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Help and advice for Belper

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  • The cemetery, about three-quaters of a mile from the north end of the town, opened in 1859. It covers about 15 acres and overlooks the Derwent River across the A6 trunk road.
  • The cemetery has two adjacent mortuary chapels connected by a square tower with a spire.
  • The cemetery is managed by the Urban District Council.
  • David BEVIS has a photograph of the Cemetery chapel on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2010.


  • The parish was the centre of the Belper sub-district of the Belper Registration District.
  • There is a valuable resource at the Belper Derbyshire site, including some name indexes.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 180
1851 H.O. 107 / 2144
1861 R.G. 9 / 2509 & 2510
1871 R.G. 10 / 3582
1881 R.G. 11 / 3412
1891 R.G. 12 / 2743 & 2744
1901 R.G. 13 / 3228

Church History

  • Peter BARR has a photograph of St. John's Chapel on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2010. This was the original Anglican Church in Belper, probably built around 1250.
  • The parish (township) was divided into two Anglican ecclesiastical parishes in the early 1800s: St. Peter's on the east and Christ Church on the west.
  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Peter.
  • The church was built in 1824 to replace St. John's chapel.
  • The church was restored in 1884.
  • The church seats 1,500.
  • The church has its own web site, and there is some church history there.
  • Neil THEASBY has a photograph of St. Peter's Church on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2015.
  • Saint Mark's Mission church was built at Openwood Gate in 1891 and was serviced by clergy from St. Peter's.
  • Christ Church, in Bridge Hill, was built in 1850.
  • This church seats 600.
  • Saint Fairth's Mission church was built at Lane End before 1900 and was serviced by clergy from Christ Church.
  • The Anglican convent of the Sisters of St. Laurence was built in 1882 near the train station. The sisters engaged as visiting nurses and companions to those in need.
  • Chas GILBERT has a photograph of St. Laurence Convent on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2008.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish church wasn't licensed to perform holy rites (like marriages) until 1837.
  • The register of burials, however, starts in 1794 and baptisms start in 1783.
  • We have a pop-up window of Belper burials in a text file for your review. Your additions are welcomed.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Duffield.
  • A Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on Chapel Street was built in 1897.
  • Another Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Pottery was built in 1816.
  • A Wesleyan Reform Chapel on Market-street Lane was built circa 1857.
  • A Primitive Methodist Chapel at Field Head was built in 1822 to replace a smaller chapel erected in 1817. This chapel was demolished in in 1966.
  • A New Connection Methodist Chapel in Short Row burned down in 1843 and was rebuilt in 1849, but was disused by 1857.
  • An Independent Chapel in Market-street Lane went up in 1790. It was replaced by a chapel built on-site in 1872
  • The Congregational Chapel in in Green Bank was built in 1822.
  • The General Baptist Chapel in Bridge Street was built in 1820.
  • The Catholic Mission Chapel in King Street was dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour.
  • The Unitarian Chapel in Field Row went up in 1788.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
  • Remember: The Civil Parish wasn't formed until December, 1866, so look for registrations in Duffield Civil Parish.
  • The parish was the centre of the Belper sub-district of the Belper Registration District.

Correctional Institutions

  • A Lockup was built on Matlock Road in 1848. Built of stone, it contained four cells.
  • It is not known what records if any survive for this institution.

Description and Travel

"BELPER is a market town and chapelry, in the parish of Duffield, and hundred of Appletree; 134 miles from London, 54 S.E. from Manchester, 16 S. from Chesterfield, 8 N. from Derby, and the like distance S.S.E. from Matlock. Beaurep'd and Beaureper, were modes of spelling, by which this town was designated in ancient documents; it was then an inconsiderable village, but has now become one of the most flourishing market towns in Derbyshire."

[Description from Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory for Derbyshire, 1835]

The town is on the eastern bank of the River Derwent, 7 miles north of Derby. The parish covers about 2,700 acres.

Ben BROOKSBANKhas a photograph of Belper Station on Geo-graph, taken in April, 1961.

You can see pictures of Belper which are provided by:




There is a Belper Genealogy group on Facebook. Read their offer of assistance.

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Belper has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

Ask for a calculation of the distance from Belper to another place.


  • The Derwent Valley Mills were recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.
  • You may wish to visit the Local History Centre in St. John's Chapel.
  • Anciently, good quality horseshoe nails were made here. Thee were hundreds of people employed as nail makers.
  • In 1777, cotton spinning was introduced here.
  • A cattle fair was held on the last Thursday in October.
  • A statute fair for hiring servants was held on the 1st of November.
  • The Belper River Gardens park opened in 1905 to provide three miles of boating for the public.
  • The principal hotel in town in the early 1900s was "The Lion Hotel" on Bridge Street.
  • David BEVIS has a photograph of the Lion Hotel on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2012.
  • The Lion Hotel is still operating in Belper. These are the proprietors listed in various directories for The Lion Hotel:
Year  Person
1852 John Charles TAYLOR
1857 John TAYLOR
1874 Sml. TETLEY, vict.
1891 Harold William Albert KEYL
1895 William REASON
1899 William REASON
1912 George Spray HARRISON (or HARRIMAN)


  • Green Hall was built in 1810 at the top of King Street and was joined to its garden across the road by a specially constructed bridge. The original owner of Green Hall was Jedediah STRUTT II, the grandson of Jedediah STRUTT who was the original mill-owner in Belper.
  • By 1888 it had become the prestigious boarding school, the Green Hall Preparatory School for Boys.
  • The hall was converted to flats during the 1930s.
  • Green Hall was demolished in 1956.

Military History

  • In 1899, the 1st Volunteer Battlaion of the Sherwood Foresters (The Derbyshire Regt.), G Company, was at Bridge St. Captain Maurice HUNTER, commanding; Lieut. Wlater W. WINDLE; Surgeon-Captian R. A. JOHNSON, medical officer; Patrick McCARTHY, drill instructor.
  • The Drill Hall in Clusters Road was erected in 1902 by George H. STRATT.
  • Peter BARR has a photograph of the Drill Hall on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2014..
  • In 1912, the 5th Battlaion of the Sherwood Foresters (The Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regt.), F Company, was at the Drill Hall. Captain W. H. CHRISTY-CLAY, commanding; Lieut. George B. GILL, medical officer; Color-srgt. Clement WALKER, instructor.
  • Green Hall became a military hospital during World War I. Some 3,000 men were treated in Green Hall.
  • The Traces of War website shows us the parish has 26 Commonwealth War Graves from World War I and 13 from WWII.
  • The town has "adopted" HMS Brocklesby, a minesweeper, for citizens to support and stay in contact with the crew.

Military Records


  • The local newspaper was the Belper News & Derbyshire Telephone published every Thursday by Wilfred EDMUNDS Ltd.
  • The Belper News is online. Type "Archives" in the search box and enjoy your browsing.

Politics and Government

  • This place was an ancient Chapelry in Duffield parish in Derbyshire.
  • The Chapelry was incorporated as a separate, modern Civil Parish in December, 1866.
  • This parish was in the ancient Appletree Hundred (or Wapentake).
  • The town was governed by a local board from 1877, but in 1894 it incorporated as an Urban District Council.
  • You may contact the Belper Town Council regarding civic or political issues, but they are NOT staffed to assist with family history searches.
  • District governance is provided by the Amber Valley Borough Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Belper petty session hearings in the Public Hall every other Thursday.
  • In 1713, Matthew SMITH left a charity to support two almshouses on The Butts for four aged poor.
  • David BEVIS has a photograph of the Matthew Smith Almshouses on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2009.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST also has a photograph of the Matthew Smith Almshouses on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2017.
  • In 1818, the Rev. Francis GISBORNE left a charity of £7 and 5s yearly, to be distributed to the poor in cloth and flannel.
  • In 1824 the Belper Humane Society was established to provide clean bed linen for the poor. A nursing association was aligned with this society.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poorlaw Amendment Act reforms, Belper became the centre of a Poorlaw Union.


  • A National School (later St. Peter's) was built in 1849 to accommodate 400 children.
  • The Herbert Strutt School at Belper was established in 1909. In the few years prior to that, pupils from Belper were known to have attended the Lady Manners School, in Bakewell, following its reopening in 1896.