Advent Calendar – Day 15

Have you been up early this morning waiting to find out what is behind today’s door? (only joking)

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Copy. Map of Belper and Heage by John Hatton, 1698 (Ref: D369/G/Maps/15). This item is part of the series of maps collected and deposited by the Derbyshire Archaeological Society (ref: D369).

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To the modern eye, this item may look quite unfamiliar as a map, however it is quite typical for the 17th century, when cartography and map making was an expensive business. Maps were generally produced for a very specific purpose and would therefore only include information relevant to that purpose rather than as an accurate geographic or geological representation of an area. Nevertheless this is a particularly useful map as it does include a scale in the top right corner, and many of the buildings (the sketches of which are likely to have some, though not complete, reliability with regards to the actual buildings) are accompanied by a name. I’m afraid I have not had time to look at this item, and any related records in enough detail to determine whether these names belong to the owner or occupier of each building.

For a list of more early maps of Derbyshire, including items held in other archives, please see Derbyshire Record Society’s 2012 edition of A Catalogue of Local Maps of Derbyshire c1528-1800, available in our Local Studies collection, and other libraries across the county (see the Library Catalogue for more information).

Of course you can also search the online archives catalogue for these and other maps and plans held in our archives collection. In particular, there are quite a good number of different maps for Belper, especially amongst the Strutt estate collections (ref: D1564, D3772).

If you are interested in old maps generally, there is a beautiful example amongst our 50 Treasures – Treasure 8: the Gresley processional map And don’t forget, you can nominate an item from our archives and local studies collection (or even a series or collection of items) for the 50 Treasures.

Authors coming to Matlock to launch new books on Hardwick Hall and 16th-17th century Derby – and how you can get involved

The Derbyshire Record Society and the Derbyshire Victoria County History Trust are holding their Annual General Meetings at the Imperial Rooms in Matlock on Saturday 11 July. The Record Society’s AGM will be at 10.30am (tea and coffee available from 9.30) and the VCH Trust’s AGM will be in the afternoon. In between the two, there will be a buffet lunch.

Immediately after the first meeting there will be a talk by the historian Richard Clark, to accompany the launch of his new monograph on the government of Derby in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. And straight after the second meeting, two senior curatorial staff from the National Trust will be talking about their new book on Hardwick Hall.

What’s great about this year’s event is that it is open to all-comers, whether or not you are a member of the Derbyshire Record Society or the VCH Trust. What’s more, local historians/societies are being invited to bring along material to display and publications to sell, which should turn the event into something of a small-scale local history fair. DRS Secretary and General Editor Philip Riden describes it as “a welcome opportunity for the local history community in Derbyshire to come together, listen to good visiting speakers, and find out what other individuals and groups are doing”.

If you have any questions about the event or would like to come along, please email the Record Society’s treasurer, Mary Wiltshire, at treasurer@derbyshirerecordsociety.org. This will help the Society to organise the catering effectively, and to make sure there is enough space to accommodate any displays.

If you are not a member of the DRS or VCH Trust, you are asked to bring £5 as a contribution towards the lunch. Or you could just as easily part with that same £5 to join the Record Society for a whole year! This seems excellent value, especially as membership entitles you to a substantial discount on Derbyshire Record Society’s publications. The Society has been going since 1977 and has an extraordinary track record of producing books that researchers find very, very useful.
The Imperial Rooms are on Imperial Road, Matlock DE4 3NL. It’s just off Bank Road at the foot of the hill, near Wilkinson’s. There is parking nearby and it’s a short walk from the railway and bus stations.