Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Derbyshire, a central county of England, 55 miles in length, with a breadth varying from 15 to 30 miles, containing 658,624 acres, or 1,029 square miles, and divided tor political purposes into seven divisions, returning each one member to Parliament. Its name, Deorby, or Deoraby, shows that it was once forest-land occupied by wild animals. The county falls geologically into three divisions, that of the north-west, which is bleak and irregular, and forms part of the Pennine range, which, having here the general name of "The Peak," and reaching a height of 2,000 feet, is the watershed of central England; that of the east and north-east, which belongs to the English coal-fields; and that of the south, which is in the Trent Valley, and has a rich red soil proceeding from the sandstone. The principal rivers, which cut their picturesque passage through the limestone, are the Derwent, Dove, Erewash, Rother, and the Trent. About five-sixths of the county is arable or pasture-land, producing good crops of oats and turnips, and containing fine dairy farms. George Eliot has given us a good picture of Derbyshire farms and farmers in Adam Bede. Among the minerals are coal, iron ore, lead, gypsum, zinc, and fluor spar. Besides its agriculture, tree county is noted for silk, cotton, and lace manufactures, for the making of machinery and agricultural implements, and for its breweries, There are many remains of antiquity, such as tumuli, and a stone circle. Formerly part of the kingdom of Mercia, and ruled by, among others, the Lady of Mercia, Ethelfreda, daughter of Alfred the Great, Derby became a Danish centre. Later in history Derby was the farthest point south reached by Charles Edward in his expedition into England. Brindley the engineer, Chantrey the sculptor, and Arkwright were all Derbyshire men. Among its towns Chesterfield is notable for its manufacturing importance, and its curious church-spire is well-known to most travellers to the north, and the waters of Buxton and Matlock are widely famed. Haddon Hall and Chatsworth are also of great interest.