Owing to the current situation with the Coronavirus, Belper Historical Society has made the decision to halt all meetings until 2021.

Our monthly meeting talks for 2020 are listed below.

Wednesday 8th January 2020

Derbyshire’s Connections with the Sea

Liz Keeley

Derbyshire is about as far away from the sea as anywhere in the UK, but Liz Keeley will reveal a surprising number of local maritime connections.

Boatmaster with boats at Belper River Gardens with the West Mill in the background.

Wednesday 5th February

Belper’s Musical Links – The Rev Thomas Mawkes and Sigismund von Neukomm

Jonathan Dwerryhouse

A musical prodigy from Belper – a story with global connections and artistic intrigue – and an Austrian composer with connections to Belper’s Strutt family.


Portrait of John and Elizabeth Strutt in their Music Room at Bridge Hill House, Belper

Wednesday 4th March

Looking for Frances Arkwright

Rosemary Annable

Better than a period drama! Rosemary explains the research undertaken to discover the talented life of Frances Arkwright.

Painting of angelic lady at keyboard

Wednesday 1st April


Derbyshire to the Pyramids: World Heritage in action

Rod Pearson

Reviewing the origins and development of UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

The Belper Mill complex in colour.

Wednesday 6th May


The Strutt Farms

Alex Gilbert

Research into the Strutt Farms, their innovative design and construction and what they provided.

Wedding party outside Crossroads Farm, Belper

Wednesday 3rd June


Florence Nightingale – the Lady with the Lamp

Danny Wells

To mark 200 years since her birth in Florence, Italy we follow the story of Florence Nightingale, from her early life
in Holloway to being known as the founder of modern nursing, a profoundly talented statistician and advocate of social reform.

Cromford Canal bridge with photographer and Florence Nightingale in horse drawn carriage.

Wednesday 1st July


Images of Old Belper – Open discussion

View images of old Belper, challenge your knowledge and share recollections.

Colour photgraph of old shops on Belper King Street

Wednesday 2nd September



David Wood

Discover the ancient art of thatching – still very much alive today through the skill of modern master thatcher David Wood.

Jabez Milward's Angel Inn on Market Place Belper with thatched roof

Wednesday 7th October


The Watercourses and Culverts of
Cromford Mills

John Higton

Discover more about the water system of Cromford Mill, John’s digital mapping of the Cromford Mills site and his research on the
underground culverts.

With photos, film footage and 3D computer modelling, this is a remarkable insight into the Cromford Mills site.

Cromford Mill building 17 before renovation

Wednesday 4th November


Morley Park

Ian Coker

Close to Belper, Morley Park has a rich history – it once provided fine iron for the Belper nailers.

Includes the Annual General Meeting.

Morley Park excavations

Wednesday 4th December


The Douglases of Ashbourne, Jedediah
Strutt and the Slave Trade

Frances Wilkins

The Douglases were involved in the slave trade before moving to Ashbourne. Isabella married Joseph Strutt, son of Jedediah. Learn their stories.

Portrait of Joseph Strutt, Belper