Quirky. Different. Special. Words often used to describe this fascinating Derbyshire town on the southern edge of the Peak District, where the geology and landscape have shaped its character and its people for generations.
Lead was being mined here in Roman times, and by the 12th century it was one of the most important centres for lead ore in England. By the 19th century lead was all but exhausted and limestone quarrying provided new work for the town’s inhabitants. Wirksworth also became the biggest producer of red tape for Whitehall, its weekly output equalling the circumference of the earth.
George Eliot, in her novel Adam Bede, based her fictional town Snowfield on Wirksworth and the character Dinah Morris on her aunt, who lived in the town. D.H. Lawrence lived with his wife Frieda on the outskirts of Wirksworth and whilst staying here in the bitter winter of 1918–19 wrote the short story A Wintry Peacock.
Wirksworth is now known for its independent shops and cafes, annual arts festival, bustling music scene and for the dozens of artists and creative people who live and work in the town.
This new museum brings to life the stories of this fascinating town, illustrating Wirksworth’s long history, the town’s quirky qualities, famous characters, industries and its long-established rural customs and celebrations. A monthly program of regular events and activities offers lots to do for visiting groups, children and families, including walks and talks, workshops and entertainment.
The Heritage Centre is open daily from 9am-4pm Tuesday through to Saturday, 10am-2pm Sundays.
The centre’s in-house Webster’s Café is open from 9am until 3pm, 10am-2pm Sundays, offering hot and cold drinks, a selection of cakes, snacks and delicious home-made meals, including vegetarian/vegan options. Walkers and cyclists very welcome. Dog owners are also welcome to bring along their pooches to the outdoor cafe courtyard.
- Fully accessible disabled toilet
- Audible alarm system
- Clear signage throughout venue
- Wheelchair accessible
- Accessible by public transport
- On-site catering
- On-site light refreshments
- Baby Changing Facilities
- Children welcome
- Outside seating
- Facilities for educational visits
- Facilities for groups
- Guided tours for groups
- Air conditioning
- Facilities for corporate hospitality
- Dogs Accepted
- Gift shop
- Onsite Catering
- Passenger lift
- Accepts groups
- Coach parties accepted
How To Find Us
Wirksworth's very own award-winning French-inspired bistro and wine shop.
Heritage trains operate every Saturday throughout the year and on Sundays and some weekdays in the summer.
A modern and spacious centre with sports facilities for everyone.
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