Other Peak District museums:
Life in a Lens
Wirksworth in Derbyshire is a fine old mining town, with a history stretching back for well over 1000 years, the bones of a woolly rhino were found in a cavern in a nearby mine. Like several other Peak District towns, Wirksworth has its literary connections - the Author George Eliot took the settings for her novel ‘Adam Bede’ from here.
After the decline of the lead mining industry, tape making and quarrying took over. It is only relatively recently that these have declined.
These days, Wirksworth has become a very arty place, attracting artists, painters, potters and sculptors.
The Heritage centre tells the story of Wirksworth in detail, see the living conditions of the quarryman and hear his story, enter the dream cave and experience the conditions of a lead mine and meet the long-extinct woolly Rhinocerous. Visit the galleries and see exhibitions of the works of the local artists. There is even an exhibition dedicated to local lass Ellen MacArthur, famed for her solo yachting records. The view from the top floor of the centre, over the rooftops of Wirksworth, is superb.
Because the Wirksworth Heritage Centre is manned by volunteers, the opening times are not always reliable. It is never open on a Monday, 1.30 pm to 4 pm on Sundays, 11.00 am to 4.00 pm on Tuesday to Saturday, although it opens at 10.00 am and closes at 5.00 pm during July, August and September.
The Heritage Centre admission fees to all of the exhibits are very reasonable (2006 prices are £3.00 adult, £2.00 senior citizen, £1.00 child.
Pre-booked parties of 20 or more receive a 10% discount and groups may visit out of hours by prior arrangement.
Contact details for the Wirksworth Heritage Centre are:
tel: 01629 825255
web site: www.storyofwirksworth.co.uk