Derbyshire Geography



DBY Map Click on Map to open in a larger window "Derbyshire, an inland county, bounded on the east by the counties of Nottingham and Leicester, on the south by that of Leicester, on the west by the counties of Stafford and Chester, on the north by the county of York; it extends from 52° 38’ to 53° 27’ (N. Lat.), and from 1° 13’ to 2° 3’ 30” (W. Lon.)’ and contains one thousand and twenty –six quare miles, or six hundred and fifty-six thousand six hundred and forty statute acres."
Topographical Dictionary of England - Samuel Lewis 1831

"Derbyshire, a midland co. of England, bounded on the north by Yorkshire, on the west by Cheshire and Staffordshire, on the south by Leicestershire, and on the east by Nottinghamshire. Its greatest length is 35 miles, greatest breadth 34 miles, while its average breadth is about 20 miles. Its area is 658,874 ac, of which 16 percent is arable, 68 per cent pasture and meadow, 4 per cent timber, and 12 per cent moorland, roads etc. The southern part of the co. is very fertile, producing large cereal and root crops; but in the hilly northern part there are some extensive high-lying tracts of more or less sterile ground. Dairy Farmin recieves much attention, specially in the rich alluvial pastures of the Trent basin, and the production of cheese is large. The farms vary greatly in size, but are not, as a rule large. D. is as much a manufacturing and mining shire as an agricultural one. The northern half of the co. is occupied by elevated rugged ground, forming part of the Pennine chain. Here the high flat moors are bordered by bold continuous escarpments, and broken by deep narrow valleys of great beauty - features which have given the Peak District is high renown for picturesque scenery. Further south the surface falls, and the valleys expand into the low undulating country bordering on the Trent, which is the chief river of the co. The other important streams - the Dove (separating the co. from Stratfordshire) and the Derwent - are tributaries of the Trent. Canals are numerous, and connect the co. with the great waterways of the east and west of England: among others are the TRent and Mersey Canal, the Chesterfield, the Erewash, and the Peak Forrest. The co. is corssed with numerous railways, and Derby is the headquarters of the Midland Railway Company. Under the low ground in the south lie red sandstones, marls and pebblebeds of the Triassle age - these, with the exception of the superficial deposits, being the newest beds in the co. The sandstones are in places, extensively quarried, and they also form an excellent source of water-supply. Useful beds of gypsum occur in some parts of the series. In some places Magnesian Limestone is found, which as at Bolsover, yields a very superior building stone, in part used for the Houses of Parliament. The remainder of the co., including all the hilly ground, consists of Carboniferous rocks, of which the lowest member is massive aple-grey. Conroniferous limestone of very great thickness, well seen in the deep ravines - a rock entirely built up of marine organisms. This in places is extensively quarried and polished for ornimental purposes. Above the limestone lie some thousands of feet of sandstone, shale, and grit out of which fine moorland escarpments of the Peak District are formed. The strike of these rocks is usually about north and south, a gentle dip to the east bringing down beds so that they are covered by a strip of the overlying Coal Measures on the eastern side of the co., where a proliongation of the great Yorkshire coal-basin occupies an area of about 70 square miles. In the Middle and Upper divisions of these Coal Measures are numerous workable coal-seems from 1 to 8 ft. in thickness. Besides this great coal-field in the east, the Lancashier coal-field just crosses into the north-west corner of the co., and Coal Measures similarly enter frmo the Leicester basin on the south. The output of the collieries of the co. is estimated at about seven million tons per annum. Extensive beds of iron-ore (clay iron-stone) also occur, while in the Carboniferous Limestone are mineral lodes which have yielded large quantities of lead, along with zinc, barytes, fluor-spare, and some rarer minerals. There are several warm mineral springs in the co., of which those of Matlock, Buxton, and Bakewell have long been celebrated. Superficial Glacial deposits, consisting of boulder clays and gravels, overspread much of the lower ground in the south. In the Carboniferous Limestone are numerous caverns - the Peak Cavern near Castleton being one of the largets. From others of smaller size, as at Cresswell Crages ( in Magnesian Limestone), and again near Castleton, the bones of animals entirely or locally extinct - as the mammoth, bison, reindeer, cave-lion, cave-bear, fox, wolf, etc. - have been obtained, also flint impliments and other indications of the presence of man. Derby is the co. town; other important towns are Chesterfield, Glossop, Belper, Matlock, Stapleford, and Ilkeston. Besides agriculture and mining, its industries include various branches of spinning and weaving (especially silk, cotton, and lace), brewing, pottery (the famous Derby porcelain works having of late years re-started with new vigour), iron-founding, etc. "
Cassells Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1899

The Climate

Month Average Sunlight (hours) Temperature Relative Humidity Average Precipitation (mm) Wet Days (+0.25 mm)  
Average Record
Min Max Min Max am pm
Jan 1  2  5 -12 13 89 82 74 17
Feb 2  2  6  -9 16 89 76 54 15
March 3  3  9  -7 21 85 68 50 13
April 5  5 12  -2 24 75 58 53 13
May 5  7 16  -1 29 74 58 64 14
June 6 10 19   3 31 74 59 50 13
July 5 12 20   6 32 75 62 69 15
Aug 5 12 20   6 33 80 64 69 14
Sept 4 10 17   3 27 84 67 61 14
Oct 3  7 13  -2 25 88 73 69 15
Nov 2  5  9  -4 19 90 80 84 17
Dec 1  3  6  -6 14 90 84 67 18

The People

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