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Dronfield in Derbyshire

Dronfield is situated in the north-east of Derbyshire halfway between the city of Sheffield to the north and Chesterfield to the south. The name is thought to mean the open land where there are drones (male bees). It is bordered on the west by open countryside which adjoins the Peak District National Park - a mere three miles away. Dronfield has grown rapidly in the last 30 years, and is now a mixture of modern housing and fine old buildings and the largest township in North East Derbyshire.

Dronfield was nearly merged into Sheffield and hence South Yorkshire but thanks to concerted representation by the local community this proposal was turned down, and Dronfield and its traditions remain part ot Derbyshire. Today Dronfield comprises of three communities - Dronfield, Dronfield Woodhouse and Coal Aston which was on the original 1757 Turnpike route from Chesterfield to Sheffield.

Many of the old and listed buildings are in the High Street and Church Street area. One of the more unusual and interesting buildings, situated near the top of the High Street, is the Peel Monument. Built of gritstone in 1854, the Monument is a tribute to Sir Robert Peel, and celebrates the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846. It is probably one of the most photographed and sketched features of Dronfield. The market cross and stocks were pre- viously on this site. An attractive 18th-century manor house is now used as the town library. Town centre shopping is well served by car parking, the main shops, civic amenities and sports centre with swimming pool lying conveniently in the upper town around the Civic Centre.

In 1662 Dronfield was granted a market by Charles II, but in the 18th century, due to the nearness of Sheffield and Chesterfield, the market went into decline and ceased to exist. It was revived on a nearby site in 1980, and is thriving today, market day being held on Thurdays.

Close to the Monument on High Street, is a house known as 'The Cottage' dating from the 16th century. It is believed to have been owned by Lord Byron (1788 - 1824), though there is no proof that he ever lived in it.

Notable events are the annual Dronfield gala and the Dronfield Woodhouse and Coal Aston well dressings which are held in July.

See Dronfield for more information.

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