All posts by Ian

Chesterfield Museum Local History Day

On Saturday we were at Chesterfield Museum for the annual Local History Fair. It was an excellent event, and we thank the Museum for hosting it. Here are a few photos from the day.


As it was the first day of the Chatsworth Road Exhibition at the Museum we have reprinted the 1996 Brampton Trail booklet. Produced by the Brampton Living History Group and published by the  Civic Society, full details can be found in the previous post. You can link to it directly by clicking on this picture of Bradbury Hall, one of the fine drawings in the guide. 

A Brampton History Trail

This little booklet was first published in 1996. In the succeeding 22 years, Brampton has changed beyond recognition. Nevertheless, much still remains, and the trail is a valuable guide to the area, while the illustrations are reminder of what has now gone.

The Civic Society has  republished it with a new preface by Philip Riden to coincide with the current Chatsworth Road exhibition in Chesterfield Museum. It is priced at £3, and copies will be available for purchase at the AGM.

Click on the specimen pages to see them at full size. 

Brampton Trail Front Cover


Brampton Trail Back Cover

Brampton Trail Page Sample

Brampton Trail 2nd Edition Preface

Hurst House and the Chesterfield Schools Foundation





During 2017 the committee of the Chesterfield & District Civic Society became concerned that Hurst House, a large early Victorian property used since 1928 first as an annexe to Chesterfield grammar school and later as an adult education centre, had been standing empty for about three years. Hurst House is a listed building in a conservation area.

Our enquiries soon established that Hurst House belongs to the Chesterfield Schools Foundation, a charity established in 2002 to administer the endowment of the former Chesterfield grammar school and smaller sums from Chesterfield St Helena school. The sole trustee of this charity is Derbyshire County Council.

The objects of the charity, as set out in the scheme issued by the Charity Commission in 2002, are very similar to those of the Webster Whittington Charity, i.e. to provide financial assistance to young people aged between 11 and 25, especially when leaving school and entering further or higher education, and also to assist schools within a specified area. The six schools eligible for grants from the Chesterfield Schools Foundation are Brookfield, Hasland Hall, Outwood (in Newbold), Parkside (in Boythorpe), Whittington Green and St Mary’s.

Since 2002 the county council, as trustee of the Chesterfield Schools Foundation, appears to have made no grants to any of these schools, or to their pupils or former pupils. The county council has, however, as trustee, awarded a total of £187,300 from the Foundation’s funds to the county council as an education authority. The Foundation had cash resources of about £425,000 before these awards were made and an income (chiefly in rent from Hurst House) of about £26,000 a year. It currently has about £250,000 in cash and an income of about £1,300 a year.

In July 2017 the Civic Society, concerned both that Hurst House was standing empty and that the county council, as trustee, had awarded a substantial sum from the Foundation’s funds to the county council as an education authority, submitted a memorandum to the Charity Commission. This rehearsed the history of the Chesterfield Schools Foundation since 2002 and asked the Commission to investigate the county council’s conduct as sole trustee of the Foundation.

We consider that this is a matter of serious concern to anyone interested in the education and welfare of young people in Chesterfield, or in the built environment of the town, which is not improved by leaving a prominent listed building empty for several years. For this reason we are making available on the Civic Society website (1) the memorandum submitted to the Charity Commission, (2) subsequent correspondence with the Commission, and (3) relevant county council reports.

Download the documents here (single PDF file)

Visit to Wentworth Woodhouse

For many years the future of Wentworth Woodhouse has been uncertain. The recent acquisition by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, and a substantial restoration grant from the Government has hopefully secured its future. 

On Tuesday 24th July members of the Society took advantage of the recent opening of the property to the public and visited for a conducted tour of the State Rooms. As befits the largest privately owned residence in the UK, they are magnificent. A selection of photographs from the day can be seen in the gallery below. Click on any photo to enlarge it.


Further details of Wentworth Woodhouse and visiting can be found here .

Notice of Civic Society Annual General Meeting

The 2018 Annual General Meeting
Will be held on Thursday 27th September at 7.30pm in the Studio at the St.Thomas Centre, Chatsworth Road.  All members and any prospective members are invited to attend.

There will also be a talk by Paul Staniforth,  the Chief Planning & Conservation Officer on current and planned developments in the Borough.


Tea and coffee will be served afterwards.
Members – free.  Visitors – £2.00



For location details and directions , please click on the picture .

Join the Civic Society Visit to Wentworth Woodhouse 24th July 2018

The Civic Society has arranged a visit to Wentworth Woodhouse, a stately home in South Yorkshire on Tuesday 24 July.  A 31 seater coach will leave the Chesterfield Panthers Rugby Club, (Dunston Road, Chesterfield S41 9BF) car-park at 12.30pm for Wentworth Woodhouse with our 1 hour guided tour of the formal rooms to start at 2pm.  There will be ample time afterwards to enjoy the delights of the on-site garden centre and coffee shop until we leave at 4.30pm.  The cost is £28.00 per head with a reduction to £20.00 for National Trust members, who must bring their cards.  This is payable by cash or cheque to 'Chesterfield Civic Society'.  Online banking payments can be made to 60-40-09 a/c 80134009 using your surname as the reference, with an email to me to confirm at

We have a few spare places if you would like to join us and cars can safely be left at the Rugby Club.

Frank Gorman

The Civic Society at the CADFHS Local History Fair

The Civic Society  had a stand at the fair at the fair on Saturday on what turned out to be a very well-attended day, despite the feared competition from the Royal wedding. Our Chairman had a useful introduction and discussion with the new Mayor of Chesterfield, and also managed to oversee the Victoria County History and Derbyshire Record Society tables. 

Here are a few photos of the day.