Category Archives: News

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)

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.


Chesterfield , and that Marketplace

It was good to just wander around Chesterfield the other Wednesday and see how popular the Wheel is mid-week  . Chesterfield is still a market town , and all the roads  seem to lead here eventually . If only on the way to the Library .

But , the heart of the town is  here , and still attracts after centuries . 


Chesterfield Market Place Wheel Busker

Unveiling of a new Blue Plaque at Ringwood Hall

Some fifty Civic Society members and guests joined the Mayor of Chesterfield, Coun. Maureen Davenport, and the Mayoress, Mrs Liz Archer, at the Ringwood Hall Hotel in Brimington on Wednesday 17 January for a ceremony to mark the unveiling of a plaque commemorating Charles Paxton Markham, who lived at Ringwood between 1908 and his death in 1926.

Among the guests were Mr Toby Markham, a descendant of C.P. Markham’s brother, Sir Arthur Markham Bt MP, and his wife, and Mrs Halcyon Palmer, a great niece of C.P. Markham’s sister Geraldine. The Leader of the Borough Council, Coun. Mrs Tricia Gilby, Coun. Terry Gilby and Coun. Barry Bingham were also present.

Ringwood Hall was built in 1829–30 by George Hodgkinson Barrow, the owner of Staveley Ironworks, and was later occupied by his son Richard Barrow. After C.P. Markham died, the House became a social club for Staveley staff. Having stood empty for some time, it has been restored in recent years as a luxury hotel.

After the Mayor unveiled the plaque, the owners of Ringwood Hall, Mr and Mrs Heyer, entertained the party to an excellent lunch. The event concluded with a short speech of thanks to the hotel by the Civic Society chairman, Philip Riden.

In the spring, the society hopes to install a plaque at 55 West Bars, the first large store built by Chesterfield and District Co-operative Society, which opened in 1903.

A Talk by Carl Andrews – Grant Aided Church Repair Projects

This upcoming talk at St Thomas’ by may well be of interest to Civic Society  Members .

Carl Andrews is the founder of Soul Architects , who recently restored the tower at St Thomas’ . He will talk of his experiences and the challenges he has encountered over the years .

Soul Architects are conservation architect specialists who are committed to delivering quality projects


St Thomas’ Centre
For location details and directions , please click on the picture .