A short history of Derby

The town of Derby is thought to have originally been a roman camp named Derventio, probably at little Chester, which was the site of the old Roman fort. It was later part of the Five Boroughs, or fortified towns of Danelaw, until in July 917 it was captured by Lady Aethelflaed of Mercia, and the town was then made part of the Kingdom of Mercia.

The Anglo-Saxons recorded the town as Djúra-bý, which translates as the village of deer, or deer settlement.

Others have argued that the origin of Derby could be a derivitive of the Roman name for the town, Derventio, or maybe a shortened version of Derwent, meaning Derwent Settlement.

Derwent is a Celtic word, meaning a valley thick with oaks.

Early maps had the town name as Darby or Darbye as early as 1610.

iron gate derby

Iron gate in Derby image for homefix handyman derby

It seems that the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings lived in the area at the same time, the Anglo-Saxon chronicle from around 900 ad states that Derby is a town divided by water.

On December 4th 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie, who was heading for London to seize the British Crown, made camp at Derby. He was known to have visited the George Inn at Irongate, where he demanded billets for 9,000 of his troops.

1717 was the year that the first British water powered sill mill was built, making Derby the centre of the Industrial Revolution.

Jeddiah Strutt built a machine in 1759 which was known as the Derby Rib Attachment. This was the machine that caused a revolution in hose manufacture.
When attached to a knotting machine, it mass produced ribbed hose, or stockings.

Richard Arkwright, Jedediah Strutt and Samuel Need harnessed the power of water and kick started the industrial revolution proper by building the first commercially successful water powered cotton powered spinning mill in the world at Cromford in Derbyshire.
The population in Derby according to Census in 1801 was 14,695, which in just over 200 years has risen to 248,700 by the year 2011.
The North Midland Railway came to Derby in 1840 when it set up works and mergied with the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway, and the Midland Counties Railway, forming the Midland Railway, with Derby as its headquarters.
In 1877, Derby has its own full time military presence when Normanton Barracks was completed.

The Derby MP Samuel Plimsoll introduced marine safety measures in 1876, including the Plimsoll Line, revolutionising marine safety.
Rolls-Royce opened their aircraft and Car factory in Derby in 1907, kickstarting an industrial boom, as Derby also became an important rail manufacturing base.

In 1916 German Zeppelin bombers dropped bombs on the town, killing 5 people.

In 1927 the town was ready for city status after the All Saints Church was designated as a cathedral.

From the 1920s Derby started a slum clearance and house building programme, making the town less heavily populated and moving into new private and council estates.

Derby became a focus in world sport when Brian Clough became the Derby County manager in 1967. The club was promoted in 1969 to the First Division, and became league champions in 1969.

Until June 1977, Derby was one of the few towns in England with a cathedral, but no city status, when Queen Elizabeth marked her 25th anniversary by awarding Derby city status.

Derby is a wonderful place to visit and use as a base for trips to the Peak District

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