Crown Yard, Wirksworth, Derbyshire, DE4 4ET
Tel: 01629 825225
The Heritage Centre aims to give to the casual visitor or serious researcher alike an understanding of the life of a small town from its inception to the present times. It is strategically placed at the end of the Crown Yard which opens out onto the present market place and occupies a building which was once a mill for the production of silk and velvet textiles.
The exhibition occupies three floors of the old silk mill, where each floor presents different aspects of the story.
Ground Floor: Here t he story starts and two themes are presented; Making tracks and Local Customs. Making Tracks describes transport from the earliest pre-Roman portways to the more modern railways and road transport. Local Customs includes an illustration and explanation of the Derbyshire custom of Well Dressing and the yearly Clypping of the Church.
First Floor: The story then continues on this floor and the mysteries of the town's ancient Lead Mining industry are unveiled. Children can pit their wits against a computer in a Rescue the Injured Lead Miner game and can get a thrill from entering The Dream Cave. This last is a mock up of a natural local cavern in which some lead miners found the remains of a prehistoric Woolly Rhino in the 1820's.
Second Floor: Then to the next floor for an explanation of the town's intimate links with quarrying. Here a model illustrates the close proximity of the quarries to the town. The lifestyle of a quarryman in the early 1900's is recreated by a replica of a Quarrymans House Place - listen as a quarryman describes life in those days to his grandson. An impressive view over the town's roofscape with its backdrop of hills is also obtained from the windows.
Attached to the Centre is the Crown Yard Kitchen, a licensed restaurant which provides for all tastes from beverages to full meals.
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Please mention Visit Derbyshire when you call.