by James Pigot  (1818)

Chesterfield is a large but irregular built town, pleasantly situated between two rivulets, the Hyper

and Rother, in the beautiful and fertile vale of Scarsdale, and the second considerable

town in the county of Derby. . The Saxon name of Chester proves it to be a place of

great antiquity; and it is imagined to have originated in a Roman station, on the road

from Derby to York, fixed on an eminence called Tapton or Topton, at the point named

Windmill-hill; but distinguished in several antient writings by the appellation of Castle

hill. The church is a large handsome structure, and dedicated to All Saints: it has

been built at different times, parts of it being very antient. It appears there was a

church here in the 11th. century, as William the II. gave the church of Chesterfield to

the cathedral of Lincoln, in consequence of which the dean still continues patron. In

the chancel are many antient and modern tombs, the inscriptions on the former of which,

and some antient records, prove that there was formerly a chantry and guild at Chester

field. The spire, which rises to the height of 230 feet, is covered with lead, and by its

extaordinary appearance surprises every spectator, for, whatever side it is seen, it ap

pears not only to be twisted, but to lean.—Besides the church, there are seven dissenters’.

chapels; one for Quakers, three for Methodists, one for Independents, and one for San

demanians The Free-school, founded in the reign of Elizabeth, was formerly one

of the largest in the North of England. The present building was erected in 1710, on

the scite where the old one formerly stood.—Several Alms-houses have been endowed in

the town ; and, at the Castle Inn, an elegant Assembly-room was built a few years ago. .

—A Town-hall has been erected of late years in the Market-place, the ground floor of

which has a house for the goaler, and a goal for debtors; on the second floor is a large

room where the sessions are held, grand jury room, &c. There is also a house of cor

rection.—In the town are a silk and cotton mills, a manufactory of stockings, carpets,

&c. Several potteries, chiefly of brown ware, are likewise established here: and near

the town are large iron-foundries, the ore and coal for which are found in the neigh

bourhood.—Chesterfield was formerly an antient démesne belonging to the crown,

but King John made it a free borough, granting it the same privileges as Nottingham

and Derby. The charter granted by John has been confirmed and enlarged by several

sovereigns since, and is at present governed by a mayor and twelve aldermen, assisted

by a town-clerk. It is 151 miles from London; has a market on Saturday, and fairs,"

Jan. 27, Feb. 28, April 4, May 4, July 5, Sept. 25, and Nov. 25. The population, ac


cording to the last census, is 4.668.