Wikipedia tells us:
Belper is a town and civil parish in the local government district of Amber Valley in Derbyshire, England, located about 7 miles (11 km) north of Derby on the River Derwent. As well as Belper itself, the parish also includes the village of Milford and the hamlets of Bargate, Blackbrook and Makeney.
The Local Studies and Family History section of the local Belper Library may be of great assistance to you.
Some of the out-lying areas of Belper, like Openwoodgate and Belper Whitmoor are also served by the Mobile Library on route 5 every fourth Tuesday.
A little south of Belper is the Derby City Library which also has an excellent Local History section and a Family History section.
- The cemetery of 15 acres, about three-quarters of a mile from the north end of the town, was purchased in 1857 and opened in 1859. It overlooks the Derwent River across the A6 trunk road.
- Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of Belper Cemetery on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2017.
- The cemetery has two adjacent mortuary chapels connected by a square tower with a spire.
- The cemetery is managed by the Urban District Council.
- Jon CANTRILL has provided a partial extract of Parish Register burials for your review. Your additions and corrections are welcomed.
- David BEVIS has a photograph of the Cemetery chapel on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2010.
- David SMITH has a photograph of the Bus stop by the Cemetery on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2017.
- 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:
|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|
|1911||R.G. 14 / 20963|
- 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.
- Alan MURRAY-RUST also has a photograph of St. John's Chapel on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2017.
- 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.
- David BEVIS has a photograph of Christ Church on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2012.
- Saint Faith'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.
- 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.
- The church was in the rural deanery of Duffield.
- A Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on Chapel Street was built in 1897.
- Chris ALLEN has a photograph of the Central Methodist Chapel on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2017.
- Another Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Pottery was built in 1816.
- Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Pottery Methodist Chapel on Geo-graph, which was taken in June, 2017.
- 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.
- The Belper Library's Local Studies section has material on local Methodist chapels.
- 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.
- David BEVIS has a photograph of the Former Congregational Church on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2014.
- The General Baptist Chapel in Bridge Street was built in 1820.
- Ian S. has a photograph of the Baptist Church on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2015.
- 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 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.
- 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. Newspaper articles are the most likely source of reference.
- You can see some residents of Belper incarcerated in the Derby City/County Gaol in the 1861 Census.
"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 above from Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory for Derbyshire, 1835]
Wikipedia tells us that:
"Originally a centre for the nail-making industry since Medieval times, Belper expanded during the early Industrial Revolution to become one of the first mill towns with the establishment of several textile mills; as such, it forms part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site."
The town is on the eastern bank of the River Derwent, 7 miles north of Derby. The parish covers about 2,700 acres.
The town is served by regular bus services to Derby and surrounding towns and villages as well as longer routes to Manchester and London. The major operator is Trent Barton who operate the bus garage on Bridge Street.
Ben BROOKSBANK has a photograph of Belper Station on Geo-graph, taken in April, 1961.
Neil THEASBY has a photograph of the Fountain in The Marketplace on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2015.
- The transcription of the section for Belper from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin HINSON.
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Belper to another place.
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.
- 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.
- Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Belper Mills weirs and sluices built in 1795-97 on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2017.
- 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.
- David SMITH also has a photograph of The Lion Inn on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2017.
- The Lion Hotel is still operating in Belper. These are the proprietors listed in various directories for The Lion Hotel:
|1852||John Charles TAYLOR|
|1874||Sml. TETLEY, vict.|
|1891||Harold William Albert KEYL|
|1912||George Spray HARRISON (or HARRIMAN)|
- John SUTTON has a photograph of the George and Dragon Inn on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2017.
- In 1609 fifty-one people died of plague.
- The first telephones came in 1895 from the National Telephone Company.
- 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.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK351476 (Lat/Lon: 53.024547, -1.478147), Belper which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- Old Maps Online
- National Library of Scotland (Old Ordnance Survey maps)
- Vision of Britain (Click "Historical units & statistics" for administrative areas.)
- English Jurisdictions in 1851 (Unfortunately the LDS have removed the facility to enable us to specify a starting location, you will need to search yourself on their map.)
- Magic (Geographic information) (Click + on map if it doesn't show)
- GeoHack (Links to on-line maps and location specific services.)
- In 1899, Lieut.-Colonell Henry Robert TWYFORD of the Hants Rifle Volunteers resided in Sunnybank. He was uncle to Major Ernest Henry S. TWYFORD who died in Transvall in April, 1901.
- In 1899, the 1st Volunteer Battlaion of the Sherwood Foresters (The Derbyshire Regt.), G Company, was at Bridge St. Captain Maurice HUNTER, commanding; Lieut. Walter W. WINDLE; Surgeon-Captain R. A. JOHNSON, medical officer; Patrick McCARTHY, drill instructor.
- Walter W. WINDLE was born in Chesterfield, DBY early 1862, the son of Emma and Edward (or Edmund) WINDLE. In the 1871 census, he is in Hasland, Chesterfield, DBY, age 9. He is in Belper in the 1901 census as a piano tutor and organist.
- 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 Red Cross VAD Hospital during World War I. Some 3,000 men were treated in Green Hall.
- During World War II there was a POW Camp at Nether Heap.
- The Belper Alternative News has an article on Belper in WWI.
- John SUTTON has a photograph of the Belper War Memorial Gardens on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2017.
- Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the UDC War memorial plaque on Geo-graph, which was taken in June, 2017.
- The Traces of War website shows us the parish has 26 Commonwealth War Graves from World War I and 13 from WWII.
- During the Second World War, Rolls-Royce based the Merlin aero engine design team and Robotham's engine design division developing the Meteor tank engine at Belper.
- The town has "adopted" HMS Brocklesby, a minesweeper, for citizens to support and stay in contact with the crew.
The town's name is thought to be a corruption of Beaurepaire – meaning "beautiful retreat" – the name given to a hunting lodge, the first record of which being in a charter of 1231.
- 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.
- In 1899 the Alfreton & Belper Journal was published every Friday by Samuel ROWBOTTOM and son.
- Jane TAYLOR shares this notice from the Derby Mercury of 24 December, 1801: "MARRIED: A few days since, Mr. PALMER, of Belper, to Miss Martha WALKER, of Southwingfield Park; both in this county."
- Jane TAYLOR provides this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 8 July, 1802: "MARRIED: Monday se'nnight, at Duffield, Mr. MELBOURN, to Miss LANE, both of Belper, in this county."
- Jane TAYLOR of Redcar offers this article from the Derby Mercury of 8 July, 1802: "MARRIED: On Wednesday, at the Collegiate Church, Manchester, Mr. Robert Mellor COCK, to Miss Mary HOUGHTON, both of Belper."
- Jane TAYLOR provides this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 2 December, 1802: "MARRIED: At Duffield on Wednesday 27th ult. Mr. William WALKER, to Miss Mary SPENDLOVE, both of Belper, in this county."
- Jane TAYLOR in Redcar provides this notice from the Derby Mercury of 20 September, 1804: "MARRIED:A few days since, at Duffield, Mr. William HARVEY, to Miss Patience STREET, both of Belper, in this county."
- Jane TAYLOR in Redcar has this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 3 October, 1804: "MARRIED: On Tuesday at Duffield, in this county, Mr. EVANS, Surgeon, of Belper, to Miss HARRISON, of the former place."
- Jane TAYLOR in Redcar has this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 31 October, 1804: "MARRIED: On the 15th inst. Mr Wm. MELBOURN, nail factor, of Belper, in this county, to Miss WILLIAMS, of the same place." This marriage is listed on Rootsweb as taking place in Duffield, DBY, between William MELBOURN and Phoeby WILLIAMS.
- Jane TAYLOR provides this entry from the Derby Mercury of 20 December, 1804: "MARRIED: On the 4th inst. at Duffield, Mr. Samuel HARRISON, to Miss Ellen LICHFIELD, both of Belper, in this county."
Jane TAYLOR provides this entry from the Derby Mercury of 31 Jan 1805: DIED: "On Tuesday the 22d instant, in the 84th year of his age, Mr. John BARBER, of Belper, in this county."
- 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.
- Bastardy cases would be heard in the Belper petty session hearings in the Public Hall every other Thursday at 11am.
- There is an index of a pair of Belper Bastardy Papers held at the DRO on the Yesterdays Journey website. Select "Bastardy Papers" on the left side, then "Belper" from the list of parishes displayed.
- In 1713, Matthew SMITH left a charity to support two almshouses on The Butts for four aged poor.
- Jane TAYLOR in Redcar has this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 3 October, 1804: "MISC: At the General Quarter Session of the Peace for this county, which ended here this day,- Thomas SANDERS, for leaving his wife and child chargeable to the township of Belper, to be imprisoned one month."
- 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 the Poorlaw Union.
- David BEVIS has a photograph of the Babbington Hospital (the Workhouse) on Geo-graph, which was taken in April, 2013.
The Derbyshire Record Office has a "Register of child factory workers" from the W. G. and J. Strutt Ltd cotton spinning mill from May 1853 to April 1860. Ref#: 6948/14/5.
- A National School (later St. Peter's) was built in 1849 to accommodate 400 children.
- The Long Row School was built in 1818 and enlarged in 1895 to accommodate 228 boys, 310 girls and 207 infants. In 1912, average attendance was 245 boys, 266 girls and 160 infants.
- Cow Hill School was built in 1877 to accommodate 127 girls and 160 infants. In 1912, average attendance was 100 girls and 107 infants.
- 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.