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Derbyshire heritage - charting the cultural heritage of Derbyshire

Did you know that some of the most well respected and well known musicians, actors, writers and other artists hail from (or have drawn inspiration from) Derbyshire? Our rich cultural heritage is part of the reason for the thriving arts and cultural scenes in Derby and Derbyshire today. The following series of articles traces the cultural legacy of the City and County of Derbyshire.

Derbyshire montageMusic and musicians

In the first in the Derbyshire Heritage series we profile musicians through the ages with Derbyshire and Derby City associations. Derbyshire is a vibrant county and is home to many fantastic contemporary musicians, so it will perhaps be no surprise to read that some of the greatest (and some of the most ridiculously famous!) musicians have composed, taken inspiration from, or heralded from the County.  

Film, TV and actors

Derbyshire’s natural beauty makes it a popular location for shooting films and TV shows. The County has featured in several major films and mainstream TV series. Derbyshire is also the birthplace of many reknowned actors, and some of the screens biggest stars have chosen to live within the County. In addition to describing Derbyshire on film and TV, this article also introduces you to artsderbyshire filmmakers, scriptwriters, actors and related organisations currently working in the county.


This third article explores the Dance heritage of the County and introduces you to artsderbyshire dancers, dance practitioners, groups and other dance organisations.

Places — cultural tourism

If your idea of a perfect day trip or holiday is visiting as many grand houses, halls, mansions, museums and castles as possible, our fourth article is for you. We take you on a whistlestop tour of some of the best stops in the County, including their opening dates and times.


Our fifth article, about writers who've hailed from the County or taken inspiration from it, covers the well known names associated with Derbyshire, such as George Eliot and D H Lawrence, but also more surprising folks like Dr Samuel Johnson.

Well dressings

Our sixth article discusses the Derbyshire ritual of creating well dressings. Well dressings involve the creation of artworks, often Christian in theme, by pressing petals and other living plants into clay. This article gives a brief history of well dressings, some beautiful photographs of Derbyshire well dressings, and dates of upcoming well dressings.

Blue Plaques scheme

Derbyshire County Council have launched a Blue Plaque scheme to honour people and places of note. The Council invited the people of Derbyshire to vote for who they think most worthy of such an award. Check out the Blue Plaques article to uncover more fascinating lives and to cast your vote. 

Get involved!

If you have information that we haven’t included, then let us know! Similarly, if you consider yourself the expert on a particular subject, or you simply fancy writing up and getting published some information for this series, then let us know. Email us at:

About the authors

The Derbyshire Heritage range of articles has been written by Essential New Media's Deborah Porter and Sharon Stevens-Cash. Essential New Media was appointed by the Arts Derbyshire to produce an editorial and marketing strategy for the website of which this range of articles is a part. 
Based in North Derbyshire, Deborah is an online specialist providing marketing, editorial and creative leadership.  She has enjoyed a long association in developing the artsderbyshire website and has also worked with a number of arts organisations in the region including City Arts, Nottingham, EMARAN and Smith of Derby.

Located in South Derbyshire, Sharon specialises in offline marketing and works with a range of companies in the region including Marketing Derby, Blueprint and Derby Cityscape.  She has recently worked on marketing the launch of the newly opened digital arts centre Phoenix Square in Leicester.


Many thanks to Deborah Porter, Picture the Past, Sharon Stevens-Cash, Carole Crompton, Peak and Fell Walking, The Derby Local Studies Library and Robert Steadman for picture contributions to this series. 

Featured artists

Angela Thompson

Angela Thompson

Paula Sharples

Paula Sharples

Richard Bett

Richard Bett


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