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Building record MDR11365 - Former Grammar School, Chapel Street, Belper

Type and Period (1)

  • (Georgian to Early 20th Century - 1829 AD to 1913 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • World Heritage Site

Full Description

Belper Grammar School on Chapel Street is believed to have operated from about 1846 to 1913, probably closing as a direct result of Herbert Strutt opening his grammar school further down the road. In the early 1840s the plot was owned by William Walker, who had a house and garden there. In 1846/7 Robert Appelbee opened his school on the site, putting an advertisement in the Derby & Chesterfield Recorder on December 18 1846. In the 1851 census, the school is described as a 'boarding academy', with 22 boys at the school, aged 8 to 16, coming from as far afield as London, Leicester, Sheffield and Nottingham. By 1871 the school was being run by William Anthony, who remained there for at least the next 20 years, as he is recorded as headmaster of what was by then called the Collegiate School, with 21 boarders. The 1901 census is the first to describe the building as a 'grammar school' run by Sefton H N Brooke. There were only six boarders, but the same number of teachers as previously, suggesting that local pupils were no longer boarding. (1) The L-shaped footprint of the building has remained essentially unchanged since 1844. The most noticeable alteration is the vehicular arched opening through the frontage building, with first floor accommodation over, presumably the result of an extension southwards, as early maps do not show the building extending to the plot boundary. This building may have been re-faced at the same time in a simple yet distinctive classical style. The rear range is of a more domestic scale and is a reflection of the previous school use rather than the more recent commercial use. (2) Although initial research suggested the school was set up in the 1840s, it can now be shown to have earlier origins. The Belper Boarding Academy, which became Belper Grammar School, was operated by Henry Perkin in 1825 at premises that have not been identified. In 1829 Perkin bought some land on Chapel Street (then known as Gratian's Lane) and created an impressive, purpose-built house and school in Regency style that could be seen by all users of the turnpike road as they passed through the town. (3)

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Farmer, A & Eaton, H. 2007. Belper Grammar School. Notes on unpublished research..
  • <2> Unpublished document: Warren, P. Letter to Amber Valley Borough Council from DCC, October 2007.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Farmer, A & Eaton, H. 2008. Belper Boarding Academy (later Grammar School).



Grid reference Centred SK 3470 4729 (35m by 21m)
World Heritage Site Derwent Valley Mills

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Record last edited

Dec 21 2018 9:27AM

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