Chaddesden has a rich history and was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1085 under the name of Cedesdene. This famous publication recorded at the time that 'Chaddesden extended for four and a half times as much land as can be ploughed by a team of oxen in a session'.
Chaddesden Park is the remnant of one of the few country estate parks, which came into local authority ownership between the two world wars. It dates back to the sixteenth century when the Wilmot family, wealthy Derby drapers, bought a freehold estate and built a house there next to the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin. The original house was replaced around 1726 with a new brick Hall, probably designed by Richard Jackson who also designed Derby Guildhall. The Hall was rebuilt again around 1785.
The Wilmot’s remained at Chaddesden Hall until the Great War but sold the site in 1923. The Rural District Council demolished the Hall in 1926 and part of the parkland, including the former walled garden, was developed as housing.
In 1936 Quinton Estates of Birmingham, owners of the land after the Wilmot’s leased the remainder of the park to Chaddesden Parish Council. It is believed that the public park was opened at this time, with a paddling pool being created on the site of the former Hall’s fish ponds.
Derby County Borough extended its boundaries in 1968, taking in Chaddesden and thereby inheriting the lease on Chaddesden Park. However, in 1982, a freehold of 60 acres was purchased, securing the park’s future.
The landscape that we see today is what remains of the former grounds of Chaddesden Hall. Built remains of the actual Hall are few, but the vegetation and in particular the trees, can still be seen and are witness to the managed parkland landscape of the Hall. Close to the old Hall site are many old specimens, such as Yew, Sweet Chestnut, Holm Oak and a particularly fine example of Cedar of Lebanon.
You can find more information about the history of Chaddesden Park on the Chaddesden Historical Group website.