It is thought that the town name of Derby came originally from Derventio, the name of the Roman Settlement and fort at Little Chester. Later it was part of the fortified towns of Danelaw known as the Five Boroughs, until Lady Aethelflaed of Mercia captured it in 917 ad, when it then became part of the Kingdom of Mercia.

Later it was called by the Anglo-Saxons as the deer settlement, or village of deer, or Djúra-bý.
It is also thought that the name could be a shortened version of Derwent, which meant the Derwent settlement, but it could also be derived from the Roman town name Derventio.

Derwent is a word known in Gaelic, which means a valley that is thick with oak trees.Derby city centre for derby stairlifts

The town is seen on maps as early as 1610, where it is spelled as both Darby and Darbye.

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle states around the year 900 that Derby is a town divided by water, and they lived there at the same time as the Vikings.

Bonnie Prince Charlie was known to have visited the town in December 1745 on his quest to seize the British Crown. He demanded billets for his 9.000 troops at the George Inn, Irongate in Derby.

Derby became the focus of the Industrial Revolution in 1717, when building began on the first water powered silk mill.

Later in 1759, the Derby Rib Attachment machine was built by J Strutt. It was attached to a knitting machine to quickly produce stockings, or ribbed hose, revolutionising home manufacture.

Later he and Richard Arkwright build the first water powered cotton spinning mill in the world at Cromford, giving the industrial revolution the power it needed for mass production.

The Midland Railway formed with its headqarters in Derby in 1840, following a merger of the Midland Counties Railway and the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway.

The Derby population continued to rise during this time, according to Census, the population was just over 14,000 in 1801, reaching over 248,000 in 2011.

Another industrial boom was starting in Derby when the Rolls-Royce company opened a car and aircraft factory in 1907, and at the same time rail manufacturing in Derby was on the rise.

5 people were killed in Derby in 1916 during a German Zeppelin bombing raid.

All Saints Church was designated as a Cathedral in 1927, but it wasn’t until the 25th Anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1977 that Derby was awarded city status.

Derby was in the spotlight for world Sport in 1969, when manager Brian Clough guided Derby County to the League Championship and the First Division.

Check out our list of the 10 best places to visit in the Derby area by clicking here.


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