The Grand PavilionSouth ParadeMatlockDE4 3NR 01629 583834
28th October 6pm
This year’s Heritage Open Day is being held at the Magpie Mine in the Peak District on Sunday 11th September 2016 from 11.00 am to 4.00pm.
The surface remains of the Magpie Mine near Sheldon in Derbyshire are the best example in Britain of an 18th and 19th century lead mine. It is one of the most iconic mining sites in Britain, and was the last working lead mine in the Peak District – only closing in 1958. Now a Scheduled Monument, the site is preserved by the Peak District Mines Historical Society.
This event will include free guided tours of the buildings and other surface features of the mine. Guided tours will start on the hour, every hour, from 11.00am until 4.00pm. No booking is required – just turn up on the day. You will learn about the history of mining on the site, the dispute that led to the death of three miners, and get a chance to look down the impressive 728ft deep main shaft (covered with a grille for safety and inspection purposes)!
We have just completed repairs to the Square Chimney (pictured above) using traditional lime mortar instead of modern cement. There will be a demonstration of the materials, techniques and skills involved, with the opportunity of some hands-on practice.
Sturdy footwear is advised because parts of the site are quite rough. Since it is quite exposed at over 1000ft above sea level on the limestone plateau, the weather can be inclement as well, so a wind- and waterproof jacket is advisable. This event is not suitable for children under the age of 5.
There is no vehicle access to the mine site itself, but cars can be left on the road close to the mine. A short walk along a track leads to the mine itself, which is situated near the village of Sheldon in the Peak District, not far from Bakewell. The event will be signposted from the A6 at Ashford-in-the-Water and other roads which lead to the site. Use postcode DE45 1QU to find us on sat-nav.
On Friday 13th May as part of the ‘Museums at Night’ festival the Peak District Mining Museum in Matlock Bath opened their doors after closing time to lots of excited families.
The theme was ‘Fantastic Fossils’ and visitors were encouraged to have hands on fun.
Children were able to get up close to real fossils with magnifying glasses, make salt dough models of fossils and break open dinosaur eggs.
Families explored the museum at night, dressed up as miners and crawled through tunnels.
Upcoming events at the museum include:
‘Fish in the bath’ 18th and 19th June – a free event for all the family. ‘The real minecraft’ – a guided tour of the mine with a ‘minecraft’ theme plus more! ‘Spooky tales in the mine’ – a guided tour of the mine aimed at children 8yrs+
The Peak District Mines Historical Society has received £74,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to carry out essential repairs to one of the oldest buildings on the Magpie Mine site, the Square Chimney
Ever since it was formed in 1959, the Peak District Mines Historical Society (PDMHS) has tried to record and preserve the fast-disappearing evidence of the lead mining industry in Derbyshire and further afield. Magpie Mine, between Bakewell, Monyash and Sheldon, where mining has taken place for more than two centuries, is one of the best examples of a former lead mining site.
The buildings at Magpie Mine, constructed from the local limestone, suffer from the severe weather conditions experienced on this exposed site. A survey, funded by Natural England and carried out for the Society in 2013, identified that the buildings will require some £¼-million pounds-worth of repair work to maintain them in a safe and viable condition for the future.
The priority for repair is the Square Chimney. This is one of the oldest structures on the site, having been built in 1840 to serve a steam-powered winding engine. The original boiler house and engine house have long since gone, but the chimney was retained and re-used to serve another winding engine. The survey reported that although the Square Chimney appeared from the outside to be in reasonable condition, an internal examination using modern rope-access techniques revealed that some of the inner skin of stonework had fallen away. The examiner reported: 'I could see daylight through the gaps between the stones.'
The Heritage Lottery Fund grant will enable the Society to employ conservation experts to repair the Square Chimney, the associated ground-level flue, and a small building at the base of the Chimney.
The restoration will be carried out using traditional techniques, including the use of lime mortar, and it is planned to complete this work in the summer of 2016 so that the lime mortar can start to cure before the onset of frosty weather.
The HLF Grant will also be used to improve the information that is provided to visitors to Magpie Mine. A series of display panels in the building at the base of the chimney will explain the history and development of the Magpie Mine and the work carried out on the Square Chimney. They will also describe the ecology of the area, with information about the wild flowers (including unusual lead-tolerant species) that can be found on the site.
We have something really exciting coming up. This year we will be taking part in the nationwide Museums at night event!Friday 13th May 2016 5pm - 7pm.
Explore the museum after hours and find out more about fantastic fossils! Climb through the museums tunnels and dress up as a miner! We will have some fantastic fossils to touch and see. Get up close with a magnifying glass! Lots of fantastic fossil themed activities to take part in and you even get the chance to make your own fossil!Discounted tea and coffee for grown ups!£5 per adult, children go free to this one night only event. (Up to 3 children admitted per adult)
Part of the nationwide Museums at Night event http://goo.gl/zgR8Zy
If you have visited the museum recently then you will know that there is lots of hard work taking place in preparation for our ‘Matlock Bath Through Time’ project.
One of the windows in the museum is going to be transformed into a beautiful leaded glass window that will reflect the different aspects of Matlock Bath. We are really lucky to have two talented leaded glass artists working on this project.
But we really want to say a big thank you to Heaps Arnold who have very kindly donated all of the lead and solder needed for the construction of the window.
The Museum and Mine have been closed since the beginning of December, but we are now back to our usual opening hours. You will notice some big changes - the gift shop is looking quite different with a new ceiling and lighting. Above this will be our new exhibition space. The displays will be developed over the coming months so this part of the Museum isn't yet open to the public.A big thank you to the volunteers who have put in many many hours over the last month.
As you may have seen in previous News, the Museum has recieved funding to install a new exhibition, dedicated to the heritage of 'Matlock Bath Through Time'. Until now, most of the project work has taken place behind the scenes, but if you have visited the Museum recently you may have noticed that some of our exisiting displays have started to change and that part of the upper floor has been closed so that new display walls can be constructed.
From 1st December the whole Museum and gift shop will be closed to the public for at least three weeks, while builders extend the upper floor of the Museum over the current shop space. Temple Mine will also be closed during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience, and hope to be open again by the end of December, by which time you will notice that some big changes have taken place.
In the meantime, staff and volunteers will be busy researching the history of Matlock Bath and working with Graphic Designer Mark Titterton to create the new displays. Below is an example of one of the display panels, so please let us know what you think. What do you think about the layout and general design? Do you think we have the right balance of writing and images on this panel? Remember that it will be printed much much larger, so you won't be able to read the wiriting on screen. You can 'contact us' with your feedback using the link at the top of the page or through our Facebook page.
The Great War – Life In ‘The Bath’ The second annual exhibition exploring how life in Matlock Bath was affected by World War 1 with a focus on the year 1915. 11th July – 20th September 2015. 10am – 4.30pm daily.
The inland spa and resort town of Matlock Bath holds a unique place in social history. This exhibition explores how life in the village was affected by World War 1. It is the second exhibition in a series of activities to commemorate the centenary of The Great War and this year focuses on 1915.
Curated by Matlock Bath Parish Council and The Peak District Lead Mining Museum with contributions from the community of Matlock Bath including the village primary school, there is something of interest for all ages.
The postcard pictured above was sent by a 14 year old Albert Hodgkinson and his mother Matilda. There is further information provided by his family in the exhibition.
The Great War Life in The Bath
The Peak District Lead Mining Museum has received £70,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, Matlock Bath through time: Miners, Mills, Mineral Waters and Motorbikes. Led by staff at the Mining Museum and supported by volunteers from the local community, the project will result in a new exhibition space dedicated to the rich heritage of Matlock Bath and Matlock. The project will begin in July this year and be complete by October 2016. Financial contributions to the project have also been gratefully received from Councillors Irene Ratcliffe and Andy Botham through the Community Leadership Scheme, Museum Development East Midlands, The Grand Pavilion Limited, The Charles Hayward Foundation, The Headley Trust and Matlock Bath Parish Council. The Museum will also be contributing from its own reserves. There is still a small amount left to raise so if you can offer a donation towards the project, please contact the Museum or donate online using the link at the bottom of this page.
The project will expand the current floor space of the museum by extending the mezzanine floor. The new display area will then house an exhibition and activity space, with new interpretation, display cabinets, activities such as dressing-up, interactive exhibits and artist's interpretations. Themes explored in the exhibition are planned to include: The development of Matlock Bath as a spa resort; Hydropathic establishments; Petrifying wells; The arrival of the railway; Local trades and industries; The biking tradition; Royal and famous visitors; The history of Matlock Bath Illuminations and Venetian Nights; Victorian and Edwardian tourist attractions; The local area through the World Wars. There will be a number of training opportunities for volunteers to take part in, including sessions at Derbyshire Record Office and a chance to be involved with the design of a stained glass window.
Natural thermal waters have shaped the development of Matlock Bath as a spa resort and tourist destination from at least the seventeenth century, while local geology was a resource for the mining and quarrying industries. In contrast to, but alongside its industrial past, Matlock Bath developed a thriving tourist trade. Firstly for the upper and middle classes and later, with the coming of the railway in 1849, workers from cities of Sheffield, Manchester and Derby began to visit for day trips in their valuable leisure time.
The spectacular landscape, known as little Switzerland, attracted tourists, artists and writers, including John Betjuman, Byron, Erasmus Darwin and John Ruskin on 'The Grand Tour'. Royal visitors included Princess Victoria and the Emperor of Brazil. There were hydropathic establishments, baths and water cures that were thought to be beneficial to the health. Obscurities including monkeys and bears in the park and the famous 'Switchback' ride offered additional entertainment. There were petrifying wells all over the village, which used the natural mineral water to 'turn to stone' everyday objects. Old lead mines were opened as show caverns as early as the eighteenth century.
Matlock Bath Illuminations and ‘Venetian Nights’ are a local tradition in which the river and gorge is decorated with lights and illuminated boats. It has been held in various forms since the early 19th century. This tradition along with the location's popularity with motorcyclists continues to the present day. In modern times Matlock Bath has become known as an inland seaside resort, with family attractions and river walks, and has a unique atmosphere.
Commenting on the award, Robin Hall, Museum Project Leader said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund are looking forward to offering something new and exciting to our visitors and to the local community.”
During May Rachel Carter will be Artist In Residence in the museum's Pump Room where she will be continuing her research and development into ancient casting techniques and hand weaving, with an aim to combine these skills to create unique cast bronze sculptures. Using lengths of pure wax, Rachel will be applying them to cast blocks of plaster before sending them to the foundry to go through the lost wax technique to be transformed into bronze. Visitors to the Pump Room will be able to discuss the project with the artist and engage with the collection of samples and experiments.
Photograph: Chris Hardy Photography
The museum is now open every day of the week from 11am-4pm, with tours of Temple Mine running at 12 noon and 2pm. Remember to call ahead to secure a place on a tour and bring sensible footwear if you plan to go underground!
The Great War - Life in the Bath, an exhibition investigation life in Matlock Bath during the years around Would War One, opens Saturday 9th August until Sunday 21st September in The Pump Room. The exhibition has been co-curated by the museum and Matlock Bath Parish Council, with contributions from the community of Matlock Bath, including some imaginative artwork by pupils of Holy Trinity Primary School. The exhibition is free entry and open every day from 10am until 4pm.
(Picture courtesy of the Tony Holmes Collection)
Stone & Water
7th June- 27th July 14
Eddy Dreadnought, Sarah Pennington, Silvia Champion,
Olivia Punnett, & Sian Williams
The Artists included in this exhibition all respond to Place. Matlock Bath’s inland Spa retreat, had a heyday in 1832 when Queen Victoria visited with her mother the Duchess of Kent. Ruskin and Byron also enjoyed its thermal waters and The Grand Pavilion was built for pleasure and entertainment. It is now known as the seaside town without the sea and many still enjoy its unique situation.
The Peak District Lead Mining Museum has co-curated the exhibition with Olivia Punnett. The artwork compliments the museum's collections, which include thousands of geological specimens and curiosities relating to the spa heritage of Matlock Bath, as well as those relating to local mineral mining.
Eddy Dreadnought’s practice works with performance, writing, sculpture, drawing and video. His new film 'Calcium' is a meditation on calcification. It was inspired by the placing of his previous DVD into the petrifying well of the Matlock Bath Aquarium. His pre film is based on John Ruskin’s 1871 visit to Matlock Bath, when he became unwell and showed symptoms of mental illness. The film scans the cliffs of High Tor moving horizontally across a cloudy sky, and descending back to the river. A voiceover reads from Ruskin’s early work ‘Stones of Venice’ and his later work brooding ‘Fors Clavigera’.
Sarah Pennington uses found material and walking is a central part of her practice of her practice. In this way she responds to site, and the traditions associated with in it. Discarded material and utility seem to draw on the poetics of hand craft, as well as cabinets of curiosity and treasure.
Sian Williams explores the expression of an indefinable quality or feeling, making drawings based on landscape, concentrating on the horizon. The horizon represents the unknown in Williams work, something that is always present but never reached. Her practice involves drawing, printmaking and film.
Silvia Champion’s work often involves finding a space, reading it by spending time there, and intervening by being present. Presence and role as an artist are crucial as well as the relationships between artist, participants and the audience in the work’s content.
Olivia Punnett’s work (pictured below) revolves around place, our history and relationships with its multiple identities and atmospheric individualities. These interpretations are affected by internal experiences and memories. Mediums include print, household paint, dust, & found or reclaimed materials. For Stone & water old photographs of the petrifying wells, once common in Matlock Bath have been traced, collected and printed again using Cyanotype Print, a form of old blue printing.
We have three temporary exhibitions planned for this year, all are FREE ENTRY and will be in the Pump Room.
'The Hidden Heritage of the Matlocks', 5th April - 18th May, previews a new collection of items relating to the history of Matlock and Matlock Bath, which has never previously been on public display. This is part of The Grand Pavilion's Sharing Heritage Project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
'Stone and Water', 7th June - 27th July, is an exhibition co-curated by local artist Olivia Punnett and the Mining Museum, displaying artists' repsonses to Matlock Bath and its different identities over time. Featuring work by Olivia, Eddy Dreadnought, Silvia Champion and Sarah Pennington.
'The Great War Centenary Exhibition', 9th August - 7th September, by Matlock Bath Parish Council, the Mining Museum and the local community. Look out for further details.
If you have visited our website before, you might have noticed that it has recently had a complete makeover – new photos, new designs and more information. In addition to the website, you will see new signs outside the Museum and a brand new logo (at the top left had side of the web-page).