Chesterfield Travel GuideBrowse 2 travel reviews, 12 travel blogs and 786 travel photos from real travelers to Chesterfield.
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While the term “market town” might not hold any significance to most Americans, to Europeans and especially residents of the UK it still holds a special place in their hearts. Market towns were the center of nearly everything prior to the Industrial Revolution, and any town that can legally call itself a market town is sure to have some history behind it. Chesterfield is no exception. Located just north of the city of Derby, Chesterfield sits upon the confluence of two rivers: The Rother and the Hipper. While these days it is more of a functioning city than a market town, it can trace its roots back to 1204 when it was awarded its market charter from King John, and the town center still hosts a market every Monday, Friday, and Saturday. This is the English countryside at its finest moment, with the town center in particular retaining much of the historic character that has made the town what it is today.
With over 800 years of history behind it, Chesterfield has a lot to offer the wayward traveler who is looking for a place to kick their feet up in a cozy little pub and just relax. There is also plenty of half-timbered Tudor-style housing to explore, several old churches, and most importantly, the Chesterfield Market, which has been running since it was first awarded its charter. In fact, the original wording states that the market can never close unless people stop bringing things to sell. This is a great place to get fresh produce and otherwise. If you’ve ever been to a Farmer’s Market, this is where they originated.
Chesterfield is perhaps best known for the "Crooked Spire" of its Church of Saint Mary and All Saints and is why the local football team is known as The Spireites.
The spire is both twisted and leaning, twisting 45 degrees and leaning 9 feet 6 inches from its true centre. The leaning characteristic is believed to be the result of the absence of skilled craftsmen (the Black Death had been gone only twelve years prior to the spire's completion), insufficient cross-bracing, and the use of unseasoned timber.
Beyond the town itself, Chesterfield is located within Derbyshire, which is one of the more beautiful sections of England, complete with rolling hills lined with centuries-old stone fences, wild moors, and dense forests. Visitors can also explore the Peak District National Park, or simply kick back in one of the local pubs. Either way, it’s the perfect English getaway.