Derbyshire där´bēshər, –shĭr [key] county (1991 pop. 915,000), 1,016 sq mi (2,632 sq km), central England. The county seat is Matlock; Derby, the former county seat, is now administratively independent of the county. The county is divided into eight administrative districts: High Peak, Derbyshire Dales, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield, Bolsover, Amber Valley, Erewash, and South Derbyshire. The terrain of the county is flat in the south, rising in the north to more than 2,000 ft (610 m) in the Peak district. The region is drained by the Trent River, with the Dove, the Derwent, and the Wye flowing into it.

Much of the county is used for agriculture. Dairy farming and sheep and cattle raising are important occupations. There is also wheat and oat cultivation, as well as market gardening. In the eastern part of the county are coal deposits. Textiles, steel, porcelain, and paper are produced. Tourism is also important. Paleolithic cave art dating to c.10,800 BC is found at Creswell Crags in E Derbyshire. In the Anglo-Saxon period Derbyshire was part of the kingdom of Mercia. There are pre-Roman, Roman, and Norman remains. The great house of the dukes of Devonshire is at Chatsworth.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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