The Victoria County History (VCH) is one of the world’s longest-running research projects, exploring England’s rich local history. We’re proud to be part of this important national project.

On this website you will be able to find out more about the VCH’s work in Derbyshire. There’s links to our latest history blogs, about our publications, how you can help with our research in Derbyshire or how to contact us. Our other pages can be accessed by using the menu.

Our latest blog – North Derbyshire’s Coalfield Railways – a short summary

In our latest post we present a short overview of railways in the former north-east Derbyshire coalfield area. It includes this handy map which summarises the geography of the various routes. Access our post by using the link here.

Our Wingerworth book launched on Friday 1 March

The front cover of our newest book.

Our new VCH ‘spin-off’ publication ‘A History of Wingerworth’ launched on Friday 1 March 2024.

This book, the third produced by the Derbyshire Victoria County History Trust in a series of interim studies of Chesterfield and its adjoining communities, is by far the most detailed account of Wingerworth yet published. The author has been a resident of the parish since the 1960s and has long taken a keen scholarly interest in its history.

There more details about the book see our post here, where you will also find some sample page images.

There is a report on the launch event here.

VCH will look at the history of all our communities, large or small. Here some of our members take a guided walk with Carsington reservoir top left.

The Victoria County History (VCH) was founded in 1899 as a national project to write the history of every county in England. Driven by local county trusts and their members, most of whom are volunteers, it’s led and managed in London at the Institute for Historical Research.

When started VCH was dedicated to Queen Victoria, which is how it gets its name. In celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee, the series was rededicated to Her late Majesty.

The VCH aims to complete authoritative, encyclopaedic histories of each county, from the earliest archaeological records to the present day, as well as topics such as topography, landscape and the built environment. Some VCH volumes were published over a century ago, while others are now in progress or planned for the future.

The Victoria County History is a series of publications: the iconic Red Books of county history, as well as the VCH Shorts, which focus on single parishes and towns. In Derbyshire we have also published what we call VCH spin-offs. Two of these have now appeared, the latest in June 2022.

In Derbyshire, two volumes red book were published in the early 20th century, Volume I (1905) and Volume II (1907) before VCH activity in the county had to finish. Work restarted in 2002. Between 2005 and 2010, VCH Derbyshire was part of the England’s Past for Everyone project. As a result, two paperback volumes were published; Bolsover: Castle, Town and Colliery and Hardwick: A Great House and its Estate. 

VCH volume III was published in 2013.

The third Red Book volume was published in 2013. Derbyshire Volume IIIBolsover and Adjoining Parishes describes the small market town of Bolsover in north-east Derbyshire and four parishes immediately to its north (Barlborough, Clowne, Elmton – including Creswell – and Whitwell).

A very successful ‘spin-off’ from our main work – on Hasland – was published in June 2022. Here our county editor – Philip Riden – talks to the audience at our launch event. This book is now sold out. Our most recent book published is on Wingerworth

Part of volume II, detailing the medieval religious houses of Derbyshire, is available free on British History Online (opens in new window). For full access to all volumes, check the local library catalogue or your local archive. 

The Derbyshire VCH Trust raises funds to assist with the work of VCH in the county. We are also issuing VCH ‘spin-off’ books and other publications.

To find out how we research VCH in Derbyshire and to get involved see our page here.

As part of our educational remit we publish a series of blogs. Our last five blogs are listed here. You can access all our blogs and search for content by using the menu elsewhere on this page or click here for a compete list of all but our most recent blogs.

Page last updated 03 May 2024.