Frances Wilkins. a Derbyshire historian based in Ashbourne, regularly hosts talks on a range of topics of local interest.

Each of these talks includes little-known facts that have surfaced as a result of research and book writing.

Six of the talks expand topics discussed on the Off the Derbyshire Beaten Track tours and trips while two describe projects at Dalemain, near Penrith in Cumbria: transport is available from Ashbourne to events there.

One of the Ashbourne talks is connected with properties which are open to the public during the summer months: the rose gardens at Hopton Hall and Tissington Hall, Derbyshire.

There are also visits to Kedleston Hall, near Derby, with its exhibitions relating to the Delhi Durbar in 1903 described in another talk. 

A third talk describes the four Jamaican plantations owned by the FitzHerberts of Tissington Hall, which can be visited on various dates throughout the season.

Illustrated Talks associated with the road tours

Literary connections along the tour: the four authors: Edith Maude Hull, George Eliot, D H Lawrence & Daniel Defoe

Links with the slave trade: the Douglases of Ashbourne

Illustrated Talks associated with trips to venues

Another link with the slave trade: Bittersweet (Tissington Hall)

Links between Derbyshire & India: the Delhi Durbar, 1903 (Kedleston Hall)

The History behind Rose Gardens (Hopton & Tissington Halls)

The Tale of 100 Dalemain Roses (Dalemain, Penrith, Cumbria)

Herbal Remedies: based on Elizabeth Rainbow’s herbal at Dalemain

Illustrated Talk with no associated road tour or trip

Jacobites: James Maxwell’s visit to Ashbourne, December 1745 

Fee: £5.00 per talk, including light refreshments.

The talks are available in Ashbourne for small groups from one to seven people. Contact Frances for further details.

Lecture notes are issued at the end of each talk.

These talks and the associated road tours and trips are also available to groups and societies.

Contact: for further details.