Chesterfield Town and Village Descriptions


Pigot's 1828-29 Commercial Directory


Chesterfield Staveley
Brampton Brimington
Ashover Whittington


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CHESTERFIELD, an ancient borough town, in the hundred of Scarsdale, is 150 miles from London, 48 from Manchester, 24 from Derby and Buxton, 12 from Bakewell and Sheffield, and 8 from Matlock.  It is a large but irregularly built town, pleasantly situated between two rivulets, the Hyper and Rother, in the beautiful and fertile vale of Scarsdale, and is the second considerable town in the county of Derby.  The Saxon name of Chester proves it to be a place of great antiquity, and it is imagined to have originated in a Roman station.  The church, a large handsome structure, in the form of a cathedral, and dedicated to All Saints, has been built at various times, parts of it being very ancient.  It appears there was a church here in the 11th century, as William II. gave the church of Chesterfield to the cathedral of Lincoln, in consequence of which the dean still continues patron:  the incumbent is the Rev. Thomas Hill.  The spire, which rises to the height of 230 feet, is covered, with lead, and by its extraordinary appearance (for, on whatever side it is seen, it appears not only to be twisted, but to lean) surprises every spectator.  Besides the church, there are a number of dissenters' chapels; one for the quakers, three for the methodists, one for the independents, and one for the Sandemanians.  The free-school was founded in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and was formerly one of the largest in the north of England.  The present building was erected in the year 1710, and is built on the site where the old one formerly stood.  Several alms-houses have been endowed in different parts of the town, and an elegant assembly room was built in a few years ago for the amusement of the more respectable inhabitants.  Here is a house of correction and a town-hall, the ground floor of which has a house for the goaler, and a gaol for debtors; on the second floor is a large room, where the sessions are held in July.  The government of the town is vested in a mayor and twelve aldermen, assisted by a town clerk.  The trades, which contribute to the prosperity of the town are very various; comprising the manufacture of sild and cotton, hosiery, lace, hats, and flax dressing.  In the immediate neighbourhood are considered iron foundries, tanneries, roperies, brown ware potteries, and several scythe and sickle manufactories.  Mines of coal, lead, and iron are worked in the vicinity of Chesterfield; and a can passes near to the town, which falls into the Trent, at Stockwith, near Gainsborough.  The weekly market which is on Saturday, is well supplied with corn, Cattle, Cheese, and other necessaries.  Fairs are 27th January, 28th February, the first Saturday in April, 4th May, 4th July, 25th September, and 28th November.  In 1821 the whole parish of chesterfield contained 9,190 inhabitants, of which 5,077 were returned as belonging to the borough.


STAVELEY is a parish and large village, in the same hundred as Chesterfield, nearly five miles E.N.E. from that town, and three from Barlborough.  The river Rother, and the Chesterfield can pass close to the village; and in the neighbourhood are coal and ironstone mines, and iron ore smelting furnaces.  The church here is dedicated to St. John, in the patronage of the Duke of Devonshire, and in the incumbency methodist chapel; and at Woodthorpe village is an alms-house for eight poor men and women.  This parish is agricultural, rather hilly, and the high grounds are well wooded.  In 1821 the population was 2,051.


BRAMPTON is a village and parish, about a mile and a half from Chesterfield, and about four miles from Staveley.  At Brampton-moor are extensive stone potteries, belonging to Mr. T. Oldfield, Mr. L. Knowles, and Mr. W. Briddon; and there is a coal mine in the working of Mr. Richard Gillett.  Messrs. Hewitt & Co. bleachers and candle wick manufacturers, have their works here, which give employment to many of the inhabitants.  The population of the parish, in 1821, was 2,317.


BRIMINGTON, a hamlet, in the parish of Chesterfield, about 10 miles from that town, contains a small church and a baptist meeting house.  Sir George Sitwell is lord of the manor.  The hamlet contains about 630 inhabitants.


ASHOVER is an ancient village, about five miles from Chesterfield, and seven miles east from Matlock.  In the church are several very ancient monuments, chiefly in memory of the Babbingtons.  On the side of a hill, on Ashover common, is a rocking stone, called by the country people Robin Hood's mark, which measures twenty-six feet in circumference, and from its extraordinary position appears to have been a work of art, and placed with great ingenuity.  Fairs, April 25th and October 15th, for cattle, sheep, &c.  The whole Parish contained in 1821, 2,506 inhabitants.


WHITTINGTON, about three miles from Chesterfield, although but a small village, is one to which some note is attached, as hving been the place where the Earl of Danby, the Duke of Devonshire, and sir John D'Arch assembled to concert measures for effecting the revolution of 1688; the Cock and Magpie public house was the place where they finished their deliberation; and there is a house still bearing that sign now in the village.  On Whittington-moor are stone-ware works of Mr. Aaron Madin, and others.  The parish contained, in 1821, about 700 inhabitants.


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