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Belper Derbyshire Family History Guide

Belper is an Ecclesiastical Parish and a market town in the county of Derbyshire, created in 1843 from chapelry in Duffield Ancient Parish. 

Alternative names: Belpher

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1783
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1783

Nonconformists include: Christians, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, General Baptist, Independent/Congregational, Methodist New Connexion, Primitive Methodist, Roman Catholic, Unitarian, Wesleyan Methodist, and Wesleyan Methodist Reform.

Adjacent Parishes

  • Alderwasley
  • Holbrook
  • Milford
  • Bridge Hill
  • Heage
  • Horsley
  • Denby
  • Duffield

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BELPER, a town, two chapelries, a subdistrict, and a district in Derbyshire. The town is in Duffield parish, and stands in a pleasant situation, on the river Derwent and on the Midland railway, 7¼. miles N of Derby. It was an inconsiderable village till 1777; but has risen to importance by means of manufactures; and was visited, in 1832, by Queen Victoria and the Duchess of Kent. It comprises several regular streets, and contains some interesting buildings. A handsome bridge of three arches spans the river. An old chapel, built by John of Gaunt, is used as a school-house. The head church, erected in 1824, at a cost of £12,603, is a fine edifice, in the decorated style, with a high tower, surmounted by pinnacles. Christ Church, in Bridge-street, was erected in 1854. A cemetery, with entrance offices and two chapels, in the late decorated style, was opened in 1859. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, Wesleyan Methodists, Primitive Methodists, Un. Free Methodists, and Unitarians. There are also alms-houses and a workhouse; the latter in the Tudor style, and erected at a cost of £7,580. The town has a head post office, a railway station with telegraph, a banking office, and four chief inns; and is a seat of petty sessions and a polling-place. A weekly market is held on Saturday; and fairs on 28 Jan., 12 May, and 31 Oct. Cotton works, belonging to the Messrs. Strutt, employ upwards of 2,000 persons. Hosiery work and nail-making also are carried on; and an extensive pottery and coal works are in the neighbourhood. Bridge-Hill-House, the residence of J. H. Strutt, Esq., and Green Hall are fine mansions. The town gives the title of Baron, created in 1856, to the elder branch of the family of Strutt. Acres, 3,078. Real property, £18,081. Pop., 9,509. Houses, 1,976.

The chapelries are Belper and Bridge-Hill; were constituted in 1846 and 1845; and jointly comprise most of the town. Pop., 6,106 and 2,839. Houses, 1,309 and 563. Both are vicarages in the diocese of Lichfield. Value of the former, £300; of the latter, £150. Patron of the former, the Vicar of Duffield; of the latter, alternately the Crown and the Bishop.-The subdistrict is conterminate with the town. The district comprehends also the subdistrict of Ripley. containing the parishes of Pentrich and South Wingfield, the chapelry of Heage, and part of the parish of Crich; the subdistrict of Alfreton, conterminate with the parish of Alfreton; the subdistrict of Wirksworth, containing parts of the parishes of Wirksworth, Duffield, Ashover, and KirkIreton; the subdistrict of Horsley, containing the parishes of Horsley, Morley, and Denby, the chapelry of Holbrook, and part of the parish of Kirk-Hallam; and the subdistrict of Duffield, containing the parishes of Mackworth, Allestree, Quarndon, Kedleston, and KirkLsngley, and parts of the parishes of Duffield and Mugginton. Acres, 66,590. Poor-rates in 1866, £15,542. Pop. in 1861, 51,711. Houses, 10,535. Marriages in 1866, 517; births, 1,959, of which 142 were illegitimate; deaths, 1,199, of which 507 were at ages under 5 years, and 20 at ages above 85 years. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 4,217; births, 17,197; deaths, 10,106. The places of worship in 1851 were 30 of the Church of England, with 12,745 sittings; 8 of Independents, with 2,445 s.; 12 of Baptists, with 2,931 s.; 2 of Unitarians, with 776 s.; 39 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 9,086 s.; 1 of the Methodist New Connection, with 100 s.; 8 of Primitive Methodists, with 3,072 s.; 13 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 2,290 s.; 1 undefined, with 150 s.; and 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 46 attendants. The schools were 51 public day schools, with 4,515 scholars; 72 private day schools, with 1,556 s.; 93 Sunday schools, with 10,405 s.; and 5 evening schools for adults, with 171 s.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Parish Records

England, Derbyshire, Church of England Parish Registers, 1537-1918


County: Derbyshire
Civil Registration District: Belper
Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Lichfield (Episcopal Consistory)
Diocese: Lichfield
Rural Deanery: Duffield
Poor Law Union: Belper
Hundred: Appletree
Province: Canterbury