Blue Plaque Update


1 – Rose Hill United Reformed Church

Our latest blue plaque – sponsored by the congregation – was unveiled on 13 July at the Rose Hill United Reformed Church.

We unveiled the latest of our blue plaques at Rose Hill United Reformed Church on Thursday 13 July. The plaque has been kindly sponsored by the congregation.

Sadly, the chapel is now in the process of closure, with the future of the building remaining uncertain. We understand it requires extensive and expensive roof repairs. It is essential, on several grounds, that an appropriate new use be found for this important monument to nonconformist worship in Chesterfield, and the Civic Society committee will be doing all it can to secure the building’s future.

The Rose Hill United Reformed Church plaque is unveiled by Marlene Cooke (right) – the longest serving member of the current congregation, aided by church secretary Margaret Davies (left).
At our newest plaque unveiling – left to right Philip Riden (Chairman Chesterfield and District Civic Society); the Mayoress Cllr Suzie Perkins, Minister Rev. Caroline Andrews; Marlene Cooke, who performed the unveiling, and church secretary Margaret Davies.

2 – 87 New Square

You may have seen that work has been progressing on renovations at 87 New Square. These received planning permission some time ago. As part of these Leverton UK Ltd, the company responsible for its conversion into flats, have very generously agreed to sponsor a replacement for the present plaque on the house. The existing is worn badly and is factually inaccurate.

We have made renewed efforts to work out the history of the house and the plot on which it stands, and are now satisfied that an account published in the Derbyshire Times of 10 December 1881 (in their series of ‘Reminiscences of Old Chesterfield’, which are not always very reliable) is correct.

The present house appears to have been built by Dr Richard Milnes sometime between 1765 and his death in 1795. After he died the house passed to a local solicitor, William Waller, whose descendants practised there till 1870. It was acquired by Chesterfield Corporation in the 1920s, and the council later built what is now their public enquiry office behind and to one side of the original property.

The history of the site can be traced from a purchase by Henry Foljambe of Walton Hall from the Ashe family, probably in 1491. Henry left the property to his younger son, Roger Foljambe of Linacre Hall (in Brampton), and it was Roger’s grandson, Hercules Foljambe of Moor Hall (in Barlow), who sold this and a number of other houses in Chesterfield to Bess of Hardwick and her son William, later 1st Earl of Devonshire, in 1599. The Cavendish family remained the freeholders until the 6th Duke of Devonshire sold the property to the younger William Waller in 1850.

The plaque at 87 New Square is due to be unveiled at the formal opening of the new apartments in  October.

3 – The Portland

Less happily, we are still trying to make contact with Wetherspoons to secure their permission to install a plaque on the Portland Hotel to commemorate the old Market Place station (next door). This has been sponsored (together with the replacement plaque for North Midland House) by East Midland Railways.


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