Dents History

Dents has been a familiar landmark in Chesterfield's town centre for many decades. Founded by Mr John Dent at the turn of the century C.1903, Dents is still very much a family business and we are proud to maintain the old traditional values of friendly customer service offered by loyal knowledgeable staff.

Dents has seen numerous changes take place over the years. In 1964 New Square witnessed some major redevelopment, including the demolition of the original Dents premises. The present building was constructed in its place, and over the years many internal changes have taken place.

Originally, trading was carried out from three floors including the basement. Nowadays the business occupies just two floors. The pharmacy and cosmetics department is situated on the ground floor, and the photographic area occupies the first floor.


It was 1981 when the first floor was extended, but more than 30 years later, the resulting photographic department remains one of the largest in the area with over 1500 Sq Ft of retail space. The most recent alteration was a major refurbishment of the photo department in February 2009 resulting in a modern and pleasant shopping environment.

Christmas in Chesterfield

For many years, Christmas in Chesterfield was symbolized by what has now become an Iconic Christmas landmark.... The Dents Star. Long before towns daubed themselves in Christmas bling, Dents Star was one of the only decorations for miles around. If you wanted Christmas lights you would have had to travel into the peak district to Castleton for streets lined in festive decorations. But Dents always made the effort with the 18ft high illumination that could be seen for miles.

Chesterfield's Christmas tree back then used to be located just below the car park on Rose Hill and then some years later was re-sited to the town centre in New Square just outside Dents entrance.

Recently we asked if anyone had any old photos of the Dents Star, although no one out there appears to have any early images from then, we did have one lady who contacted us with a photo of her Father, Fred Ralph who worked as a self employed electrical contractor known as F-J Ralph and each year it was his job to install the star. His daughter Judi remembers a time when her dad’s ladders blew down.on the roof Fred and Co were stranded there, in the bitter cold, until someone realised they hadn’t come back down. Her dad’s sister, who is now 93, and still enjoys seeing the Star every year, remembers him telling her that once the trap door they were using to access part of the roof at the time, blew shut, and they had to jump quite a long way to be able to get off. A jump he told her, “ that was much further than they had expected".

It is also believed that Fred went on to possibly do the wiring in the new build,(our current building) especially as over the years he did a lot of work for Bakers Shop-fitters who were located on Markham Road.

If you have any stories or fond memories of Dents or Chesterfield from years gone by that we can share then please contact us. Any images from the 60s, 70s and 80s would also be a fantastic addition and we would be happy to share them and your stories.


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