Tutbury is surrounded by the agricultural countryside of both Staffordshire and Derbyshire. The site has been inhabited for over 3,000 years, with Iron Age defensive ditches encircling the main defensive hill, upon which now stand the ruins of the Norman castle. These ditches can be seen most clearly at the Park Pale and at the top of the steep hills behind Park Lane.
The name Tutbury probably derives from a Scandinavian settler and subsequent chief of the hill-fort, Totta, bury being a corruption of burh the Anglo-Saxon name for 'fortified place'.
There are some fine Georgian and Regency buildings and the half-timbered Dog and Partridge Hotel. There are antique and craft shops in the village, some of which have been run by the same families for many years.
Until 2006, Tutbury Crystal, a manufacturer of high-quality cut glass products, was based in the village. However, production was transferred to Stoke-on-Trent as the existing factory was very old and was thought to be too small for the modern company's requirements. The old factory was demolished and flats were built on the site, but a factory shop still operates in the village. Despite this, the tourism trade survives thanks to the long history of the church and castle.
The Natural History of Tutbury describing the fauna and flora of the district surrounding Tutbury and Burton on Trent, by Sir Oswald Mosley and Edwin Brown, was published in 1863.
Ann Moore (1761-1813), the notorious "fasting-woman of Tutbury", claimed to have eaten nothing at all from 1807 to 1813, but her claims were eventually shown to be a hoax.
Benjamin Brook (1776-1848), an English nonconformist minister and religious historian, was the first pastor of the congregational church at Tutbury in 1801.
Walter Lyon (1841-1918), an English cricketer who played first-class cricket for Cambridge University between 1861 and 1863, moved to Tutbury in 1865 with his younger brother Charles to take over the cotton mill, and died in Tutbury.