The Charm of an 18th Century Coaching Inn on The Chatsworth Estate
The first mention of Beeley was in a Domesday Book of 1086 and later in 1236 as ‘Bewlag’ and by 1346 as ‘Bylegh’.The Devonshire Arms originated as three separate cottages in 1726 and these were converted into an inn in 1747.
During the period 1755-64 there were three inns in the village, only The Devonshire Arms has survived.
The Devonshire Arms retains the charm of the 18th Century coaching inn it once was.
Coaches carried visitors from London and the Peak, stopping in Beeley to rest the horses. Among these visitors was the distinguished writer Charles Dickens who was a frequent visitor in his lifetime. It is rumoured that King Edward VII often met his mistress Alice Keppel at The Devonshire Arms.
Beeley parish register records that on Thursday 11th July 1872, there was a tremendous thunderstorm at 3.30 in the afternoon. At Beeley the brook was so swollen as to flood the road, making it impassable at the front of The Devonshire Arms. History repeated itself on Sunday 31st August 1997 at 3.30pm, the height of the water is marked on the beam in the bar.