Tourist Information in Derbyshire
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Wirksworth Town Information

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View of Wirksworth from South West - Photo: Mike Fowkes
View of Wirksworth from South West - Photo: Mike Fowkes CCL

A town of steep terraces, narrow streets and alleyways, Wirksworth was at one time one of the most important lead mining centres in Britain. As this industry declined its place was taken by limestone quarrying, and one of the town’s unique attractions is the National Stone Centre, which offers activities such as gem-panning and fossil-casting. Likewise, the North End Mills allow visitors to see how hosiery has been made.

Jacobean Babington House is linked to the infamous Antony Babington who was executed in 1585 for his part in a plot to free Mary Queen of Scots.

At 13th century St Mary’s Church is a coffin lid on which is one of the oldest stone carvings in Britain, known as the Wirksworth Stone. The Saxon lid, dated to 800AD, was found by accident in 1820 when a paving was removed from the altar.

One mile south are two mills built by the pioneer industrialist Richard Arkwright. They were among the first in the country to use water power. Nearby, the so-called Black Rocks offer magnificent views over the Derwent Valley.