Going through the history of Derbyshire is just as interesting as the colourful and eventful past of England. There are so many invasions, castles, and cultural influences to take note of. When you know about the history of the place, you get to have a deeper appreciation of what you will find when you visit.
The history of Derbyshire
The evidence of the very first people to settle in Derbyshire is around 200,000 years ago – around the time of the interglacial age in Aveley. Archeologists found a hand axe in Hopton that is believed to be Middle Paleolithic Acheulean.
There was also evidence of hunter-gatherers around the hilly tundra that is believed to date way back during the Stone Age – specifically during the Upper Paleolithic and Neolithic periods. These nomadic tribes left evidence of their stay in limestone caves along the Nottinghamshire border. The occupancy, according to the evidence uncovered, revealed that the occupants lived in the cave between 12,000 to 7,000 BCE.
More evidence was also uncovered that proved the presence of Neolithic settlers in the history of Derbyshire county. There were burial mounds and chambered tombs that were used for collective burial purposes. These were found in the central region of Derbyshire. The tombs found in both Five Wells and Minninglow date back the period between 2000 and 2500 BCE.
Another interesting part of this county’s history is the Arbor Low Neolithic henge monument – believed to have been there since 2500 BCE.
There were also signs of agricultural activities and settlements during the Bronze Age. There were signs of hut circles, arable fields, and clearance in the Peak District moors. Another was found in Swarkestone.
Invading Derbyshire county
The history of Derbyshire is also filled with tales of invasions and conquests.
Starting with the Romans, they were believed to have invaded Derbyshire because of the presence of lead ore. It was in abundance in the limestone hills of Derbyshire county. This led to the building of various settlements with forts near Brough. They also settled in Buxton for the warm springs. This is where they built the fort that is now known as Little Chester.
The rule of the Saxons came and the evidence is the fact that the kings of Mercia were also buried in this county. The Norman conquest was also a part of the history of Derbyshire. After that, the county was divided into various forest laws – depending on the area.
The Forest of High Peak was under the custodianship of William Peverel and those who descended from him. The other parts of the county were placed under the rule of Henry de Ferrers. Then, it was given to the Duchy of Lancaster. The Forest of East Derbyshire was the law in the area to the east of the River Derwent during the reign of Henry II to Edward I.
In time, the county of Derbyshire became known for being the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. What was once a rural economy developed into a township – thanks to the factories that made this county its home. Mining also contributed to the development of the whole Derbyshire county.
This is the long yet eventful history of Derbyshire. Now that you have an understanding of what happened in the past, you should know the sites and historical places to visit within the area.