Melbourne, Derbyshire

Melbourne, Derbyshire

Coordinates: 52°49′23″N 1°25′44″W / 52.823°N 1.429°W / 52.823; -1.429

Melbourne Market place.jpg
The Market Place
Melbourne is located in Derbyshire

 Melbourne shown within Derbyshire
Population 5,000 +
OS grid reference SK385255
District South Derbyshire
Shire county Derbyshire
Region East Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town DERBY
Postcode district DE73
Dialling code 01332
Police Derbyshire
Fire Derbyshire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament South Derbyshire
List of places: UK • England • Derbyshire

Melbourne is a Georgian market town in South Derbyshire, England. It is about 8 miles south of Derby and 2 miles from the River Trent.[1] In 1837 a then tiny settlement in Australia was named after William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, Queen Victoria's first Prime Minister, and thus indirectly takes its name from Melbourne Hall, seat of the Lamb family, and the village.



The name Melbourne means "mill stream" (or "mill spring"). It was first recorded in Domesday Book (DB 1086 Mileburne = mill stream) as a royal manor.

A parish church was built around 1120.

In 1311 Robert de Holand fortified the existing royal manor house to create Melbourne Castle, though the fortification was never completed. Jean, duc de Bourbon, the most important French prisoner taken at the Battle of Agincourt (1416), was detained at the castle for 19 years.

Mary, Queen of Scots was to be imprisoned at Melbourne Castle, but it had deteriorated into a poor state of repair. By the early 17th century it had fallen into decay and was demolished, although some remains can still be seen.[2]

Melbourne Hall was originally owned by the church; it was constructed in stages, mainly in the 17th and 18th centuries.

During the Second World War a military training railway was operated to the north of the now defunct Melbourne railway station.

Since 2005 Melbourne has run an arts festival every September.[3]

Notable residents

Places of interest

Melbourne Church

Melbourne parish church has been described as a "cathedral in miniature" and is one of five churches in Melbourne. The Domesday Book records a church and priest here in 1086. The present church was built about 1120, and most of the original masonry is intact, except for the eastern end which has been refurbished. The roofs, naves, aisles and the aisle windows date from the restoration of the 1630s. There was also a restoration done by Gilbert Scott in 1859-62.[7]

Melbourne Hall was originally the rectory house for the Bishop of Carlisle, but was substantially rebuilt by Thomas and George Coke in the early 18th century. The hall's gardens were laid out with the assistance of royal gardeners in 1704. They contain examples of the work of Derby ironsmith, Robert Bakewell. Melbourne Pool was originally used by the nearby mill. The hall is open to the public in August.

The Thomas Cook Memorial Cottages in High Street were built by Thomas Cook who started popular travel in England. Cook was born in Melbourne in 1808 though his birthplace was demolished in 1968. The buildings built in 1890-91 include fourteen cottages, a bakehouse, a laundry and mission hall. They still provide accommodation for some of Melbourne's senior citizens.

Melbourne Market Place is the location of Melbourne's main shops, including the Co-op building and monument which was refurbished in 1998.


Melbourne has two schools: an infant school and a junior school,[8] sharing a site which also contains a youth centre.


The town plays host to Melbourne Rugby Football Club,[9] Melbourne United Football Club,[10] Melbourne Town Cricket Club.[11] and Melbourne Royal British Legion Tug of War Club, Melbourne Bowls Club.

Culture, industry and transport

The town contains many Georgian buildings and in the 19th century was a centre for framework knitting and footwear manufacture, e.g. Fairystep Shoes. Market gardens have always been a major part of the economy, though now only a handful remain. East Midlands Airport, 5 miles to the east of the town, was opened in the 1960s and has now become a significant regional transport hub. The town's bus service is run by Arriva Midlands. Previously, Trent Barton maintained a small garage in Melbourne, the site going on to become a supermarket. It maintained routes to Swadlincote, Derby, Aston-on-Trent and Weston-on-Trent. Bus services for pupils run to Chellaston School every morning and afternoon. There have been links to East Midlands Airport which were recently axed.[citation needed]

Shops in Melbourne include: Spar, Budgens, Melbourne News, fish and chips, Bird's (bakery), Elle of Melbourne (clothing), Blatch's (electricals), Co-op Travel and Cream Interior Design.

Services in Melbourne include: Natwest, post office, Co-op Pharmacy, Fair Trade, the Athenaeum (an internet cafe),[12] a library, leisure centre and a youth club. There are also several pubs.

In the past Melbourne has had three brass bands which have disappeared over the years. In 1992 a new group formed, and became the Melbourne Town Band.[13] The Town Band continues to play at Melbourne's events today. These include the carnival, held every summer, and the carols in the Market Place.


External links

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