history museums in Derbyshire
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Derbyshire Museums & Galleries

including civic and independent art galleries and museums in Derbyshire...

Museums long ago ceased to be stuffy rooms full of glass cases containing bits of old pottery and fossilised bones. Today even most conventional museums include changing displays but over recent years there has been a growth in industrial and "living" museums. Here you can learn about local heritage, get a feel for how people lived and worked, the hardships they endured...

Galleries listed include not just civic galleries displaying publicly owned artworks, but also privately owned galleries with items for sale.

Derbyshire Museums and Galleries

Donington Park, Castle Donington, Derbyshire, DE74 2RP
Establishment Photo
The Donington Grand Prix Collection is the largest showcase of Grand Prix racing cars in the world.

Four halls, with over 130 exhibits, illustrate the history of motorsport from the turn of the 20th Century, where visitors can get close to the cars driven by such famous names as Nuvolari, Mansell, Prost, Moss, Fangio and Stewart.

The Wheatcroft Collection has also gone on display at the world famous Donington Grand Prix Collection. The first hall has been transformed to hold part of the collection 'never seen before in public'.

A number of World War II vehicles and motorcycles have arrived at the museum and more are expected to join these vehicles throughout the coming year.
Tel: 01332 811027
E-mail: garry.rankin@donington-park.co.uk
See our website

blank tabLIFE IN A LENSMuseums & Galleries
'Museum of Popular Photography & Old Times', 118 North Parade, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, DE4 3NS

''Life in a Lens'' The Museum of Popular Photography and Old Times on North Parade in the heart of Matlock Bath presents the History of popular photography from 1839 onwards in a lovely Victorian setting with many displays and populated by a growing number of mannequins displaying vintage dress. Our opening times and more information can be found on our website www.lifeinalens.co.uk - come along as see us you'll be so glad.
Tel: 01629 583325
E-mail: info@lifeinalens.com
See our website

blank tabEREWASH MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
High Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, DE7 5JA
Establishment Photo
Discover Derbyshire's Museum of the Year 2011 and 2012, and East Midlands Museum of the Year 2013.

Enjoy our warm, family friendly environment, wonderful social history displays, beautiful gardens, tempting tea room and amazing views across the Erewash Valley.

Open Tuesday. Thursday. Friday. and Saturday 10am to 4pm (last admission 3:30pm). Extended opening during school holidays throughout the year.

Closed between Christmas and New Year.

REE admission and car park (limited spaces).
Tel: 0115 907 1141
E-mail: museum@erewash.gov.uk
See our website

blank tabRED HOUSE STABLESMuseums & Galleries
Working Carriage Museum, Old Road, Darley Dale, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 2ER

Driving courses to suit the individual. Tours by Coach & Four-in-Hand & Celebration Carriage Rides through the Derbyshire Dales. Make your wedding day special with an elegant carriage drawn by two or four beautiful dapple grey horses. Started by Mr. William Smith, one unusual aspect of the collection is that it is a working museum, vehicles are regularly used and all have worked in films and TV. Visitors may browse at their leisure. If you are lucky, you may see the blacksmith at work, the staff grooming the horses and ponies, or preparing one of the wedding carriages. School parties and clubs especially catered for.
Tel: 01629 733583
E-mail: redhousestables@hotmail.co.uk
See our website

blank tabEYAM MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Hawkhill Road, Eyam, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S32 5QP
Our central theme is the terrible outbreak of Bubonic Plague in 1665-6, when the villagers quarantined themselves and halted the spread of the disease. The world wide spread of plague is covered, and also the recovery, with the development of local industries.

A new room, opened in 2012, hosts temporary displays, including the chilling facts about 17th century medicine, and the early history of the area.

A major new display opened in 2014 to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1.

There is a free car park! Come and see us.
Tel: 01433 631371
E-mail: contact@eyam-museum.org.uk
Book online or find more info - EYAM MUSEUM

blank tabSTUDIO 61 GALLERYMuseums & Galleries
Leashaw, HOLLOWAY, Nr Matlock, DE4 5AT
Establishment Photo
A unique Gallery in the Derbyshire Dales which is also a working studio for artist Karina Goodman who specialises in water colours and oils.

Nestled in the village of Holloway near Matlock with a stunning backdrop of picturesque Peak District scenery, the studio is spread nicely throughout numerous rooms and offers a beautiful and innovative range of gorgeous arts, designer jewellery, pieces for the home, prints & cards, with something for everyone's tastes and budgets.

"Quick Cuppa" offers hot and cold drinks with nibbles to sit in/outside or to go. Cyclists and Walkers welcome. Awarded The Peak District National Park Environmental Quality Mark for being a green business and its promotion of locally sourced sustainable products.

A Guest Exhibition which changes on a monthly basis. Available online with Free P&P.
Tel: 01629 534532
E-mail: karinagoodman@btinternet.com
See our website

blank tabMOIRA FURNACEMuseums & Galleries
Furnace Lane, Moira, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, DE12 6AT

Moira Furnace is a nineteenth-century iron-making blast furnace located in Moira. There is also a craft village, tea room, children's play area, country park and woodlands. We are situated on the Ashby Canal and have the Joseph Wilkes barge offering pleasure trips.
Tel: 01283 224667 or 07976 637858
E-mail: moirafurnace@hotmail.co.uk

Rock Mill Lane, New Mills, High Peak, SK22 3BN
Establishment Photo
New Mills Heritage Centre is home to a small but perfectly formed museum that visitors say is just right for finding out more about the spectacular natural features and fascinating history of the town.

Display boards, a mock mine, an engraver's studio and a magnificent model all help tell the New Mills Story. A viewpoint just outside the centre looks out over the 90ft deep Torrs gorge and a triumph of engineering, the Millennium Walkway. Also in the Torrs is our reverse Archimedes screw turbine, the UK's first community owned and funded hydropower scheme. We are located behind the bus station in the centre of town and offer light refreshments, local tourist information, trail guides, walking books & maps, local history publications, gifts & souvenirs. See our dedicated site for opening times.
Tel: 01663 746904
E-mail: nmheritage@gmail.com
See our website

The National Trust Museum of Childhood

Sudbury Hall, Ashbourne, DE6 5HT
Tel: 01283 585337      E-mail: museumofchildhood@nationaltrust.org.uk

Sudbury Hall Derbyshire Photo  Alan Walker
Sudbury Hall Derbyshire -
Photo: Alan Walker CCL


Museum showing aspects of the life of children over the past 200 years.

Housed in the 19th-century service wing of Sudbury Hall, the Museum contains fascinating displays about children from the 18th century onwards.

There are chimney climbs for adventurous sweep-sized youngsters, a Victorian schoolroom and a fine collection of toys, games and dolls.

Discount National Trust Membership

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Derby Gaol & Pie Shoppe

51 Friar Gate, Derby, Derbyshire, DE1 1DF
Tel: 01332 366651    Fax: 01283 585139

Situated in the depths of the original dungeons of the Derbyshire County Gaol dating back to 1756, the Derby Gaol offers a reminder of the city's grisly past. See the condemned cells and learn of England's last revolution (The Pentrich Rebellion) which resulted in the last hanging, drawing and quartering in the country. Survivors can sample traditional fayre in the Gaol's Pie Shoppe, located in the cell-block where an open fire roars during winter months.

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Derby's Museum of Industry and History

Silk Mill Lane, off Full Street, Derby, DE1 3AR    
Tel: 01332 255308    Fax: 01332 716670

Derby Industrial Museum is housed in the historic Derby Silk Mill, originally built between 1717 and the early 1720's, itself a landmark in the Industrial Revolution and the development of the textile industry in Britain. The Museum displays represent the industrial heritage and achievement of Derby and its people, with special focus on Rolls Royce aero engine production and Derby's role as a centre for the railway industry since 1839. Other displays feature mining, quarrying, foundry work, and power sources used by industry, including some fine working models and a steam engine that runs on special family days. There is an area devoted to changing exhibitions, an attractive gift shop, and the museum runs a busy programme of schools sessions and activities for all the family.

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Pickford's House Museum

41 Friar Gate, Derby, DE1 1DA
Tel: 01332 255363    Fax: 01332 255277
: pickford.house@derby.gov.uk

Open all year. Mon, 11am - 5pm. Tues to Sat, 10am - 5pm. Sun & Bank Holiday Mondays, 2pm - 5pm. Closed Christmas. This family-friendly museum is in a fine Grade I listed Georgian Town House, built in 1770 by prominent local architect, Joseph Pickford, as his own home and business headquarters. Displays include fine period room settings of Georgian times between 1800-1830, showing the domestic life of a professional man of this period. The lower ground floor houses a fascinating, well filled kitchen and outside is a recreated formal garden of the day. Bedrooms, a lavish dining room and drawing room help complete the picture of this elegant age. See the historic collection of costume and dress, one of the many special displays in the Museum. A beautiful series of toy theatres and regularly changing arts exhibitions are also on show making this an ideal attraction for visitors, families and schools groups.

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Royal Crown Derby

Osmaston Road, Derby
Tel: 01332 712800    Fax: 01332 712863
: info@royal-crown-derby.co.uk

Tour the real working factory in the company of an experienced guide and watch the production of tableware and giftware from clay through to the finished hand decorated product. Enjoy continuous demonstrations of hand skills such as flower making, painting and gilding. Visit the museum full of treasures tracing our history and heritage back to 1750. With the full tour, your admission is refundable on a minimum spend in the factory shop and you’ll get a free cup of tea or coffee in the restaurant. The full tour is available Monday to Friday. Visitor Centre only tickets, demonstration studio and museum - seven days a week, and factory tour. Mon-Fri are also available.

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Derby Museum & Art Gallery

The Strand, Derby, Derbyshire, DE1 1BS
Tel: 01332 641901    Fax: 01332 641910
E-mail: diana.peake@derby.gov.uk

The Derby Museum and Art Gallery houses an internationally important collection of fine Derby porcelain and paintings by Joseph Wright of Derby, associate of the Royal Academy (1734-97). The porcelain collection is displayed in a splendid Lottery-funded gallery, complete with colourful databases of the collection. The Wright paintings include landscapes, portraits and dramatic scenes of science and industry. Other displays cover local archaeology, history and local regiments - the 9th/12th Royal Lancers, Sherwood Foresters and Derbyshire Yeomanry. Derbyshire wildlife and geology feature in an exciting series of natural settings and hands-on exhibits. The Bonnie Prince Charlie room commemorates Derby's role in the 1745 uprising. The Museum is forever changing with three galleries devoted to temporary exhibitions to complement a lively programme of holiday activities, family days, talks and lectures, and a stimulating schools service.
Open: All year. Mon 11am - 5pm. Tues to Sat 10am - 5pm. Sundays & Bank Holiday Mondays 2pm - 5pm. Free admission.

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Castle Donington Museum

4 Apiary Gate, Castle Donington, Derby, Derbyshire, DE74 2JA
Tel: 01332 812711

Castle Donington Museum is a former 17th Century farmhouse and charming garden. A different exhibition is staged each year. Walkers Trail available from the Museum. Parties by appointment.

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Civic Suite and Treasures

The Council House, Corporation Street, Derby, DE1 2FS
Tel: 01332 255482    Fax: 01332 841841

Enjoy centuries of Civic pride and history on display in the Mayor of Derby's Parlour. The Ceremonial Mace dating back to 1637 and the Charter of 1977 granting City status to the ancient Borough of Derby can also be seen. See the beautiful display of Royal Crown Derby as well as treasured gifts from around the world.

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Ripley Heritage Trust

Market Place, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3BT
Tel: 01773 841488

A small collection of artefacts and documents from Ripley's past are displayed in the Old Town Hall. The entrance is just off the Market Place in Ripley, left of the Tourist Information Centre. Pass through the double glass doors and proceed to the end of the corridor, turn right and the display cabinets can be found a few metres on your right.
Theme displays are occasionally displayed in the Tourist Information Centre.

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Shardlow Heritage Centre

Canalside, London Road, Shardlow, Derby, DE72 2GA
Tel: 01332 792 489

Story of Shardlow and Great Wilne Parish from pre Roman to present day. Audio and visual displays, objects and full sized mock up of narrow boat cabin c1910. Children's costumes to try on. Some parts of exhibition change each year. Emphasis on canal and river transport, firms & social history. Opening times: Easter to end of October: Saturday & Sunday & Bank Holidays, 12 noon to 5pm. Park in the Clock Warehouse car park.

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Sharpe's Pottery Museum

West Street, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, DE11 9DG
Tel: 01283 222600

A former "yellow ware" and toilet factory (established in 1821), which exported its products worldwide. The visitor centre housed in the newly restored pottery works in the heart of Swadlincote, is a registered museum with exhibits and displays and the latest in interactive technology, which reveals the hidden treasures and fascinating facts behind a South Derbyshire pottery. There is a cafe & Gift Shop.

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National Tramway Museum

Martlock Road, Crich, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 5DP
Tel: 01773 852565    Fax: 01773 852326

Ride Vintage Trams from all over the world using genuine old pennies and ha'pennies given on arrival. Plus over 30,000 square feet of indoor attractions. Tea Rooms, shops, picnic areas, playgrounds. Braille Guide books, ramps, specially converted tram to lift and carry wheelchairs, free car and coach parking.

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Masson Mills Working Textile Museum

Derby Road, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3PY
Tel: 01629 581001

Sir Richard Arkwright built Masson Mills as his showpiece mills on the banks of the River Derwent at Matlock Bath, Derbyshire in 1783, when, as the inventor of the water frame and 'Father of the Factory System', he was at the height of his entrepreneurial power. These internationally famous Grade II* listed buildings now welcome visitors to experience over 200 years of industrial history in one afternoon! Beautifully restored, Masson Mills house a Working Textile Museum containing a unique and comprehensive collection of authentic historic working textile machinery, a Shopping Village tearoom, fully licensed restaurant and Conference and Exhibition Centre.

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Buxton Museum & Art Gallery

Terrace Road, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6DU
Tel: 01298 24658    Fax: 01298 79394

The Museum & Art Gallery features geology, archaeology and history of the Peak District displayed in a seven section time tunnel - complete with sounds and smells! On site you'll find Local History displays, an Art Gallery and the Museum Gift Shop. Wheelchair users welcome. Disabled access/electric wheelchair lift (max 150 kilo). Toilet for disabled.

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The M&C Collection of Historic Motorcycles

Matlock Street, Bakewell, DE45 1EE
Tel: 01629 815011     E-mail: peter@mccollection.net

The collection has been put together by Peter Mather and Phil Crosby of Bakewell and includes the mundane "get-you-to-work" bike through to the exotic sports tourer; from trials bikes and scramblers to speedway and racing machines. In addition to famous British names such as BSA, Norton and Triumph, this collection has a range of lesser-known marques from manufacturers who typified all that was great in Great Britain. Over 40 exhibits along with the period memorabilia are on display.

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High Peak Junction Workshop

High Peak Junction, Cromford, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 5HN
Tel: 01629 822831

The original workshops of the Cromford and High Peak Railway - a unique railway built in 1830 and closed in 1963. Contains early relics of the railway, plus a model and a video show.

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Castleton Village Museum

Methodist Church Schoolroom, Buxton Road, Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WP
Tel: 01433 620950

Unique insight into Castleton Village life through the ages.

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Chesterfield Museum & Art Gallery

St. Marys Gate, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S41 7TD
Tel: 01246 345727

The museum tells the story of Chesterfield from Roman times to the present day. Small art gallery, programme of exhibitions and events.

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The Old House Museum

Cunningham Place, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1DD
Tel: 01629 813642     E-mail: bakewellmuseum@googlemail.com

The building dating from Henry VIII's reign, is Bakewell's oldest house, later converted by Arkwright into Millworkers' dwellings. Its 12 rooms include a Tudor lavatory, Victorian kitchen, costume, lace, toys, agricultural implements etc. A fascinating social and local history collection. Introductory video.

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Manifold Valley Visitor Centre

Hulme End, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 0EX
Tel: 01298 84679     E-mail: tourism.smdc@staffordshire.gov.uk

Former ticket office of the Leek and Manifold Light Railway, the centre provides: access to the Manifold Track for walking and cycling, guide books, maps, souvenirs and leaflets, exhibition, models and information on the history of the railway and and the surrounding area. Car park and picnic facilities.

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Toys of Yesteryear

Chatsworth Road, Rowsley, Derbyshire, DE4 2NP
Tel: 01283 712770 / 07966 482337
E-mail: steve@toysofyesteryear.co.uk

Step back in time and relive some special childhood memories

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Peak Mining Museum

The Pavillion, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire DE4 3RN
Tel: 01629 583834     E-mail: mail@peakmines.co.uk 

Activities for the whole family, from climbing, information shows and guided tours.

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