From Calke to Renishaw: the Legacy of the Great Estates

Ref: C2338160

The great Derbyshire landowners of the 18th and 19th centuries were not only agricultural pioneers, but also financed major industrial developments. This course examines the history of five major families and their estates: the Curzons of Kedleston, the Harpur Crewes of Calke, the Cavendishes at Chatsworth, the Manners/Vernons at Haddon and the Sitwells at Renishaw. Two field trips are included.

Course aim

To examine the history of five great landowning families in Derbyshire and trace their influence on the wider development of the county. We also examine their legacy today through two field trips.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Show more detailed knowledge of some of the major Derbyshire estates.
  • Identify the ways in which these Derbyshire families have impacted on the wider development of the county
  • Describe the political role (local and national) played by these landowners in the past.
  • Demonstrate increased understanding of the social and economic history of this region.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Class members will be encouraged to select another local family to study individually and present their findings to the class (only if they wished to do so)

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course outline

From Calke to Renishaw: the Legacy of the Great Estates Course Outline

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This course has started and there are no online enrolment places available.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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