Visit Derby and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Derby, Derbyshire. Despite its rapid expansion over the last 100 years to a thriving industrial town of more than 200,000 people, Derby, county town and cathedral city, has retained much from its past. It has Roman roots; the legions had a camp near the east bank of the Derwent. The town was named by the Danes, who made it one of their Five Boroughs, the key points of the Danelaw. By the time the Domesday Book was published in 1086, Derby was a town of 2,000 inhabitants with six churches and 14 mills. It received its first market charter from Henry II in 1154 but by the time, 600 years later, that it gave a cool reception to Bonnie Prince Charlie, the town had grown but little. Not until the Industrial Revolution and the eventful establishment of the Midland Railway's great works in the town, did it begin to grow apace.
The links with the Midland Railway are underlined by a scale working lay-out in the museum in the Strand, which also includes a large technical and industrial section; archaeological exhibits; local porcelain; and paintings by Derby's own Joseph Wright.
The most striking building is the cathedral with its pinnacled, 178-ft tower, built during the reign of Henry VIII and second only to Boston Stump as the tallest parish church tower in England. Apart from the tower, the Parish Church of All Saints as it then was - it was elevated to cathedral rank in 1927 - was rebuilt by James Gibbs in the early 18th century. It contains the large, carved alabaster tomb of the much-married, ‘building-mad’ Bess of Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury. There are other interesting tombs and a bishop's chair which came from Asia Minor. But the cathedral's great treasure is the superbly fashioned wrought-iron screen, the work of Robert Bakewell. More of Bakewell's brilliant craftsmanship can be seen in the entrance gates to the cathedral which once stood in front of a private house, but were given to the cathedral and dedicated in 1958.
Derby's oldest church is St Peter's, largely l4th-century but with some Norman work. There are also several other interesting churches, notably St Werburgh's, which has a wrought-iron font-cover by Bakewell and parish registers dating back to 1583 - they contain the entry of Dr Samuel Johnson's marriage to Tetty Porter; St Mary's Roman Catholic church with its 117-ft tower topped by a figure of the Virgin Mary, designed by Pugin; and St Mary's Chapel, Bridge Gate, one of the few surviving chapels built on bridges.
There are also a considerable number of interesting old houses, some Georgian, some earlier: among these the oldest are the black-and-white Dolphin Inn in Queen Street, and the l7th-century gabled building in Wardwick. Modern developments include a well-designed bus station, a huge modern hotel, and an open-air market.
Derby is well-blessed with open spaces. There are almost a score of parks, the oldest of which, the Arboretum, was given to the town by Joseph Strutt and contains a monument to the eminent car-maker, Sir Henry Royce; the firm of Rolls Royce has been associated with Derby since 1908.
Nearby cities: Nottingham
Nearby towns: Ashbourne, Beeston, Belper, Burton upon Trent, Castle Donington, Ilkeston, Long Eaton, Wirksworth
Nearby villages: Allestree, Borrowash, Breadsall, Burnaston, Chaddesden, Chellaston, Coxbench, Darley Abbey, Duffield, Egginton, Etwall, Findern, Horsley, Kedleston, Kirk Langley, Little Eaton, Littleover, Mackworth, Mickleover, Mugginton, Quarndon, Radbourne, Spondon, Stretton
Have you decided to visit Derby or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Derby bed and breakfast (a Derby B&B or Derby b and b)
- a Derby guesthouse
- a Derby hotel (or motel)
- a Derby self-catering establishment, or
- other Derby accommodation