Stainsby school in the news – but what is its history?

The former board school at Stainsby is in the news at the moment as the National Trust seeks to sell the property. But what is its history? In this blog we’ll take a brief look. Our Hardwick: a great house and its estate paperback, published in 2009 (out of print but available in local libraries), …

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Farming on the Hardwick Estate in the 1860s

What was a life in farming like on the Hardwick estate in the 1860s? In this blog we’ll take a brief look at this now forgotten aspect of country life, courtesy of our Hardwick a great house and its estate paperback (2009).  J.J. Rowley, who lived at Hall Farm, Rowthorne, wrote extensively about the area in the 1860s. He was one …

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Elder Way in a not-too-distant Christmas past

Here’s a photograph to brighten up your Christmas and new year (particularly if you’re sat at home and don’t have to trudge through snow!).  It’s of a snow covered Elder Way in the 1980s. At this time the two Chesterfield and District Co-operative Society buildings either side of Elder Way were linked by the bridge …

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Full Circle? A short history of the Stephenson Memorial Hall, Chesterfield

Chesterfield’s museum and Pomegranate theatre are set for a major revamp following the award of a substantial grant to upgrade the facility. In this blog we briefly review the history of the building – still known as the Stephenson Memorial Hall. As part of the Chesterfield and District Civic Society’s submission to the planning application …

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Derbyshire Musters of 1638-9 published

Our sister organisation – the Derbyshire Record Society – has now fully published the Derbyshire Musters of 1638-9. All are fully indexed by person and place and prefaced by a detailed introduction. For case of handling, the introduction and indexes form one volume (part 1) and the texts another (part 2). The musters were edited …

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How did Staveley develop?

Our VCH county editor has recently written a very brief overview of how Staveley initially developed. There’s never really been a serious account of Staveley’s history. At VCH we’d like to put this right. Indeed, we started work on this town but had to concentrate our resources elsewhere. A planning application been submitted to convert …

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An introduction to the Shambles, Chesterfield

There’s a brief introduction to the Shambles area of Chesterfield in this blog. We also dispel the incorrect theory, often repeated, that the area was originally temporary market stalls which became permanent structures over a period of time. There’s no evidence – as our ‘Chesterfield Streets and Houses’ book states – that the Shambles were …

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Water, Jam and locally produced histories

To end our short series on jam and preserves manufacturing we’re looking at a very small, basically one-man business, in Brimington, near Chesterfield. We’ll also look at how VCH doesn’t replace locally produced histories. Water and jam The story starts when land, at the north end of Coronation Road, Brimington was sold to a Frederick …

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Poor Law and poor tenants

Spotting this newspaper clipping from the Derbyshire Courier – Saturday 02 May 1840 on the Ashover History and Genealogy Facebook page prompted the obvious question: why were the Poor Law Commissioners ordering such sales to be made? A quick email to our Editor, Philip Riden, generated this explanation:- “It’s probably to raise cash towards their …

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