© Copyright Friends of Belper Parks Ltd. 8 Parkside, Belper, Derbys.DE56 1HY.  The History pages were updated on 1st September 2008

Background aerial photograph courtesy of Amber Valley Borough Council

Friends of Belper Parks Ltd.
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The project was undertaken by the Friends of Belper Parks between 2006 and 2008 in order to discover more about this historic area. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and involved a wide sector of the local community who will also benefit from the dissemination of results.

The project included archaeology undertaken by ARCUS and assisted by volunteers together with fieldwork and research carried out by local people.

It added considerably to the understanding of the past history of this small area; identified features such as the dam to an ancient pond, possible medieval sub-divisions and pits used for the production of “white coal”. It also established the likely position of the missing manor house, and identified more details in old documents about the manorial estate, separating fact from fiction.

Detailed historic maps were created for the first time and these and the full project reports can now be downloaded from this website.



The following books are obtainable from bookshops and, or Derbyshire Libraries. Copies of most can be found in the local history section of Belper library. We have selected titles that will give more background on what has been covered in these notes:


"Historical Record of Belper", Charles Willott, Belper 1885.

“Some notes on Old Belper and Old Belper Books”, T. R. Derry 1890

"Belper and its people", Charles Willott, Belper 1894. republished 1991 by Ashbourne Editions. ISBN 18773775059.

"Duffield Forest in the Sixteenth Century", Hon. Frederick Strutt and the Rev J. Charles Cox.

Derbyshire Archeological Society Journal Vol. XXV. June 1903.

"Roman Derbyshire", Tom Garlick, Dalesman Books 1975. ISBN 0 85206  247 8.

“The Royal Forests of England”, C. J. Cox, Methuen 1905

"Belper in bygone years", R. J. Millward, Publisher Belper 1978

"Belper, a study of its History based on Visual Evidence", Belper Historical Society 1981. ISBN 0950187909

"St. John's Chapel, Belper" E. G. Power, Scarthin Books 1985.

"The Illustrated History of Duffield", Watson, Derby 1986.

"Roman Derbyshire", M. Brassington, Derby 1991.

"An Illustrated History of Belper and its Environs", Jean Charles, George Power, Michael Smith.

Edited by Peter Naylor. Published by M. G. Morris, Belper 1999. ISBN 09536692906.

“Living Landscapes, Parkland” Graham Harvey, The National Trust 2002

"Roman Belper", Trevor Griffin, "the Gangway", Belper Historical Society 2003.

Belper Parks Local Nature Reserve, Management Plan, July 2003. Amber Valley Borough Council, Groundwork Erewash Valley, the Wildlife Trusts.

"Duffield Frith", Mary Wiltshire, Sue Moore, Barry Crisp, Brian Rich, Landmark Publishing 2005, ISBN 1-84306-191-0.

"Digs reveal evidence of pre-historic and Roman occupation", Barry Lewis. In "Derby's Ancient Settlers", Derby Evening Telegraph supplement, 15/5/2006

The Belper Parks Project

Further Reading