County of north central England (since April 1997 Derby City has been a separate unitary authority).
Area 2,550 sq km/984 sq mi
Towns and citiesMatlock (administrative headquarters), Buxton, Chesterfield, Glossop, Ilkeston, Long Eaton
Physical Peak District National Park (including Kinder Scout 636 m/2,088 ft); rivers Dane, Derwent, Dove, Goyt, Rother, Trent, Wye; Dove Dale
Features Chatsworth House, Bakewell (seat of the Duke of Devonshire, and home to the eponymous tart); Haddon Hall (1170 and 1370); Hardwick Hall (1597); Kedleston Hall (1759, designed by Robert Adam); well-dressing at Tissington, Wirksworth, Eyam, and other villages; Castleton Caverns
Agriculture cereals, root crops, and dairy farming (in the south); sheep farming (in the northern hills)
Industries heavy engineering; manufacturing (cotton, hosiery, lace, porcelain, textiles); mineral and metal working (barytes, gypsum, lead, zinc); quarrying (marble, sandstone, pipeclay, limestone); motor cars
Population (2001) 734,600
Famous people Thomas Cook, Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, Samuel Richardson
Topography Derbyshire is bounded on the northwest by Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, and South Yorkshire; on the east by Nottinghamshire; on the southeast by Leicestershire; on the south by Warwickshire; and on the west by Cheshire and Staffordshire; it contains Derby City. The southern part of the county is very fertile, the north very rugged and mountainous. The county's many rivers, including tributaries of the rivers Don, Mersey, and Trent, have their source in the Peak District, at the southern end of the Pennine chain. There are springs near Buxton and Matlock, both of which were fashionable spa towns.
History The English manufacturing pioneer Richard Arkwright opened the world's first water-powered cotton spinning mill on the banks of the River Derwent at Cromford, near Matlock, in 1771. Cresswell Crags (in the northeast of the county) is one of the earliest known human settlements in the British Isles. Buxton was a Roman spa town. In 1665–66 the bubonic plague killed 80% of the inhabitants of Eyam.
Historic sites and houses Derbyshire contains numerous antiquities, including the prehistoric stone circle of Arbor Low, the most important in England after Stonehenge and Avebury. There are several ceremonial Bronze Age sites east of the River Derwent. Other places of interest include the ruined abbey of Dale, and the Saxon crypt at Repton.
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