Heath village is situated 5 miles SE of Chesterfield off the A617 road, and close to Junction 29 on the M1 motorway. At the time of the Domesday survey of 1086 there were two settlements
here, the two Lunts, which is a Danish word for a clearing in the
woodland. The major settlement was in the valley below the old church,
which was built in 1162. In 1088 Robert de Ferrers had given the manor
to the monastery of Geronden, which was to hold it for more than 400
years. The Cistercian monks were famous for their farming skills, particularly in the management of sheep, whose wool was later to become the
main source of the country's wealth. Over this period the name of the
village was to change from Lunt to Lund, to Lound alias Heth, and
finally to Heath.
After the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII, the Savages of
Stainsby became lords of the manor. Their manor house was near the site
of the old Stainsby school. The fish ponds are still marked; a dead yew
tree on the corner of Hawking Lane shows where the chapel was; the
water mill is still there and field names indicate the park. Heath has the
site of the gibbet on the common.
At the end of the 1500s the Savages sold their manor of Heath to Bess
of Hardwick and the Cavendish connection began which was to last to
the present day. For the next 300 and more years the village was to
slumber on. 'Dozey Heath' was an appropriate name for it. A church
school was built in 1687; open fields and common were enclosed; three
pubs — the Elm Tree, the George and Dragon and the Horns flourished;
vicars came and went and a new church, dedicated to All Saints, was built in 1852. The school is now closed and only the Elm Tree pub remains.
During the 20th century, the mining village of Holmewood was built on the
western boundary, to house the workers of Hardwick colliery, sunk 20
or so years before. The parish population increased from 756 in 1901 to
2,132 in 1911. The opencast mining in the 1960s destroyed the old field
patterns, mature trees, hedges and ponds. The construction later of the
Ml motorway and junction denuded the village of several hundred acres
of good farmland.
There many places of interest close to Heath, including, the ruins of Sutton Scarsdale Hall built in 1724 for the 4th Earl of Scarsdale, to the designs of Francis Smith. The National Trust owned Stainsby Mill is also a short distance away as is Hardwick Hall.