Heritage > Counties > England


The county straddles the Pennines from the south-western side and the Peak District, that naturally beautiful area, is the destination of thousands of tourists each Summer. The city of Derby was awarded it's charter in 1977, the year of the Queen's Silver Jubilee and is a mix of modernity and the traditional ways. The county is famous for it's Sheep farming and indeed the nickname of Derby County Football Club is 'The Rams'. In Chesterfield one can find the famous crooked spire.

Covering an area of 1,015 square miles Derbyshire relies mainly on agricultural production such as cereals, dairy farming and the afore mentioned sheep farming, although the city of Derby itself is famed for production of Rolls Royce engines and motor cars.

Derbyshire boasts some of the finest country houses in England, among them Chatsworth House, the seat of the Duke of Devonshire.

Facts on the region

Origin of name: Formerly know as Northworthy,meaning "North Enclosure" in English. It was renamed Deoraby by the Danes from the concentration of deer; possibly in some sort of enclosure. Derby therefore means deer village or village with a deer park or enclosure.

Name first recorded: 1049

County Town: DERBY The product of the industrial revolution and designated a city in 1977. The museum of the Roay Crown Derby Porcelain Company houses a treasure trove of Crown Derby. Famous for Rolls-Royce engines. The cathedral was built in 1725.

Motto: Bene consulendo ("By good counsel").

Derbyshire's local government: The County of Derbyshire is governed by a two tier system with Derbyshire County Council in part control of the whole county bar Derby itself! There are seven district councils on the second level - Amber Valley, Bolsover,Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, High Peak, North East Derbyshire and South Derbyshire. The city of Derby has its own unitary council where Derbyshire County Council has no jurisdiction! Measham is a detached part of Derbyshire within Leicestershire controlled by that Conty's council and the District Council of North West Leicestershire.

Local Towns and Villages

ASHBOURNE Gateway to Dove Dale and looking much as Charles I saw it when he attended a service in the church here with its 215-foot spire after defeat at Naseby in 1645. The recipe for a distinctive local gingerbread is said to have come from French prisoners billeted here during the Napoleonic Wars and has been passed down from Ashbourne baker to baker ever since. Nice with Ashbourne water!

BAKEWELL Busy cattle market town and largest of the Peak District National Park, Beautiful 12th-century church and fine five-arched medieval bridge.

BUXTON The highest town in England and perfect base for exploring the moors and dales. The Duke of Devonshire built the Crescent and Pump Rooms opposite the town's hot springs. Join the locals and fill your own bottle with spa water from St Ann's Well.

CHESTERFIELD Centre for the county's coal and iron, but best known for its 238-foot twisted spire on top of All Saints' Church which is nearly 8 feet out of true and is visible for many miles around.

MATLOCK Amidst romantic scenery a River Derwent spa town with a great hydro centre built during the 19th century at Matlock Bank. Nearby Hall Leys Gardens stretch along the river.

Places to Visit


Haddon Hall, Bakewell, Derbyshire

Bolsover Castle, Bolsover, Derbyshire

Calke Abby, Ticknall, Derbyshire

Carnfield Hall, South Normanton , Derbyshire

Catton Hall, Swadlincote, Derbyshire

Elvaston Castle Country Park, Derby, Derbyshire

Eyam Hall, Sheffield, Yorkshire

Hardwick Estate - Stainsby Mill, Stainsby, Chesterfield, Derbyshire

Hardwick Old Hall, Chesterfield, Derbyshire

Kedleston Hall, Derby, Derbyshire

Melbourne Hall, Melbourne, Derbyshire

Peveril Castle, Castleton, Sheffield

Renishaw Hall, Sheffield, Derbyshire

Famous Names From The Region

The lexicographer Dr Samuel Johnson was married to Mrs Elizabeth Porter at Derby in July 1735

Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing training, was the daughter of a Derbyshire gentleman and although born in Florence she spent much of her early life at Lea Hirst, near Crich.

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