Why Hasland for our newest book?

This blog looks at why we have chosen Hasland for our new book

An early mock up of our forthcoming Hasland book cover. The illustration is from a watercolour sketch
of Spital House of about1800 and is reproduced by courtesy of Derbyshire County Council

For some years our Chesterfield research group (and its predecessors) have been meeting at Chesterfield Library. Able to use the extensive resources of the local studies collection there, supplemented by work at the Derbyshire Record Office and The National Archives (Kew), their work has been drawn together by our county editor – Philip Riden – into our new book.

Research usually comprises examining various published and manuscript information into A5 sized slips (an example is shown in this blog). From there it is possible to bring together a chronological account of a parish, using various standard VCH topic headings.

Sometimes we will publish our draft text on this website. As is the case with Hasland, where work is quite advanced, we intend to publish a ‘spin-off’ book. Whether it’s draft text or a spin-off book, the aim is the same; to get our research findings out into the public domain. This is so that any mistakes or omissions can be identified. We also hope that publication makes available our research to local people interested in the area’s history. Ultimately we plan a series of ‘big red books‘ on the Chesterfield area, making further use of our research – but this is some way off. Whether it’s draft text or a spin-off book they are written following the conventions of the Victoria County History, an imprint of the University of London.

So why Hasland?

A typical A5 research slip. This one records a royal visit made to Brambling House in 1944 then an annexe to Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

We have chosen Hasland as work on this formerly large and varied parish was advanced. We also wanted to make available this research as soon as we could. For example we’ve been able to chart the history of some of the larger industrial concerns on Derby Road and at Birdholme. These include the tube works, Donkins and lessor known concerns such as the former Reema concrete system building manufactory at Storforth Lane and the Broad Oaks furnaces there. We also chart the religious history of the area, look at the growth and contraction of the parish (which at one time included Grassmoor), local schools and remnants of now disappeared important properties – such as Spital House – which is on the cover of our book.

We hope that the book will be a rounded attempt of the area’s history. It’s currently scheduled for publication in May, with a launch event in Hasland.

In a future blog we will look at how the boundary of Hasland came about.