History & Heritage in Amber Valley

History & Heritage


Amber Valley has a wealth of interesting and sometimes colourful tales to tell about days gone by. The area has a realm of historical buildings just waiting for stories from their past to be discovered. The area's also been home to many famous people, both past and present, all adding to the interesting history of this beautiful valley.


Kedleston Hall


Kedleston Hall is one of the greatest neo-classical houses in Europe and its interiors are breathtaking. When it was built for the Curzon family in the 18th Century, it was known as "The Glory of Derbyshire". It is recognised as one of the most complete and unaltered examples of the work of the famous Scottish Architect Robert Adam.

From the moment the house was finished, visitors were encouraged to view the beautiful paintings, sculpture and fine furniture. Today, a likeness to the 18th Century housekeeper, Mrs Garnett, will welcome you to the house.


Not only is the interior stunning, the setting has over 800 acres of landscaped parkland with lakes and woodland. There are wonderful walks through the beautiful gardens.

Throughout the year there are numerous events taking place, these include Family Activity Days and guided walks. Major events include Antiques in the Park, outdoor theatre productions, working Craft Fairs and the exhibition "The Duchess comes to Kedleston" featuring costumes from the movie "The Duchess."

Kedleston Hall is a National Trust property.


Wingfield Manor


Awe inspiring and dramatic are apt descriptions of the ruins of Wingfield Manor, standing high above the Amber Valley.


The Manor has witnessed some of the most important periods of English history. It was here that the plot to overthrow Queen Elizabeth 1 was drawn together by a local Squire. He wished to release the captive Mary Queen of Scots and place her on the English throne, but as a result Mary was sentenced to be executed.


The Manor is administered by English Heritage and incorporates a private working farm. Visitors are requested to respect the privacy of the owners and refrain from visiting outside official opening hours.


Heage Windmill


This historic windmill was built in 1797 and known locally as Ned's Mill. After many years of dedicated work from volunteers and enthusiasts the Mill was restored and opened to the public in 2002.


The Windmill is a Grade II listed windmill and is the only working stone-towered, multi-sailed windmill in England. Prior to restoration, she was last worked by miller Thomas Shore in 1919.


The mill has much of her old wooden mechanisms in place which drives one of her two pairs of millstones. In the basement, the interpretation centre tells the story of Heage Windmill and the adjacent kiln has been restored as a reception centre. The Windmill is open from April - October and groups may visit the Windmill at other pre-arranged times.


The National Heritage CorridorĀ® was established to secure recognition of the Derwent Valley for its landscape, wildlife and heritage.


The River Derwent flows for over fifty miles from north to south through the stunning Derbyshire countryside. Over the centuries, nature and entrepreneurs have shaped the landscape to produce the panorama that greets visitors today. In ever-changing countryside, the river travels through peaceful villages, bustling towns and elegant country estates, while all around are legacies of influential industrial heritage.

World Heritage Site Visitor Guide.


Strutt's North Mill


Strutt's North Mill in Belper is the home of the Derwent Valley Visitor Centre. Here you are able to discover the secrets of the Strutts and their work to create the most technologically advanced mills of their time. Visitors can see one of the finest cotton spinning machinery collections to be found anywhere and exhibitions showing the history of cotton spinning.


There is also the famous collection of cotton and silk hose and a display representing the nail-making industry that was so important to the town before the cotton industry brought great changes to Belper and its people.

Denby, John Flamsteed


Denby was the birthplace of the First Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed who founded the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. In the year 2000 to celebrate his associations with the village, a Memorial Park was established opposite the church.


Pentrich Revolution


The story of England's last revolution - June 9th 1817. The parish of Pentich is famous for the uprising of June 1817 and is regarded as 'England's last revolution'.



Florence Nightingale


Florence Nightingale, born in Florence, Italy in 1820, daughter to Derbyshire landowner and industrialist, William Edward Shore and Francis Smith, revolutionised nursing to become the most famous woman of the 19th Century.

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