WIRKSWORTH HERITAGE CENTRE
For those wanting to know more about Wirksworth a visit to the highly acclaimed Heritage Centre is essential. Situated just off the market place in Crown Yard, alongside Crown Yard Kitchen where snacks and home cooked meals can be purchased.
The Heritage Centre is housed in what once was a Silk and Velvet Mill where in 1851 Samuel Evans employed twenty eight to thirty workers. The property had been left empty for many years and considered 'at risk', when the Civic Society took it over and converted it into one of the finest Heritage Centre's in the Midlands when it opened its doors to the public in 1984.
A visit to the Heritage Centre takes you on a fascinating journey through time from pre-historic days, when the bones of a Woolly Rhino were found, through the lead mining era to the present day, as the ’Wirksworth Story’ gradually unfolds. The ground floor now incorporates a gallery as well as a shop. On the upper floors children and the not so young can enjoy the computer games and have the thrill of exploring The Dream Cave, a recreation of a cavern in which some lead miners found the remains of a pre-historic Woolly Rhinoceros in the 1820s. You will find some of the best views of the town from the top floor of the Heritage Centre.
View over the old town
The top floor features quarrying and there is a fascinating reconstruction of a Quarryman's House Place complete with commentary, which brings home to you what life was like in the early 1900s. The local customs of Well Dressing and Clypping the church are also explained at the centre.
A visit to the Heritage Centre will enable you to discover the author George Eliot's connections with Wirksworth. Find out why the mills in the town manufactured miles and miles of red tape and see how lead ore was extracted from the bowels of the earth. Enjoy the latest exhibition honouring Ellen MacArthur, the leading yachtswoman in the world, who was born locally and went to school in Wirksworth.
A new gallery has been opened on the ground floor to enable local artists, sculptors, potters, photographers and historians to show their work in temporary exhibitions. There is also a shop where you can buy local books, cards, pottery, postcards and various souvenirs. Before you leave you can enjoy refreshments at the Crown Yard Kitchen.
Wirksworth Heritage Centre and Gallery
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WIRKSWORTH HERITAGE CENTRE
Where the ‘Wirksworth Story’ is told taking you on a fascinating journey through time on three floors of the centre. The special displays are excellent and if you want something different you can always try a computer game.
YEAR 2008 OPENING
Visitors, with time to explore the narrow streets and maze of interesting alleyways, to admire the old buildings and lovely views, to visit the ancient church and the cathedral–like close, will soon find themselves falling in love with this fascinating old town.
Outstanding views and fascinating places to visit, this walk reveals much of the heritage of the area and the industrial landscape.
WIRKSWORTH WELL DRESSINGS
Wirksworth holds its annual Well Dressings. over the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May.