Belper, Derbyshire


Extract from Pigot's Commercial Directory of Derbyshire 1828-9

Descriptions transcribed by Heather Faulkes © 1999



BELPER, a chapelry, in the parish of Duffield, and in the hundred of Appletree, one of the most flourishing villages in Derbyshire, is 134 miles from London, 54 from Manchester, 16 from Chesterfield and 8 from Derby and Belper. It was formerly written Belport, and also Beau-re-poire; it is situated on the banks of the Derwent, over which is a stone bridge of three arches, and near it is a beautiful wear for working the extensive cotton mills of Messrs. Strutt, which give employment to upwards of 2,500 persons: besides this great  branch of trade there are manufactures of hosiery, nails, stone bottles, pots and considerable bleaching works; but the town derives its main importance from the grand article of cotton.

Richard Paul Jodrell, Esq. is lord of the manor, and holds court leets here at irregular periods; the government of the town being in the resident county magistrates. A new church, dedicated to St Peter, has been recently completed, since which no service has been performed in the old chapel; nor is there any other place of worship on the establishment. The Wesleyan methodists, unitarians, baptists and independents have their several chapels. Here are two alms houses for as many poor families, endowed by Mr Smith of Denby; and a Sunday school, established by the benevolence of the manufacturers, for the education of the poor children chiefly employed by them. About a mile from Belper have been recently discovered some seams of coal, which are being worked to advantage.

The principal seats in this vicinity are Bridge Hill, the seat of George Benson Strutt, Esq. one of the magistates in the county; and Green Hall, the seat of Jebediah Strutt, Esq. A market is on Saturday, and fairs are May 12th and October 31st for cattle, sheep &c. In 1821 the number of inhabitants was 7,235, being an increase of about 1,500 since 1811; and it is estimated that at this period the population exceeds 8,000.

RIPLEY, a township and village, in the parish of Pentrich, is not quite eight miles from Wirksworth. It has two fairs in the year, viz. Wednesday in Easter week & 23rd October, for horses, horned cattle, and pedlary. The coal and iron works in the vicinity of this place give employment to the greater portion of the inhabitants; the number in the township is about 1,600.

HEAGE, a township and village, in the hundred of Appletree and in the parish of Duffield, is five miles from that village, and ten from Derby. It has attained some importance from a martial vitriolic spring having been discovered in the immediate neighbourhood, which is found useful in curing ulcerous diseases, and stopping inward bleedings; its properties being considered as efficacious as extract of Saturn. In 1821 the population of the township was 1,742.

[From Pigot's Commercial Directory of Derbyshire 1828-9.
This page was created by Heather Faulkes on 3rd April 1999, and is reproduced on GENUKI with permission]