, traditionally, been somewhat disappointed. Rather than exploiting the village’s link with a certain caped crusader, tributes to Batman have been rather thin on the ground, with a Gotham City clock outside the bus station the only visible link to the village’s legacy.
All that has recently changed however with the erection of a sculpture entitled ‘Gotham: Village of legends’. The sculpture celebrates a medieval story featuring the village which indirectly gave rise to the name Gotham City. But, also prominently features a distinctly Adam West looking Batman climbing up the sculpture’s side.
For those not familiar with the story of how a Midlands village came to lend its name to Gotham City, it all stems back to the medieval story mentioned above. Legend has it King John wanted to construct a King’s Highway close to the village, the maintenance of which would become the responsibility of the villagers. To avoid this expense, they feigned madness, believed in those times to be contagious, the road was never built, and the name Gotham became synonymous throughout Britain with insanity.
In the early 19th century, the American writer and satirist Washington Irving adopted the name as a nickname for New York. The name stuck and was later famously borrowed by Batman creator Bob Kane. And now, a mere 74 years after he first appeared, he’s been acknowledged by the people of Gotham.
Whilst the village may finally have made a token effort to acknowledge its most famous son, Bat-fans may want to think twice before rushing out to visit as, to be honest, there’s not that much else there. There’s a few horses, three (non-Batman) themed pubs, a shop (they sell penguins, does that count?) and a manor house which, to the best of our knowledge does not have a Batcave beneath. You may instead want to consider Nottingham’s Wollaton Hall which is a couple of miles away, doubled for Wayne Manor in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and is far more tourist friendly. There’s a gift shop and everything.
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