Chesterfield – Boythorpe
Janet Murphy, a local historian, volunteered to research Boythorpe, the estate she grew up on. She also collected experiences from some of the people she knows who have lived there a long time. She found out some fascinating facts about the area and its development as a council estate in the 1920s. The layout of the estate and the design of its houses were heavily influenced by the Garden City Movement, and its purpose was to provide good housing, complete with shops, schools and churches, in a pleasant environment, with the houses interspersed with open spaces and trees. Wages paid to those who built the estate were high, and suitable for the ‘A grade town’ which Chesterfield considered itself to be. Since it was first planned, the estate has changed; some of the original open spaces have been built on, and the use of public buildings has changed. There are more cars now, and the trees on the pavements have grown and matured. Many of the houses are privately owned, and this means that houses have become more individual in appearance, although there was always an intention that within the overall unity there should be variation in the detailed design of groups of houses.
What Janet has discovered shows how Boythorpe has reflected the changes in approach to housing over the last hundred years or so, and how it has maintained its identity throughout those changes. The history of the Boythorpe area is divided into sections to make it easier to find what interests you most.
Growing up in Boythorpe (Memories of growing up on the estate from 1930 onwards)
Boythorpe in the latter years (Living on the estate after 1980)