Chesterfield is the second largest city in the county of Derbyshire. It is one of your options in case you are looking for a great starting point for exploring this part of England. It is located at the junction and valley of River Hipper and River Rother. It is also where the Yorkshire Coalfield is – after all, coal mining used to be a huge part of the economy in the past. It is one of the most popular gateways to the Peak District National Park – which is just to the western side of the town.
This city in Derbyshire county is considered as a market town. It is 24 miles to the north of another metropolitan – Derby.
Based on archeological evidence, this town had its beginnings since the 1st century AD. There is a Roman fort that is prominent in the area that speaks volumes about its past. After that, evidence was uncovered that proved how an Anglo-Saxon village grew on this site. In fact, it is believed that the name of the town is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words caester and feld – which means Roman fort and grazing land.
It was only in 1204 when Chesterfield got its market town recognition from King John. It is a moderately sized market back then but the fact that it still thrives until this very day makes it perfect for the town. The charter from King John constitutes that it is a free borough and thus will receive the same privileges as that of Derby and Nottingham.
One of the notable events that happened in this place was the Battle of Chesterfield. This was when a group of rebel barons tried to take on the royalist army. Unfortunately, they were defeated.
When the Chesterfield Line was built, this benefitted the town greatly. A good amount of coal was discovered while the Clay Cross Tunnel was being constructed. This started the trade in the minerals.
Probably one of the landmarks that this market town is known for is the Church of St Mary and All Saints. This is the church with the beautiful yet “crooked spire” that was originally built during the 14th century.
What to do in Chesterfield
Do what are the things that you can do when you visit this remarkable market town?
Shopping comes to mind immediately. In fact, this is where you will find the largest open air market in Great Britain. The Town centre was successfully maintained to look just like it did before the war broke out – with the stalls still on either side of the Market Hall.
You will also see narrow medieval streets in the middle of the town. This is part of “The Shambles” and where you can find the oldest pub in Britain – The Royal Oak.
Apart from shopping, you can also explore stately homes in this town. You have Chatsworth and Hardwick Hall as some of your options. You also have the Bolsover Castle and the Renishaw Hall to choose from.
When you get hungry from exploring this market town, you can visit one of the many award-winning restaurants in the place. There are Michelin-starred restaurants like the Old Vicarage Restaurant, the Cocina 2 AA, and the Red Lion Pub and Bistro. All of these will satisfy your palate and quench your thirst after a tiring day of walking around to explore or shop.
As you can see, there are multiple things to do when you visit Chesterfield. Stay true to what you want to see so you can easily narrow your options.