Archaeological examination of the town has traced its beginnings to the 1st century AD and the construction of a Roman fort, which became redundant and was abandoned once peace was achieved. Later an Anglo-Saxon village grew up on the site. The name Chesterfield derives from the Anglo-Saxon words caester (a Roman fort) and feld (grazing land).
Chesterfield received its market charter in 1204. It still has a moderately sized market of about 250 stalls held three days a week. The town sits on a large coalfield, which formed a major part of the area's economy until the 1980s. Little visual evidence of the mining remains today.
The town's best known landmark is the Church of St Mary and All Saints, popularly known for its "crooked spire", which was originally constructed in the 14th century.
Chesterfield was in the Hundred of Scarsdale. The town received its market charter in 1204 from King John. The charter constituted the town as a free borough, granting the burgesses of Chesterfield the same privileges as those of Nottingham and Derby. In 1266, it was the site of the Battle of Chesterfield, in which a band of rebel barons were defeated by a royalist army.
Elizabeth I granted a charter of incorporation in 1594 (or 1598), creating a corporation consisting of a mayor, six aldermen, six brethren, and twelve capital burgesses. This remained the governing charter until the borough was reformed under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. The borough originally consisted only of the township of Chesterfield, but it was extended in 1892 to parts of some surrounding townships. In 1920 there was a major extension when the borough absorbed New Whittington and Newbold urban district. Chesterfield's current boundaries date from 1 April 1974, when under the Local Government Act 1972, the Borough of Chesterfield was formed by an amalgamation of the municipal borough with the urban district of Staveley and with the parish of Brimington from Chesterfield Rural District.
Chesterfield benefited greatly from the building of the Chesterfield Line – part of the Derby to Leeds railway (North Midland Line), which was begun in 1837 by George Stephenson. During the work, a sizeable seam of coal was discovered during the construction of the Clay Cross Tunnel. This and the local ironstone were promptly exploited by Stephenson, who set up a company in Clay Cross to trade in the minerals.
During his time in Chesterfield, Stephenson lived at Tapton House, and remained there until his death in 1848. He is interred in Trinity Church. In 2006, a statue of Stephenson was erected outside Chesterfield railway station.
Chesterfield is located on the confluence and valleys of the River Rother and River Hipper at the Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Yorkshire Coalfield. The town also lies in the eastern foothills of the Pennines, and is also known as a gateway to the Peak District National Park or "The Gateway to the Peak" lying to the west of the town.
Local government in Chesterfield is organised in a two-tier structure. At the upper tier, services such as consumer protection, education, main roads and social services are provided by Derbyshire County Council. At the lower tier, services such as housing, planning, refuse collection and burial grounds are provided by Chesterfield Borough Council. The borough is unparished with the exception of Brimington and Staveley: Brimington Parish Council and Staveley Town Council exercise limited functions in those areas.
Derbyshire County Council has 64 elected county councillors, each representing a single-member electoral division. The entire council is elected every four years. At the elections in June 2009, the Conservative Party took control from the Labour Party after 28 years. Derbyshire County Council returned to Labour control at the 2013 local elections.
Chesterfield Borough Council consists of 48 councillors. Elections of the whole council take place every four years, the last elections having occurred in 2011. The borough is divided into 19 wards, with between one and three councillors elected for each ward. The wards are named Barrow Hill and New Whittington; Brimington North; Brimington South; Brockwell; Dunston; Hasland; Hollingwood and Inkersall; Holmebrook; Linacre; Loundsley Green; Lowgates and Woodthorpe; Middlecroft and Poolsbrook; Moor; Old Whittington; Rother; St. Helen's; St. Leonard's; Walton; and, West. As of 2011 the Labour Party control the borough council with 34 councillors, while the Liberal Democrats have 14 councillors.
The council choose one of their members annually to be mayor of Chesterfield, with the 371st mayor elected in May 2011.
The borough council uses armorial bearings originally granted (to the previous borough corporation) by letters patent dated 10 November 1955. The blazon of the arms is as follows:
Gules a Device representing a Pomegranate Tree as depicted on the ancient Common Seal of the Borough the tree leaved and eradicated proper flowered and fructed Or and for the Crest on a Wreath of the Colours Issuant from a Mural Crown Gules Masoned Or a Mount Vert thereon a Derby Ram passant guardant proper. Supporters: On the dexter side a Cock and on the sinister side a Pynot or Magpie proper each Ducally gorged Or
The shield is based on the borough's ancient common seal, which is believed to date from the first half of the 16th century. The seal depicts a stylised pomegranate tree. When the arms were formally granted, the College of Arms expressed the opinion that the plant had been adopted by the town as a symbol of loyalty to the crown, as it was a royal badge used by Katherine of Aragon, Henry VIII and Mary Tudor.
The crest depicts a Derby Ram, representing the county of Derbyshire, and a mural crown, suggestive of a town wall and thus borough status.
The supporters on either side of the arms represent the Cock and Pynot Inn, Old Whittington. The now Cock and Magpie Inn (53°16'13.1"N 1°25'34.3"W) is next to Revolution House, which was the site of a meeting between conspirators against James II in 1688. Among those meeting there were the Earls of Danby and Devonshire, commemorated by the ducal crowns around the supporters' necks. The two birds stand on a compartment of rocks and moorland. The motto is "aspire", a punning reference to the crooked spire of the parish church.
The borough council is, as of March 2016, attempting to join the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, which is due to receive devolved powers. Derbyshire County Council is opposed to this development, and is seeking legal advice on whether the matter can be taken to Judicial Review.
In the last 30 years, the economy in and around Chesterfield has experienced major change, moving the employment base away from the primary and secondary sectors, and towards the tertiary area. The area sits on a large coalfield and the area played host to many coal mines, including: Clay Cross, Arkwright Town, Bolsover, Grassmoor, North Wingfield and Holmewood.
From 1981 to 2002, 15,000 jobs in the coal industry disappeared and not a single colliery remains open, although open cast mining took place at Arkwright Town for a few years from November 1993. Many of the sites were restored by contractor Killingleys for Derbyshire County Council. Very little evidence of the mining industry remains today; a cyclist and walkers route, the "Five Pits Trail" now links some of the former collieries and most of the sites are now indistinguishable from the surrounding countryside.
Within the town itself, large factories and major employers have disappeared or relocated. Markham & Co. manufactured tunnel boring machines such as the one used for the Channel Tunnel between England and France.The company was bought out by Norway's Kvaerner and subsequently merged with Sheffield-based Davy. Their factory on Hollis Lane is now a housing estate and the former offices were converted into flats and serviced office suites. Dema Glass's factory near Lockoford Lane shut as is now host to a Tesco Extra and the Proact Stadium, Chesterfield F.C.'s new home ground. GKN closed its factory and the site is now being turned into a business park.
Others companies have downsized significantly. Robinson's, who manufacture paper-based packaging in the town, divested their healthcare interests which led to significant downsizing in both the workforce and facilities in Chesterfield. Trebor, once based on Brimington Road near Chesterfield railway station, merged with Bassetts sweets of Sheffield, were taken over by Cadbury and have relocated a modern unit at Holmewood Business park. The former factory has been demolished and the site is awaiting further development. Chesterfield Cylinders relocated to a much smaller site in Sheffield. Chesterfield Cylinder's Derby Road site, is now Alma Leisure Park, which includes a Nuffield Health Club, Cineworld, Frankie & Benny's, McDonald's, a Harvester Pub and a Nando's. Their former factory on Derby Road is now Spire Walk Business Park, a B&Q Mini-warehouse, a Toys-R-Us and Chesterfield's new fire station.
Manufacturing employment has fallen by a third since 1991, though the percentage of the population employed in manufacturing is still above the national average, underlining how critical it has been to Chesterfield in the past. Today, smaller scale firms are to be found on several industrial estates, the largest of which is located at Sheepbridge. Business located on the estate include SIG plc subsidiary Warren Insulations, Franke Sisons Ltd (founded in 1784 in Sheffield, and one of the first to manufacture stainless steel kitchen sinks in the 1930s), Rhodes Group, Chesterfield Felt, and others.
Between the A61 and Brimington Road there is a 40-acre (160,000 m2) development site resulting from Arnold Laver relocating to a modern sawmill at Halfway, on the Sheffield border. The former sawmill has been demolished, with outline planning permission given for a mixed residential and commercial development, called Chesterfield Waterside, to be built around a new marina at the end of the Chesterfield Canal, which currently terminates at a weir adjacent to the site.
There is a Morrisons on the junction of Chatsworth Road (A619) and Walton Road (A632), a Sainsburys on Rother Way (A619 for Staveley), and a Tesco Extra on the junction of the A619 and A61 (known locally as the Tesco Roundabout). The Institute of Business Advisers is based on Queen Street North. Chesterfield Royal Hospital is on the A632 out towards Calow and Bolsover and the only A&E Department in Derbyshire outside of Derby.
Peak FM broadcasts from Sheepbridge on 107.4 MHz FM and 102 MHz FM via the nearby Chesterfield Transmitter, which also hosts BBC Radio Sheffield on 94.7 MHz FM. DAB transmissions for Chesterfield come from the Chesterfield Transmitter, however only Digital One is currently broadcast. The local television stations are ITV Yorkshire, BBC Yorkshire and Sheffield Live TV, both transmitted from Leeds and Sheffield. The digital switchover date for the area was August 2011. Also in the town are the headquarters of the Derbyshire Times, the local newspaper, which does not cover all of the county.
The Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Branch of the RSPCA is located in the town, and serves the North East Derbyshire area. The centre, which is not government funded, holds events to raise money, one being an annual Dog Show held in the summer.
The town's biggest employer is now the "Royal Mail/Post Office" administration department located in a newly constructed building located on the edge of the town centre. The Royal Mail's Pensions Service Centre is near the town on Boythorpe Road, in Rowland Hill House, which also houses other administrative functions. There is a Post Office Ltd building in the town on West Bars called Future Walk. Formerly this was Chetwynd House, now demolished and replaced by the new Post Office building.
The Town centre of Chesterfield has retained much of its pre-war layout. Chesterfield is home to one of the largest open air markets in Britain, the stalls sitting either side of the Market Hall. In the middle of town, a collection of narrow medieval streets make up "The Shambles", which house The Royal Oak, one of Britain's oldest pubs.
Near Holywell Cross is what was (until 2013) Chesterfield's largest department store, the Co-operative or Co-op. The main building opened in 1938, and now occupies the majority of Elder Way, including an enclosed bridge, and part of Knifesmithgate; here the façade is in the mock-Tudor style fashionable in the 1930s which still dominates the north-side of Knifesmithgate in particular. In 2001, The Chesterfield and District Co-operative Society was incorporated into a larger regional entity, the Midlands Co-operative Society Limited, now the biggest independent retail Society in the UK. Owing to a decline in retail sales, the large home and fashion Co-op department store closed at the end of July 2013, although the food business continues. The future of the Elder Way building is unknown.
In the late 1970s a large area between Low Pavement (in the Market Square) and New Beetwell Street was completely demolished (except the original shop fronts) to build "The Pavements" shopping centre, known by some local residents as "The Precinct", which was opened in November 1981 by the Prince and Princess of Wales. It has entrances located opposite Chesterfield Market and escalators leading down to New Beetwell Street and the Bus station. An enclosed bridge links the site to a multi-storey car park built at the same time adjacent to the town's coach station.
Chesterfield's library is located just outside The Pavements on New Beetwell Street. The library spans several floors and was planned as part of the development. The building was erected later and opened in 1985. In annual figures compiled by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy the Library ranked fifth in the UK for the number of issues in 2008, a rise of one place on the previous year. The area to the side of the library was redeveloped retaining the old narrow passageways but creating various small shop units & offices in the style of "The Shambles".
On 27 June 2007, the Somerfield store in the Precinct was completely gutted in a fire during which the roof collapsed. Only a few shoppers suffered minor injuries. The fire was reportedly the result of an accidental ignition, after a welding torch being used to repair flood damage had been left ignited. The fire started at 13:10 on 27 June and was not extinguished until 23:30 the same day. All the shops in The Pavements were closed and evacuated. Other areas including the Market Hall were later evacuated as cordons were placed as a result of the smoke becoming worse. Following the fire, Somerfield announced their intention to cease trading in Chesterfield. The unit re-opened in September 2008 as a Tesco Metro store.
Vicar Lane was redeveloped in 2000 to become a pedestrianised, open-air shopping centre, that involved almost all of the existing buildings being demolished including a Woolworths branch and a small bus station. The project was so large that two new shopping streets were created as part of the development. It now has major chains such as H&M and Argos. The development was originally planned in the 1980s but was delayed due to the economics at the time. A new multistorey car park on Beetwell Street was added as part of the revised plan. The area is located between the "Pavements Centre" and Markets and the "Crooked Spire".
Cuisine available in the area includes Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Indian and Thai restaurants and takeaways. Several late-night venues are located around the town, predominantly located in the Church Way, Holywell Street, Corporation Street areas of the town. Venues such as Apartment, Chandlers and Einstein's all offer great cocktails and selection of world beers, whereas the likes of Association on Corporation street offer a destination for the younger, more party orientated crowd. Scattered around the town are many other bars and pubs and west of the town centre the "Brampton Mile" provides 13 pubs on a 1 mile (1.6 km) section of Chatsworth Road.
In February 2006, the first ever international gluten free beer festival was held in Chesterfield. The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) hosted the event as part of their regular beer festival in the town.
The Winding Wheel, previously an Odeon Cinema, is a multi-purpose venue, hosting concerts, exhibitions, conferences, dinners, family parties, dances, banquets, wedding receptions, meetings, product launches and lectures. Past notable appearances include Bob Geldof, The Proclaimers and Paddy McGuinness. Chesterfield Symphony Orchestra give three concerts a year at the Winding Wheel.
The "Pomegranate Theatre" (formerly known for many years as 'Chesterfield Civic Theatre', and prior to that the "Stephenson Memorial Theatre') is a listed Victorian building (in what is now known as the Stephenson Memorial Hall), with an auditorium which seats around 500 people. Shows are performed at the venue throughout the year. Also in the Stephenson Memorial Hall is the Chesterfield Museum, opened in 1994. Until 1984 it was used for the town's main library. The museum is owned by Chesterfield Borough Council, as are the Winding Wheel and the Pomegranate Theatre. The box office for both entertainment venues is located in the entrance area of the theatre.
The Royal Mail building Future Walk, on West Bars, was the former site of Chetwynd House (referred to locally as "the AGD"). Here a work by sculptor Barbara Hepworth Carved Reclining Form or Rosewall was prominently displayed for many years and nicknamed Isaiah by local critics, due to it resembling a crude human face with one eye higher than the other ("eye's higher"). The work was under the threat of being sold in 2005, but the plan was eventually scrapped, recognising the piece's national significance. Other artworks of note include 'A System of Support and Balance' by Paul Lewthwaite located outside Chesterfield Magistrates' Court.
The town is located on the A61, 6 miles (9.7 km) from the M1.
Junction 29 of the M1 motorway at Heath links Chesterfield to the motorway network to the south, via the A617 dual-carriageway. Junction 29a at Markham Vale, Duckmanton opened at the end of June 2008, but the signs do not signpost Chesterfield. The town has links to the M1 at Junction 30 and to the north via the A619. Other major roads include the A61 Sheffield Road (north)/Derby Road (south) (with a dual carriageway beginning in the town centre and continuing onto Sheffield) and the A619 (a major inroad to the Peak District, eventually joining the A6 near Bakewell) and the A632 to Matlock.
Stagecoach in Chesterfield are the predominant operator of buses in Chesterfield; other operators include Henry Hulleys, Trent Barton and TM Travel. Buses stop in several areas around the town centre rather than at a central bus station. The Stagecoach depot at Stonegravels is notable for its size and many vehicles stored there are not in regular use. Formerly it was the Chesterfield Corporation bus depot.
A new Chesterfield Coach Station opened in 2005, It was built on the site of the old bus station, It is owned by Stagecoach and is served by Stagecoach and National Express coach services.
The main taxi ranks are located on Elder Way and Knifesmithgate as well as outside the railway station. Chesterfield's taxis can be easily recognised to hail as they are black in colour with distinctive white bonnets and tailgates.
Chesterfield railway station is located on the Midland Main Line. Three train companies provide local and national services:East Midlands Trains to St Pancras International, Sheffield, Derby, Leicester, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham and Norwich,
CrossCountry to Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle upon Tyne, Penzance, Plymouth and York, and
Northern to Barnsley, Leeds, Nottingham, Wakefield and Sheffield
Chesterfield previously had two other rail stationsChesterfield Market Place railway station was closed in 1951 because of the prohibitive cost of maintaining Bolsover Tunnel and the nearby Doe Lea Viaduct, both of which were affected by mining subsidence. It had served as the terminus of the Chesterfield to Lincoln line, built in 1897 by the Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway (LD&ECR). None of the original buildings remains, the site of the former station being now owned by the Post Office.
Chesterfield Central Station closed in 1963, in conjunction with the general wind down of passenger train activity on the Great Central Railway (GCR). Chesterfield's inner relief road, part of the A61, now runs along some of the disused trackbed. The station was demolished in 1973 to make way for the road.
These railways all crossed each other at Horns Bridge, the Midland Main Line passed over the GCR loop into Chesterfield, and the LD&ECR passed over both on a 700 feet (210 m) long viaduct. Horns Bridge has been substantially redeveloped since the latter two railways closed and Horns Bridge Roundabout, where the A61 Derby Road and A617 Lordsmill Street meet, now occupies the site. The viaduct was demolished in the 1970s.
In addition to railways, Chesterfield had a tramway system, which was built in 1882 and closed in 1927.
The nearest licensed airfield is Netherthorpe Aerodrome near Worksop in Nottinghamshire, but it is less than 600m of grass. When travelling by air, passengers usually do so via East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, Doncaster Sheffield Robin Hood and Manchester airports. These are all within two hours travel time by road.
The Chesterfield Canal linked the town to the national network of waterways, and was the most important trade route through the 19th century. Overtaken by rail and then road for freight transport it fell into disuse, but has been partially restored since the mid-20th century for leisure use. However, the section through Chesterfield remains isolated from the rest of the waterway network.
The borough of Chesterfield has many schools within and around it. There are several secondary schools in the area including Hasland Hall Community School, Brookfield Community School, Tupton Hall School, Parkside Community School, Netherthorpe School, Outwood Academy Newbold, The Bolsover School, Springwell Community College, Heritage High School and Whittington Green School. Almost half have a sixth form. There is also a Roman Catholic school, St Mary's Roman Catholic High School, in Newbold.
A Further Education college, Chesterfield College, is located within a five-minute walk of Chesterfield railway station and offers many courses. It has over 15,000 students.
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 (2.90 m) from its true centre. Folklore recounts that a Bolsover blacksmith mis-shod the Devil, who leapt over the spire in pain, knocking it out of shape. In reality the leaning characteristic has been attributed to various causes, including the absence of skilled craftsmen (the Black Death having been gone only twelve years prior to the spire's completion), the use of unseasoned timber, and insufficient cross-bracing. According to the curators of Chesterfield Museum, it is now believed that the bend began when the original wooden roof tiles were replaced by heavier slate and lead. The bend in the spire (the twist being deliberate) follows the direction of the sun and has been caused by heat expansion and a weight it was never designed for. There is also no record of a bend until after the slate change. The tower which the spire sits upon contains 10 bells. These bells were cast in 1947 by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London, replacing a previous ring. The heaviest weighs 25 long hundredweight (2,800 lb; 1,300 kg).
Also within Chesterfield is the Annunciation Church. It was founded by the Jesuits in 1854 and was designed by Joseph Hansom.
Chesterfield is home to the Football League Two club Chesterfield F.C. who formerly played at the Recreation Ground (usually referred to as Saltergate). Chesterfield FC are known as the Spireites, after the Crooked Spire in the town. In 2005 plans were announced to build a new stadium on the old Dema Glass site north of the town in Whittington Moor. Construction of the new stadium, named the 'B2net Stadium' began in summer 2009 and was completed for the start of the 2010/2011 season. The B2net stadium became the Proact stadium for the 2012–13 season due to the restructuring of the sponsoring company. The team's most notable achievement of recent years occurred in April 1997, when they reached the semi-final of the FA Cup, losing to Middlesbrough in a replay following a 3–3 draw at Old Trafford. It turned out to be one of the most controversial in recent history with Chesterfield having a goal not given when referee David Elleray decided the ball had not crossed the goal line from a Jonathan Howard shot, a decision which was later proved incorrect by video replays. Had the goal stood the club would have progressed to the final of the FA Cup for the first time in its history—a feat which no club in the third tier of the league has achieved. The team has a fierce rivalry with neighbouring town Mansfield. In 2006 Chesterfield FC beat Premiership heavyweights Manchester City and West Ham to move into the last 16 of the League Cup where they were narrowly beaten on penalties by Charlton Athletic. Despite their League Cup exploits, Chesterfield were relegated on the penultimate game of the season
Chesterfield Ladies FC have women's and girls' teams and are based at Queens Park Annexe; they play in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Girls County League.
Also Chesterfield has a competitive athletic team which competes regularly all over England. Chesterfield & District Athletic Club.
Chesterfield Swimming Club, the largest competitive swimming club in North Derbyshire, is based at the Queen's Park Sports Centre on Boythorpe Road. In October 2011 the club began delivering the programme for Derventio eXcel (Performance Swim Squad for Derbyshire) for the North East of the county. In 2012, Chesterfield SC took part in the Arena National Swimming League and achieved promotion to the top division at the first attempt. Further success led to increased membership.
Queen's Park also plays host to Chesterfield Cricket Club and is an outground of Derbyshire County Cricket Club
Chesterfield also has its own amateur Sunday football league that plays host to over 100 teams on a Sunday morning. The Chesterfield and District Sunday Football League consists of nine divisions and three cup competitions.
Chesterfield Spires RLFC are a Rugby League club formed in the town in 2003 and currently play in the RL Merit League
A speedway training track operated at Glasshouse Farm in the early 1950s.
Chesterfield also has a mildly successful Men's Hockey Team which typically competes in the Midland's Premier Hockey League. The side has typically been midtable or battled against relegation until its greatest success when it recruited Australian import striker Adam Clifford from Tasmania. During his two seasons Clifford scored over 50 goals and Chesterfield narrowly lost the league in the final weeks by a single point.
Chesterfield Rugby Union Football Club was initially formed in 1919 and played their first game in 1920. They field three men's senior squads, a senior ladies squad and numerous junior teams—the senior squads can be found training on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7 pm. They relocated to a new purpose built ground on the outskirts of the town at 2012 Dunston Road from the former Stonegravels site, the 2013/14 season was the first season at the new ground. The facilities include three rugby pitches (one of which is floodlit), numerous changing rooms and a large open plan bar area which serves 'Panther's Pride' ale.
There has been success over the 2013/14 season with the 1stXV winning the championship (Midlands North 4) and being promoted to the Midlands North 3 for the first time in 25 years. The 2ndXV won the Notts, Lincs and Derbys Cup competition to the delight of the large supporting crowd. Notable contributions by Derek Sherlock, Gerraint Davies, John Jefferson and Mark Blair along with a burgeoning supporting crowd have helped secure their position in the league. The recent success was locally publicised on the radio and in print form which has sparked extra interest in the club and the game with a strong turnout of new and existing players.
The club has been a nurturing ground for players who have made the grade to professional level to such clubs as Northampton Saints and London Wasps.
Queen's Park is located just outside the town centre, recently benefited from a multimillion-pound programme of investment, allowing it to host county cricket once again. Alderman T P Wood, Mayor of Chesterfield in 1886 proposed that local land should be acquired by the Local Board for the creation of a public park to mark the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887, and officially opened in 1893. The park includes a Cricket field, pavilion, lake, conservatory, bandstand, and miniature railway. A further 13 acres (5.3 ha) of land south of the park separated by a road was acquired as a memorial to Queen Victoria in 1901, and was laid out as a recreation ground known as Queen's Park Annex.
Queens Park Sports Centre was constructed in the mid- and late-20th century within Queen's Park, adjacent to its western boundary, which included a swimming pool, gym, several indoor courts (for a variety of sports) and several more outdoor tennis courts, before closing in December 2015.
A new £11.2 million building for Queen's Park Sports Centre was opened in January 2016, on the Queen's Park Annex south of Queen's Park. The facility includes: an eight-lane swimming pool, learner pool, gym, eight-court sports hall, squash courts, training rooms, exercise class studio, climbing wall, and café.
The town also has a Healthy Living Centre within the Borough at Staveley. The centre, which opened in Spring 2008, has a 25 m (82 ft) swimming pool with a movable platform, an 11 m (36 ft) climbing wall, leisure facilities including an indoor children's soft play area, crèche facilities, a fitness suite, health spa and dance studios.
A 565 m2 (6,080 sq ft) skate park was built by Freestyle and opened in June 2009, on land behind Ravenside Retail Park and B&Q near to Horns Bridge.
Chesterfield is policed by Derbyshire Constabulary, and Chesterfield Police Station, on New Beetwell Street, is the Division 'C' Headquarters, with local police stations in Bolsover, Clay Cross, Dronfield, Killamarsh, Newbold, Staveley, and Shirebrook.
In terms of healthcare, Chesterfield has two NHS hospitals, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Calow, with maternity services and accident and emergency department, and the smaller Walton Hospital run by Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. In 1984, the entire site of the old Chesterfield Royal Hospital in the town centre was purchased by an orthopaedic surgeon, who converted the lower portion of the hospital, adjoining Infirmary Road and Durrant Road, into the Alexandra Private Hospital.
As with the rest of Derbyshire, Chesterfield is covered by the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) and the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance.
Chesterfield is served by Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, which has fire stations in Chesterfield, Clay Cross, Clowne and Staveley. Chesterfield fire station moved from Whittington Moor to a newly built station located behind B&Q at Horns Bridge.
Notable people to come from Chesterfield include:Olave Baden-Powell, wife to Robert Baden-Powell and Chief Guide from 1918 until her death in 1977
Ben Barnicoat, racing driver
Steven Blakeley actor in TV drama series Heartbeat
Baron Bowden, English scientist and educationist, particularly associated with the development of UMIST as a successful university
Tommy Briggs, English footballer and football manager
Paul Burrell, former royal butler and author
Martyn P. Casey, bassist with The Bad Seeds and formerly Grinderman
Barbara Castle, former Labour Cabinet minister
Paul Cummins, artist, creator of Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red
Fred Davis, snooker player
Richard Dawson, former footballer. Played for Rotherham United, Doncaster Rovers and Chesterfield.
Diego De Girolamo, footballer.
Connor Dimaio, footballer currently playing for Chesterfield.
Blair Dunlop, musician and actor
Francis Frith, photographer
Thomas Gascoyne, professional cyclist who set world records for both 25 miles and the flying start quarter-mile. He rode in Europe, America and Australia but died at the Battle of Passchendaele
Jeff Gilberthorpe, artist and author
Simon Groom, former Blue Peter presenter
Jo Guest, former glamour model and Page Three girl
William Edwin Harvey, MP lived here.
James Hill (TV personality), entrepreneur and winner of Celebrity Big Brother 2015
Sir John Hurt, actor
Ian Hyland, Daily Mirror television critic
Nigel Illingworth, cricketer
Jeremy Kemp, actor
Thomas Latimer, former WWE wrestler. He performed in WWE under the stage name Kenneth Cameron. He currently works for TNA Wrestling under the stage name Bram.
Frank Lee, MP lived here.
Matthew Lowton, Premier League footballer
John Lukic, footballer
Rik Makarem, actor in TV soap opera Emmerdale
Violet Markham CH, writer, social reformer, mayor and administrator.
Geoff Miller, former Derbyshire and England cricketer
Henry Normal, co-writer of The Royle Family
Paul Patterson, composer
Johnny Pearson, composer of theme tunes for Captain Pugwash, News at Ten and All Creatures Great and Small
Samuel Pegge (1704–1796), antiquary, vicar of Old Whittington
Toby Perkins MP, British Labour Party politician, MP for Chesterfield 2010–present; Shadow Business Minister
Claire Price, actress
Sir Robert Robinson, Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on plant dyestuffs (anthocyanins) and alkaloids
Joe Screen, international speedway rider
Mark Shaw, lead singer of 1980s band Then Jerico
Rose Smith, communist activist
Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, former Motörhead drummer
Percy Toplis, criminal active during the 1910s
Eric Varley, former MP for Chesterfield and past Chairman of Coalite
Mike Watterson, sports promoter
Mark Webber, guitarist in the band Pulp and curator of avant-garde cinema
Bob Wilson, former football goalkeeper and broadcaster.
Peter Wright, MI5 officer, author of Spycatcher
Other prominent people connected with the town:Gordon Banks, England's World Cup winning goalkeeper played for Chesterfield between 1955 and 1959.
Tony Benn, Labour MP for Chesterfield from 1984 to 2001
Sir Montague Burton, founder of the Burton chain, opened his first store in Chesterfield in 1903.
Geoff Capes, twice winner of The Worlds Strongest Man competition, used to live in Chesterfield.
The Venerable Edmond Francis Crosse, was the first Archdeacon of Chesterfield.
Erasmus Darwin, (12 December 1731 – 18 April 1802), one of the founder members of the Lunar Society, a discussion group of pioneering industrialists and natural philosophers, was educated at Chesterfield School.
Kerry Hallam, artist, folk musician and writer, trained at Chesterfield Art College for two years.
Alfred Seaman, Victorian photographer, opened his first studio in the town.
George Stephenson, mechanical engineer who built the first public railway in the world to use steam locomotives, ended his days at Tapton House, now a Chesterfield College campus.
Ben Slater, professional cricketer for Derbyshire County Cricket Club