DERBYSHIRE is in the North Midlands, and lies north of the Trent, having Yorkshire to the north-east, Nottinghamshire to the east; Leicestershire to the south-east, Staffordshire to the west, and Cheshire to the north-west; the Staffordshire border is the longest. The county is broad towards the north and tapering towards the south. On the west and south-west the Dove, the Trent and the Tame are the bounds; on the north-west the Etherow, on the north the Sheaf, on the east the Erewash; its' length is 56 miles from north to south, and its' breadth from east to west 54 miles.

Derbyshire seems to have been first held by the Iberians, who gave names to the rivers and hills, and have left many remains of circles, cairns and barrows, or lows, in the upland. The Welsh or British tribes, whom the Romans put down, were the Coritani and Cornuvii, and the county was made part of the province of Flavia Caesarrensis. At Arbelews, or Arberlow, near Winster, is a stone circle. There are many barrows - some called "barrews", some "buries", but mostly "lows". 

The Romans had a great road, known as Rykneld Street, which crossed the land from Monksbridge, on the Dove, north-east into Yorkshire by  Dervantio (Little Chester and Derby) and Lutdurum (Chesterfield). At Brough, in Hope Dale, Buxton, Rocester and Melandra Castle in Glossop, were other Roman stations and roads: at Brough, three sides of the station are perfect; atMelandra Castle part of the ramparts and ditch remain.

The Romans worked the lead mines. The land was afterwards taken by the middle English and shared the lot of the great kingdom of Mercia. Most of the local names are English and there are a few topographical names referring to the religion of Woden. In the time of Ethelred I, the Northmen overran the shire and took Derby, which they long held. It was part of the great federation of the Five Burghs, but there are not so many traces of the Northmen as elsewhere north of the Trent.

Derbyshire took part in the Parliamenary War. In 1745 the Young Pretender marched as far south as Derby, but retreated from there. There are no great establishments of learning or remarkable works of antiquity in derbyshire, but Derby is a great seat of trade, and the baths at Buxton and Matlock, and the dales of the Dove, the Derwent and the Wye, are great places of resort. There are reamins of castles of the barons, as the Peak Castle, Codnor and Duffield.  The mansions of the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth, and Haddon Hall, the ancient seat of the Dukes of Rutland, are much visited.

Transcribed from kellys Directory 1899