About Us

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Our history

Wirksworth Heritage Centre was created by the Wirksworth Civic Society in 1986, with the aim of interpreting the history of the town for visitors and the local community. Its exhibitions showed the history of the area from its prehistoric period, through its Roman and lead mining histories, to the modern era.

The original heritage centre was located in Crown Yard in a complex of two buildings near the town’s market square, where it operated until 2014. It contained a permanent museum display, exhibition gallery, gift shop and storage for the museum collection. Until this time, the organisation:

  • Ran an annual programme of events and temporary exhibitions, including heritage displays, seasonal concerts, storytelling, craft events for children and a popular Christmas grotto

  • Attracted educational and community group visits.

  • Undertook research and prepared publications.

  • Contributed to the cultural life of the town giving talks, attending fetes, fairs and other events.

  • Ran school activities included tours of the museum with a worksheet and a guide, guided walks of the town with a topic focus as required, and costumed drama workshops. The museum also attracted school pupils from further afield who were staying locally in residential accommodation.

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What we do

Wirksworth Heritage Centre is a charity and a company limited by guarantee. The company was incorporated on 4 May 1984 with charitable status.  The organisation’s Mission is ‘To preserve, promote and make accessible the stories of the town and people of Wirksworth.’

Its Vision is ‘To be an independent, financially sustainable heritage organisation, which, through the use of its museum collection and outreach learning programmes, makes a relevant and widely valued contribution to the culture and economy of Wirksworth.‘

The Heritage Centre became a registered museum in 1999 and an Accredited Museum in 2009. The centre currently holds ‘Provisional Accreditation’ due to the limited scope of people accessing the collection.  The museum adheres to the various best practice standards required by Accreditation, including various collections management documents such as the Collections Development Policy, which are all regularly reviewed.

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The Heritage Centre is currently open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays only.

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Information will be available here soon about ways you can donate to our £1.6m project or support the ongoing running of the organisation. Please see the Support Us page>>