Could Derbyshire survive on its own?

Since at least the beginning of this century there has been a mood abroad – cultural as well as political – to trash the place that contributes most to British culture and the British economy. Without London and its population, we in the rest of the United Kingdom would be unable to continue living in the manner to which we have become accustomed and which we seem to consider our birthright. But suggest as much in the English provinces, the West Country, East Anglia, the Home Counties, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, and people look at you as though you were mad – or, worse, secretly in the pay of

Why house-hunters are heading to Derbyshire

You don’t get much further from the seaside than Derbyshire, a county landlocked at the heart of England. During lockdowns house-hunters simply couldn’t get enough of coastal property, and prices in Wales and the West Country boomed. But three years after the start of the pandemic, a new property powerhouse is emerging.  According to the latest UK House Price Index, prices in North East Derbyshire are up by almost 20 per cent year on year, to £259,000. Across the way, prices in the Derbyshire Dales are up 18 per cent year on year, to an average of £362,000. This performance would be impressive in a strong economy, never mind against the backdrop of rising interest rates and

Lessons from the plague village that isolated from the world

Locked contentedly into the rhythms of farming life and digging for lead on its Derbyshire Peak District slopes, the village of Eyam lay blissfully unaware of what was about to hit it, and propel it into the history books for ever. The Viccars family, the Reverend William Mompesson and his family, Elizabeth Hancock and her six children, 350 villagers at least… none had any inkling. London existed in most minds only through talk in the public house, stories from travelling merchants and perhaps the first periodicals beginning to circulate in England. The metropolis was half a world away, a foreign place, a foreign culture. News of the plague we now