Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Derbyshire Places (1) : Duffield

Duffield is a village in South Derbyshire in the Amber Valley. People have lived in the area since at least 400BCE. The Romans also had a settlement in the area dating from the first century CE. A Saxon settlement is listed in the Domesday Book as Duvelle.

In Norman times the area held the hunting grounds of Duffield Frith owned by one of William the Conqueror's knights Henry de Ferrers. He built Duffield Castle to protect the Northern outpost of his lands. Not a huge deal of the castle survives apart from the foundations and outlines of some of the buildings.

The parish church of Duffield is St Alkmund's. It is located to the South of the village and may have been on the route of travellers between Nottingham and Ashbourne where they needed to cross the river.

The major industry of Duffield for most of it's existence was agriculture though there were some ironstone mines too. The railway reached Duffield in 1840 and Duffield became a junction of, what became, the Midland Main Line and the line to Wirksworth. The latter was closed in 1981 but was re-opened as the Ecclesbourne Valley heritage railway in 2002. Duffield railway station serves both mainline and EVR.