© Copyright Friends of Belper Parks, St Johns Chapel, The Butts, Belper, DE56 1HX, U.K. Site update 1st September 2008
Background aerial photograph courtesy of Amber Valley Borough Council
There may have been settlement in the area of the Park during this period. A hamlet was established nearby known as Bradley
The Ferrers family controlled the area from a massive Norman castle at Duffield
Belper ("Beaurepaire" which in Norman French meant "Beautiful Retreat") is a seat of the Ferrers family, and an administration centre. The Manor House and Chapel are built.
Belper Park is established as a deer park within Duffield Frith with a hunting lodge and chapel.
The Manor House is extensively rebuilt as a timber structure on the old stone base.
Duffield Frith becomes a royal forest.
The park is in decline, the deer have gone.
Belper Park is sold and divided up into fields.
Belper begins to grow as an industrial town with the establishment of Jedidiah Strutt's Cotton Mills.
Belper continues to grow, the Parks become a popular leisure area, fairs and other events are held there
Part of the old Parks is built on to create the Parks Estate and other small building developments follow, the Manor Farm is closed and the remaining open land reverts to nature.
The historic features of the Park are "rediscovered" and the open land becomes a Local Nature Reserve.
Belper Parks is extremely interesting from a historic perspective because of its changing uses over a long period, its role as one of the main centres of the Royal Forest of Duffield Frith and for the survival of its character and historic features despite the growth of a large industrial town around it.