We live in buildings; we are surrounded by them. Where and how we live says much about who we are as individuals. Our architecture helps to define us. Many buildings are witnesses to earlier ages, a direct and tangible connection to a shared heritage. What can they tell us? How did buildings adapt to changing lifestyles? To what extent do they reflect the tastes and fashions of previous generations? We can't talk to Bess of Hardwick, or Joseph Pickford, or a factory hand at Richard Arkwright's pioneering Cromford Mill. The Derbyshire they knew has all but disappeared, but seeing where and how they lived opens a window onto that vanished world. Buildings in Derbyshire: A Guide sets the main phases and styles of English architecture in their chronological sequence and historic context with specific reference to the buildings of the Peak County. Richard Stone asks what those buildings - from grand country seats to rustic cottages via castles, churches, schools, and mills - tell us about society. 'If only these walls could talk' is a commonly heard saying. Perhaps, if we understand the language, they can. This is architecture for local historians, for those who enjoy visiting historic houses and churches, and for all who simply love getting out and about in Derbyshire.