Although Whitwell celebrated its 1,000th anniversary in the 'Whitwell 1000' celebrations of 1989, it is much older than this celebration suggests. The earliest written references to Whitwell are from the Anglo-Saxon charters. However, many of its historical sites predate this period. Within the parish are several Iron Age burial mounds, an Iron Age fort and settlement, the remains of a Roman villa, medieval field systems, and both a Norman and Saxon church, the world heritage site of Creswell Crags was until recently within the parish. Whitwell Old Hall is a medieval manor house.
Whitwell won the 'Best Kept Village in Derbyshire' Award in 1988.
Whitwell is a thriving village with strong community spirit. The village has many active clubs and societies, including Whitwell Scout and Guide Group, Local History Group, Whitwell Players, Whitwell Brass Band and junior band, C of E, Methodist and Poplar churches, Natural History Group, green bowls club, cricket club, and football club.
Although being quite a small village, Whitwell has six public houses. It previously had as many as 11 and held the record for most number of licensed premises per capita. The current pubs are Holmefield Arms, The Jack Ups (Whitwell Working Men's Club), New Middle Club, The Boot And Shoe, The Half Moon and The Royal Oak. The biggest employer just outside the village is La Farge Works (formerly Steetley Company), which run a quarry which supplies limestone and other products all around the world.
Whitwell Wood is a large area of ancient woodland covering approximately 171 hectares. It forms part of the Welbeck Estate, one of the former medieval dukeries of Nottinghamshire. The wood is managed on a long term lease by the Forestry Commission. It is a predominantly broad-leaved wood with over 20 species indicating ancient woodland, a number of interesting archaeological features and a freshwater spring known as the Ginny Spring. The spring is designated as a site of special scientific interest (SSSI). This designation is partly due to the varied flora, but also because of a number of species that are rare in the region. As such, the wood has a very high nature conservation status. A Three Shire Oak[disambiguation needed] once stood in a field adjacent to Whitwell Wood. The oak traditionally marked the meeting point of the borders of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. However, the tree actually stood some distance to the south of the actual border, which is located closer to the Nottinghamshire village of Shireoaks.
One of Whitwell's most famous sons was Joe Davis, world snooker and billiards champion from the 1920s to the 1940s. His Whitwell home (on Welbeck Street) bears a plaque commemorating him.
The village is the birthplace and childhood home of J. T. Edson the author, whose various escapism-adventure series sold over 27 million copies globally; the Edson family lived in Whitwell from Victorian times.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Whitwell, Derbyshire.|