The village of Denby was recorded in the Domesday Book as Denebi, which means village of the Danes. Rykneld Street which is the old Roman road, runs through part of the village. The area was very rich in coal, however In 1806 during the construction of a turnpike, a bed of clay was uncovered in the village. This proved to be the finest stoneware clay in Europe, and in 1809 Denby Pottery began to produce its now world famous stoneware. The eminent mathematician and astronomer John Flamsteed was born here in 1646. He became the first Astronomer Royal and the observatory at Greenwich was built for him, where he died in 1719. Another famous son of the village was Benjamin Outram, the railway engineer. Tarmacadam was founded here by accident at the start of the 20th century and it revolutionized road building. The village also boasts its own micro brewery - Leadmill Brewery.