Belper Historical Society

Celebrating Belper’s Heritage

Welcome to the Homepage for Belper Historical Society

Important Notice regarding Thursday 16th May talk.

Unfortunately there has been a late change to the May talk. Our original speaker is unable to visit us and so Adrian Farmer will talk about the most recent additions to the Society’s digital archive of historic photographs, and explains what work is still left to be done.

Belper Historical Society now meet in Room 107 at Strutt’s Community Hall on the third Thursday of the month.

See the Programme page for this year’s programme.

BHS Library opening times for 2024

Belper Historical Society has a large collection of books and journals many of which are available for members to borrow from the society library at the Strutts Centre.

For more information visit the library page.

Virtual Tour of Unitarian Chapel

James Oldrini and Belper Unitarian Chapel have been working together on a new resource for the town – a virtual tour of the Unitarian Chapel on Field Row.

Now members of the public can tour the building without leaving the comfort of their own home.

 James has used scanning equipment to build a 3D representation of the building and with a little help from Adrian Farmer from Belper Historical Society, a virtual tour is now available for all.

Click here to start your tour.

Virtual Tour of Belper Unitarain Chapel
A screenshot from the virtual tour of Belper Unitarian Chapel.

The Missing Nightwatchmen's Book

A 360-page hand-written nightwatchmen’s logbook detailing nightly goings-on in Belper during the 1830s  surfaced in 2021 and Belper Historical Society  worked with Derbyshire Record Office to secure it so the public could have access to it.
Adrian Farmer, for the Historical Society, said: “It was such an exciting find. The Strutts had their own unique way of policing the town, and the nightwatchmen reports give us a very vivid feel for what Belper was like in the evenings and at night, and how these brave men tackled many a confrontation armed with just a trusty truncheon.
“There are lots of recognisible Belper family names in it. The reports really bring those names to life and tells us what they were up to.”
Click on the button below to go to our research page about the book.
The interior of the Belper Nightwatchmen's Report Book.
The interior of the Nightwatchmen's Report Book which Belper Historical Society and Derbyshire Record Office secured in 2021.

Short films on You Tube

During the Pandemic, a number of short films were created, voiced by Adrian Farmer and others. Just click on the title to access them:

Now on sale in Belper shops

Historic Belper & Milford in Colour

by Adrian Farmer


The 1960s, 1970s and 1980s in full colour.

Over 200 newly discovered photographs in print for the first time.

Cost £14

Front cover for Historic Belper and Milford in Colour

Still available

The Great War by Adrian Farmer and Richard Pinkett

Hundreds of stories about Belper families and people, streets, events, schools and more.

Brand new research with stories not told in over 100 years.
Cost £15.

The front cover of the Belper in Wartime - The Great War book

Belper Historical Society has worked since 1957 to promote a better understanding and appreciation of Belper’s history and heritage.

The society’s main aims are to:

  • Cultivate an interest in the history of Belper and its neighbourhood;
  • Collect and preserve artefacts, books, photographs and documents;
  • Encourage practical historical research into Belper’s past

The society occasionally has a stall in No.28 Market Place from 10am to 1pm during the Farmers Market, held on the second Saturday of each month. Please pop in and we’ll endeavour to answer your questions and provide information.