AboutWhitwell sits close to the Derbyshire border with both Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. Not far from the village, on the edge of Whitwell Wood, a tree called the Shire Oak stood. It was said to have had a canopy so wide that it could shade 235 horses! This tree marked the point where the three shires of Derby, Nottingham and York merged.
The village celebrated its 1,000th anniversary in 1989 but is in fact, much older than that. Iron Age dwellings and Stone Age tools have been found nearby but the first written record is in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 942 AD. The village was called Hwitewylle which means 'clear spring or stream'. At the time of the Domesday Survey of 1085/6, the village was held by Ralph Fitzhubert, who owned other manors in Derbyshire at the time.
Whitwell Wood's 420 acres is crisscrossed by a network of footpaths and is managed by the Forestry Commission.
Two of the village's churches are worth a special mention. St Lawrence Church dates from 1200 and, after Melbourne Church, has the most impressive Norman nave in Derbyshire. A church of even more importance historically is in the nearby hamlet of Steetley. Steetley Chapel is a tiny masterpiece of Norman architecture dating from 1120. It even pre-dates Welbeck Abbey! After spending time as a cowshed, by 1870 it was roofless and overgrown but was carefully restored by the Victorian architect P C Pearson.
Today, Whitwell, though small, is a vibrant village with a strong sense of community and has, in the past, been the winner of the 'Best Kept Village in Derbyshire' award.
Some facilities accessed at the community centre, subject to opening hours.
Booking & Payment Details
- Cash Point
- Dogs accepted
- Public toilets
- Telephone (public)
- Baby changing facilities
- Children welcome
- Free Parking
- Disabled access
- Disabled toilets
Map & Directions
Leave M1 motorway at junction 30 and take A616. At roundabout take 1st exit onto A619. Follow road and pass Van Dyk Hotel on right. Continue on A619 for approx 1½ miles then turn right onto B6043 and follow road into Whitwell.
Follow A619 from Worksop (towards Chesterfield). Pass Half Moon Inn on right. Continue on A619 for approx ¼ mile and turn left onto B6043. Follow road into Whitwell.
Take A619 from Chesterfield (towards Worksop). Pass through Brimington, Staveley and Barlborough. Continue on A619 and pass Van Dyk Hotel on right. Follow road for approx 1½ miles then turn right onto B6043 and follow road into Whitwell.
Accessible by Public Transport: Whitwell station is 0 miles away.