Story of Chesterfield
The history of Chesterfield
The story of Chesterfield has been over 2,000 years in the making. From its roots as a Roman fort close to the very edge of the Roman Empire its excellent transport links helped it become a prosperous market town in the Middle Ages, serving north eastern Derbyshire and beyond. The natural resources of the surrounding countryside, agricultural and mineral encouraged the growth of important early industries, particularly leather making and iron working.
From the development of cucumber straighteners to disposable nappies Chestefield people and businesses have been renowned for their creativity. With Industrial Revolution entrepreneurs and innovators such as George Stephenson and social reformer Violet Markham and the wool, leather and mining industries through to the 19th Century manufacturing at Robinsons, Dema Glass and Donkins the area has led the way in many fields.
Rich supplies of coal in the locality were exploited by a diverse range of manufacturing industries from malting and brewing, to heavy engineering by way of pill boxes, pipes, bottles and bandages. Their products reached the corners of the British Empire thanks in no small part to Chesterfield’s adopted son and Father of the Railways, George Stephenson. Chesterfield’s lead merchants and industrialists were involved in developing some of the first steam engines. They were also quick to invest in the Chesterfield Canal, which pushed the boundaries of construction with the most complex flight of locks and longest tunnel ever built at that time.
Known both as the ‘Heart of Industrial England’ and ‘The Gateway to the Peak’, with thanks to its independent and entrepreneurial spirit, Chesterfield has weathered plagues, wars, recessions and the conformity of the 1960s to emerge in the present still looking forward and proud to be itself – a town with a twist.
Chesterfield and the surrounding area is a popular and established destination for both businesses and visitors as well as a superb place to live offering a great lifestyle.
It’s home to a number of leading organisations such as international drinks company Global Brands, Robinsons PLC, Bryan Donkin Valves part of the global valve manufacturers AVK and the Fusion Group who specialise in the development and distribution of world leading technologies for the international utilities markets.
Entrepreneurial new businesses and smaller established organisations are nurtured and supported by office space and facilities at the Innovation Centres of Tapton Park and Dunston and the town’s central location and easy access by rail and road continues to ensure it remains a desirable destination for many different organisations seeking a central UK location.
If you want a great lifestyle choice or simply to visit, Chesterfield is rich in differing offers for every taste. As the gateway to the Peak District we are a great place for visitors to base themselves or to simply enjoy the delights of the town itself. With one of the oldest and largest open air markets in the country, a beautifully structured pedestrian friendly town centre which includes the iconic and world renowned crooked spire of St. Mary and All Saints Church. The vibrant town centre offers many high street names complemented by a large number of independent retailers alongside the bustling 800 year-old market.
Chesterfield in the Future
Chesterfield’s history and heritage have made it the place it is today and are helping to shape its future.
The 21st Century is one of opportunity and Chesterfield is embracing it fully; from the shoots of an emerging creative industries sector of young businesses or the ‘café culture’ of Chatsworth Road to the development of the existing business base where companies operate around the world from their bases in Chesterfield, the town is once again becoming a place of innovation.
We are moving on with lots of new developments, from the ultra modern Proact Stadium , our award winning four star hotel Casa, to new retail outlets and restaurants. But there’s still more to come with the exciting Waterside development bringing quality homes by the canal and river alongside new leisure and office facilities.
We’ve got modern office and business units with more to come and the people of the area offer a wide range of skills from IT to engineering. We are proud of who we are and of our place. Our young people have ambition and alongside businesses and community groups are helping to make Chesterfield a contemporary and forward-looking destination.