Belper Historical Society

Celebrating Belper’s Heritage

Welcome to the Homepage for Belper Historical Society

The Missing Nightwatchmen's Book


A 360-page hand-written nightwatchmen’s logbook detailing nightly goings-on in Belper during the 1830s has recently surfaced and Belper Historical Society is working with Derbyshire Record Office to try and secure it so the public have access to it.
Adrian Farmer, for the Historical Society, says:
“It’s 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. The reports give a taste of what was happening outside working hours , 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!”
The book is on sale for £3,000 which sounds a lot but this really is one of the most important books we could ever secure about how Strutt’s Belper worked in the early 19th century.
There are some rewards up for grabs for anyone who contributes to the crowdfunding, but do at least follow this link and listen to Adrian talking about this amazing 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 hope to secure.

Owing to the current situation with the Coronavirus,

Belper Historical Society has made the decision to halt all member meetings

until further notice.

Virtual talks

From April 2021, the committee will endeavour to provide virtual talks for our members.

These will be delivered using Microsoft Teams – the link to the talk will be emailed out to our members by the secretary. More information is available on our Programme page.

Short films on You Tube

Although there are no talks currently planned by the society during the pandemic, a number of short films have been created, voiced by Vice Chairman 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

DISCOUNT AVAILABLE FOR SOCIETY MEMBERS when buying directly from the society.

Use our Contact form for details.

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

Also 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 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.