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Derby History, United Kingdom

Derby, UK-History:  Founded By The Romans In AD80

 Derby is a city situated in East Midlands of England and is considered to be the 18th largest settlement in England. It was the Romans who first settled in this city and they built a fort overlooking the Derwent River around the Belper road to protect their newly conquered province. 

The Romans moved across the River Derwent in AD80 after realizing the importance of the area. A new fort called the Derventio was built on the east side around which a civil settlement grew up. An industrial suburb of Deventino around the Derby Race course was discovered in 1970 which consist of a 25ft road, 2 pottery kilns, timber buildings and cemetery.

In an attempt of saving Rome from the Barbarians, the Romans stayed in Derby for nearly three centuries. Later, the Saxons invaded the area and colonized the island a hundred years later. They built a village named Northworthy around a mile to the south of Derby and renamed the Roman fort as Little Chester.

Slowly, a town was formed by the Saxons and many of the suburbs still carry their old names till date. In AD868, the Danes captured Nottingham ending the 300 years of rule of the Saxons in the region. In AD874, Northworthy was renamed as Derby and it marked the expansion of the town having an initial population of 1200.

The Anglo Saxons under the leadership of King Alfred’s daughter won back Derby. The town had its own agricultural community, livestock and fishing. The first cathedral, All Saints was built which became the Derby Cathedral in 1927.

A market place having a busy commercial centre was built in the 13th century and the name of the first street namely Newland Street was given in 1190. Names of other streets including Walkers Lane (1263), Sadler Gate (1250), St. Mary Street (1265) and Full Street (1280) followed.

In 1554, the Derby School was founded in St. Peter’s Churchyard by Queen Mary Tudor. The Dolphin pub whose license dates from the year 1580 was built in 16th century. In 1660, the county hall at St. Mary’s gate was built which became the Derby Assizes.

Charles Edward Stuart came to Derby in 1745 during his march to London. William Duesbury set up a porcelain factory in 1750 in Nottingham Road. The population of Derby reached 11000 in 1801.

Derby changed into a county market town in the 19th century. The population of the town trebled to 37000 in 1840. The Derby Railway Station was also opened in the same year.

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