AboutIt is said, that there may have been a settlement here in Duffield, situated close to the junction of the rivers Derwent and Ecclesbourne since Roman times. Certainly, Roman pottery was produced at nearby Hazlewood and the river crossing at Muleford, now Milford, was also used in those times.
In Norman times its importance had grown, with its location being the main approach to Duffield Frith, a Royal Forest approx. 30 miles in circumference, which was well stocked with deer.
The Earl built a large castle on the mound, now known as Castle Hill.
It is believed that from this fortress, reputed to be only second in size to the Tower of London, from which a large army of Derbyshire men went forth to fight the Scots at Northallerton in 1138.
The 13th century saw the end of the castle, after Robert de Ferrers, who with along Simon de Montfort of Leicester rebelled against Henry III of England, was badly defeated.
Duffield was one of the Royal Manors sold by Charles I. Part of the manor came into the possession of Thomas Newton, who is believed to have built the present hall in the 1620's.
Over the years the hall was much altered in style but when Roland Smith acquire it in 1860, he determined to restore its Jacobean character. Smiths improvements were completed in 1871 and his family continued to live in the hall until after the First World War.
The building was then occupied for over 40 years by a private girls school " St. Ronans".
The Derbyshire Building Society acquired Duffield hall in 1973 and after major renovation and the building of a new office block,the hall was officially opened in 1978 as its headquarters which now currently stands empty.
The village itself contains all the modern amenities you would expect in village of the new millenium.
Map & Directions
On A6 Derby to Matlock Road.
Accessible by Public Transport: Duffield station is 0 miles away.