Florence Nightingale image

Florence Nightingale

Leadership and Investment in People is at the Heart of the Midlands

Leadership, Innovation and The Heart of The Midlands

Florence Nightingale was the second of two daughters born, during an extended European honeymoon, to William Edward and Frances Nightingale.

William Edward changed his name to Nightingale after inheriting the Lea Hurst estate from his wife's uncle, along with the right to assume family's arms and the Nightingale name in 1815.

Florence Nightingale was born in Tuscany, and named after the Italian city of her birth in May 1820. While Florence Nightingale was still a baby, her parents moved to the village of Lea, close to the industrial town of Cromford and the spa town of Matlock. This was the source of the family's fortune, thanks to the industrial success and connections of her great uncle Peter Nightingale  (1736‐1803).

In 1825, when Florence Nightingale was just 5 years old, the family moved to Embley Park in Hampshire. But they retained Lea Hurst as a summer house, spending around three months a year there. So many summers were spent in Derbyshire throughout Florence’s formative years.


Florence Nightingale, the Lady with the Lamp



British nurse, statistician, and social reformer who was the foundational philosopher of modern nursing. Nightingale was put in charge of nursing British and allied soldiers in Turkey during the Crimean War. She spent many hours in the wards, and her night rounds giving personal care to the wounded established her image as the “Lady with the Lamp.”


Her efforts to formalize nursing education led her to establish the first scientifically based nursing school—the Nightingale School of Nursing, at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London (opened 1860). She also was instrumental in setting up training for midwives and nurses in workhouse infirmaries. She was the first woman awarded the Order of Merit (1907). International Nurses Day, observed annually on May 12, commemorates her birth and celebrates the important role of  nurses in health care.

Florence Nightingale died on 13 August 1910 at the age of 90.

Derby Arboretum Public Park thumbnail image

Derby Arboretum Public Park

Derby Arboretum opened in 1840 and is recognised as the first in the world to be first to be deliberately planned as a place of public recreation in an urban setting.

Read more
Alan Sillitoe thumbnail image

Alan Sillitoe

The working class culture is celebrated by Heart of the Midlands author Alan Sillitoe

Read more
Hot Dogs thumbnail image

Hot Dogs

Innovation is at the Heart of the Midlands, including the invention of the Hot Dog!

Read more
Rolls-Royce thumbnail image


International Business, innovation, history and leadership, Rolls-Royce represents all that's great about the Heart of the Midlands

Read more