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Title: Bolsover  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Derbyshire, Chesterfield, George Yates (cricketer, born 1858), River Doe Lea, Bill Leivers
Collection: Bolsover, Towns in Derbyshire
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia



Bolsover Castle overlooking the town
Bolsover is located in Derbyshire
 Bolsover shown within Derbyshire
Population 11,673 (civil parish)[1]
OS grid reference
Civil parish Old Bolsover
District Bolsover
Shire county Derbyshire
Region East Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district S44
Dialling code 01246/ 01623/ 01773/ 01909
Police Derbyshire
Fire Derbyshire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament Bolsover
List of places

Bolsover is a small town near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England. It is 145 miles (233 km) from London, 18 miles (29 km) from Sheffield, 26 miles (42 km) from Nottingham and 54 miles (87 km) from Manchester. It is the main town in the Bolsover district.

The civil parish for the town is called Old Bolsover. It includes the town and the New Bolsover model village, along with Carr Vale, Shuttlewood, Stanfree, Oxcroft and Whaley. Its population at the 2011 UK Census was 11,673.[1]

Bolsover, along with several nearby villages,is situated in the north east of the County of Derbyshire. It is the main town in the District of Bolsover, which is an electoral constituency and part of the County of Derbyshire.


  • History 1
  • Economy 2
  • Governance and politics 3
  • Sport 4
  • Television 5
  • Notable people 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8


The origin of the name is uncertain. It may be derived from Bula's Ofer or Boll's Ofer, respectively the Old English for Bull's Ridge or Boll's Ridge (the ridge associated with a person named Boll), alternatively in the 1650s it was referred to as 'Bolsouer'.[2]

Bolsover is mentioned in Domesday Book, named as Belesovre, where it is described as the property of William Peverel (or "Peveril"). The description refers to the villans, the ploughs, 8 acres (32,000 m2) of meadow, and woodland pasture, which is given as two leagues by a league.[3]

William was possibly an illegitimate son of William the Conqueror. Bolsover became the seat of the Peverel family, and in the twelfth century a keep was built.[4] The present castle was erected in 1613.

In 1657 William Cavendish produced the book 'La Methode et Invention nouvelle de Dresser les Chevaux' which he produced in exile in Antwerp during the Cromwellian Protectorate. This was translated in 1743 to 'A General System of Horsemanship in All Its Branches' this covered the dressage of horses, at his 'Bolsouer', Welbeck and Antwerp stables and there are etched prints [5] existing showing the 'Monsieur le Marquis a Cheval' amongst many other views of the town. The etches are attributed to Abraham van Diepenbeeck a pupil of Van Dyck.

The district of Bolsover is notable for three sites of historical importance: Bolsover Castle, Creswell Crags (home to Britain's only known Palaeolithic cave art)[6] and Creswell Model Village, an example of early twentieth century design from the Model village movement.

Two railway lines once served Bolsover, but both were early casualties. The Midland Railway (later part of the LMS), arrived first with their north-south running "Doe Lea Valley Line" from Staveley to Pleasley, opened in September 1890 and thus enabling a through service between Chesterfield and Mansfield to be operated, but services were withdrawn as early as September 1930 . The Bolsover railway station on this line was known as "Bolsover Castle" in its latter days.

The other line was the highly ambitious west-east running Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway, later part of the Great Central Railway and subsequently the LNER. Only the middle section from Chesterfield to Lincoln was ever built, opening in March 1897 (the Bolsover station was "Bolsover South"), but the section between Chesterfield and Shirebrook was brought to a premature demise in December 1951 by the deteriorating state of its biggest engineering feature, the 2,624-yard (2,399-metre) Bolsover Tunnel which ran beneath the limestone ridge on which stands the castle. The tunnel was mostly filled in with colliery waste in 1966-7, and both ends sealed off. Today both portals are visible, the eastern portal at the end of an unusually deep sheer-sided cutting in the village of Scarcliffe and the western portal is just to the south east side of Bolsover.

In chronostratigraphy, the British sub-stage (formerly 'stage') of the Carboniferous period, the 'Bolsovian' derives its name from a geological exposure at the River Doe Lea, Bolsover.[7]


The major industry of the area used to be coal mining, but this has declined throughout all of England. Markham Colliery, just outside the town, closed in 1993. The Bolsover Colliery Company was one of the original companies in the original FT 30 list of companies. In August 2006, Bolsover was announced to have the seventh worst obesity rate in the United Kingdom.

Governance and politics

Bolsover has three levels of local government. The civil parish of Old Bolsover is administered by the Old Bolsover Town Council. The parish falls within the wider Bolsover District, and other functions are exercised by the Derbyshire County Council.

The town falls within the the Bolsover parliamentary constituency . The MP for the constituency is the Labour Party's Dennis Skinner, a former miner who has represented the seat since 1970. He is on the left of his party, and is well known for his fast wit and his assiduous attendance record at the House of Commons; where his now customary heckled remarks during the yearly State Opening of Parliament have become something of a national institution in their own right. He has acquired the nickname the "Beast of Bolsover".


Bolsover Colliery F.C. used to play in the FA Cup


In 2007 Bolsover was chosen as the location to film the movie Summer starring

  1. ^ a b "Neighbourhood Statistics".  
  2. ^ "Bolsover". Key To English Place Names.  
  3. ^ Domesday Book: A Complete Transliteration. London: Penguin, 2003. ISBN 0-14-143994-7 p.749
  4. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus (1953) (revised Elizabeth Williamson 1978). The Buildings of England: Derbyshire. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-071008-6, p. 92
  5. ^¤tPage=1&queryAll=Places%2F!!%2FOR%2F!!%2F38636%2F!%2F38636-1-4%2F!%2FTopographic+representation+of+Bolsover%2F!%2F%2F!!%2F%2F!!!%2F&allCurrentPage=1
  6. ^  
  7. ^
  8. ^ Internet movie database website
  9. ^ Film clip (Castle 2/3 way through)
  10. ^ "Robert Carlyle and Director Kenneth Glenaan discuss their film 'Summer' - YouTube". 


See also

Notable people

In 2011 Bolsover featured on BBC2's Antiques Road Trip.


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