Pottery has been made at Denby for nearly 200 years. The original pottery was established by the Bourne family in 1809 after the discovery of a fine clay in the locality, which well suited their requirements. Although the Bourne family no longer own the business, the title still lives on in the name of the restaurant at the visitor centre.
In the small museum you can see examples of Denby's rich heritage from early salt glazed bottles and jars to the popular tableware of recent years. When you leave the museum you will find there are a wide range of items available in the Visitor Centre Factory Shop at discounted prices.
All the tours of the factory at Denby are conducted in groups by experienced Tour Guides who explain the processes involved in making the pottery. There are two Pottery Tours to choose from; both include a video presentation and the opportunity to have fun. You can feel the clay and if you are feeling really ambitious you can have a go at painting a plate. If you are reluctant to leave your creation behind, you can have it fired for an additional charge.
There is a kitchen theatre where free cookery demonstrations are held daily, each lasting about half an hour. Recipes are available free of charge to take home after the demonstrations. You can also taste the results. Refreshments are served in Bourne's Restaurant and for small children there is an outdoor play area.
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Situated two miles to the south of Ripley on the B6179, the visitor centre is open daily from Monday to Saturday from 9.30am - 5pm, Sunday from 10am - 5pm.
Free centre entry and car parking. Groups welcome. For further information telephone 01773 740799.
PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE AREA
Midland Railway Centre, (Tel. 01773 570140) fine heritage railway offering a seven-mile trip through Amber Valley countryside. The Railway Museum containing a unique collection of restored locomotives and rolling stock: the Golden Valley Light Railway, miniature and model railways form only part of the many attractions. See feature.
Shipley Country Park (Tel 01773 719961) contains over 600 acres of attractive parkland with lakes, woodlands and miles of footpaths and bridleways. There is a Visitor Centre with a countryside gift shop and café. See feature.
Heage Windmill, (Tel. 01773 853579 - when mill closed telephone 01773 853136) a Grade II listed building, is the only working, stone-towered, multi-sailed windmill in England. Spectacular views across the Derwent Valley. Visitor Centre and shop. Light refreshments. See feature.
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
Provides a wide range of features with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.
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Ripley is a friendly place to visit and with a population of close on 20,000 the town offers a wide variety of shops. Most of the the town's businesses have been established over many years and are still run by their owners. This helps to provide a much more personal touch than that encountered in many chain stores in larger towns and cities.
All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.