This location is used to give people within and out side the local community information on the history of Ilkeston.  This position is open to you the people of Ilkeston to publish information about Ilkeston.

This may take a short while to load

Ilkeston was first recorded as an Anglo-Saxon settlement called Tilchestune and became part of the Danelaw in the 9th century. It was mentioned in the Doomsday Book and in 1252 it was awarded a charter permitting a weekly market and an annual fair which is still held in October each year and, like the Nottingham Goose Fair, is a very popular event.

During the Tudor period the manor was transferred by Henry VII to the Savage family. The Manor Court Rolls of 1559 showed the village in a state of transition. Although serfdom was dying, Ilkestonians of the day were still subject to the court of the Lord of the Manor, which enforced the "customs of the manor", making certain that each villager performed his manorial duties.

In the 18th century a clear picture of historical Ilkeston began to emerge from local records. Although a few wealthy families tended to occupy the chief offices, the Vestry appointed them and made important local decisions. Twice during the early 19th century they defied attempts by the Duke of Rutland to collect arrears of rent and kept up a successful struggle for eight years against the levying of a church rate to carry out repairs to St Mary's Church. The opposition to the church rate was largely the work of the Non-conformists: Unitarians, Congregationalists and Baptists already had chapels of their own, and they were reinforced by the Methodist sects at the turn of the century. John Wesley had preached at St Mary's in 1786 and commented on the earnestness of his congregation.

Following the Enclosure Act of 1794 came a period of economic depression which produced John Blackner, an unemployed stockinger who, moving to Nottingham to take up work in the lace trade, became the organiser of an unofficial trade union, disregarding the danger of transportation for life. A self-taught man, Blackner wrote a series of radical pamphlets and he had also great natural talent as a historian. His "History of Nottingham" has a real sense of living traditions of a thriving community at the beginning of the industrial revolution.

The early 18th century witnessed the breakdown of the domestic stocking and knitting industries and was accompanied by considerable suffering, but was compensated by industrial progress. By 1850 Ilkeston had five hosiery and six lace factories in operation. Also, as a result of the new demands brought by the Industrial Revolution, the coal industry was rapidly expanding and its development was helped by the construction of the Erewash Canal in 1773 and, in 1793, by the Nutbrook Canal which gave access to the main waterway of the River Trent.

The 19th century was a period of rapid growth. The population which had stood at under 2,500 at the turn of the century, reached over 19,000 by 1891. Voluntary societies pioneered the way in education. The British School was founded by the non-conformists in 1845 and the Anglicans followed with the National School in 1875.

The town adopted a progressive approach to the management of its affairs and in 1864 adopted the Local Government Act and under that Act set up a Local Government Board for Ilkeston. This Board built a Town Hall in 1866 and acquired the water and gas undertakings in 1878 and 1879 respectively.

On February 15, 1887, the Charter of Incorporation was received by the town and this was marked by processions and celebrations in the market place. The new Ilkeston Borough Council went on to expand its activities. A sanatorium was constructed in 1888 to halt the spread of smallpox, the first electric tram system in Derbyshire commenced operation in 1903 and supplies of electricity were made available to the public in 1905. during its life of 85 years, the Ilkeston Borough Council exercised many local government functions, including hospital, education, gas, electricity and library activities, and made a lasting contribution to the development of the town.

Goto - What in the Name of Ilkeston