Magpie Heritage Open Day

A light brown path heads into the distance. In the foreground the long grass is full of different species of beautiful flowers. The grass bank leads up to a blue building which is the discovery centre. To the left of the centre is a smaller whilte building.

We will be up at the Heritage Open day at Magpie Mine on Sunday 10 September 11am-4pm so do come and catch up on the plans for the new Mining & Quarrying Museum. 

Clare Herbert, who is the project manager for the new museum as well as the museum manager of the Peak District Mining Museum, will be in the Smithy with a small  display and is happy to answer questions on the project.

Free parking at the NSC

If you visit our Museum this summer then you will be given a voucher that can be used for free parking at the National Stone Centre (NSC) for the seven days after you visited us. At the NSC you can find fossils by following the geo-trail, pan for gemstones, walk through the woods and discover the different quarries. There is a cafe, toilets and a rock shop in the discovery centre. Lots to discover and no parking charge!

A light brown path heads into the distance. In the foreground the long grass is full of different species of beautiful flowers. The grass bank leads up to a blue building which is the discovery centre. To the left of the centre is a smaller whilte building.

Designing a museum needs a team!

image shows an initial sketch plan of one floor of the Museum with numerous post-it notes with people's ideas stuck on it.

On Wednesday 5th July 2023 we held our first brainstorming session of ideas for the new museum of mining and quarrying. This brought together teams from the Museum, the Peak District Mines Historical Society, the Institute of Quarrying and the National Stone Centre. Lots of ideas were generated fueled by plenty of cake and cups of tea. There will be more sessions to come including ones where we hope to hear from local residents and museum visitors.

Planning permission granted!

We are delighted to be able to let you know that the planning application for the new building at the National Stone Centre has been approved. All of the Councillors on the Derbyshire Dales District Council Planning Committee were in favour of the development which had been recommended by the planners.  Our thanks go to the amazing team from the Institute of Quarrying who put together the application and funded it.  Now we need to begin applying for funding and planning the relocation of the Museum. The hard work continues!

Working groups!

We are still working away in the background to make the new building at the NSC and our move to it a reality. The planning application should go through in April (keep your fingers crossed for us). We are now setting up some working groups who will drive the project forward. This includes a Funding Group,  a Visitor Experience Group and a Relocation Group with each group made up from some people from PDMHS, some from the NSC and some from IQ. There are also people on those groups who are not directly linked to any of those associations so if you would like to get involved at some point do get in touch with the Museum manager Clare Herbert, there is no need to come to all of the meetings, you can come to the ones which best fit your skills, knowledge or passion. We are looking not just at the Museum but at the new building at the NSC as well as the NSC site as a whole.

The image shows a sunny day with a bright blue sky. In the foreground there is a rock outcrop with a stone tower sculpture on it.

Planning application submitted

The planning application for the new building at the National Stone Centre has been submitted. 

This is the building which our Museum will be relocated to.

Within the development the building facilities will include:

  • a 100 seater café/restaurant
  • four naturally lit classrooms with a combined capacity of 120 learners
  • 1000m2 of museum/exhibition space (Yes, all for us!)
  • a souvenir shop
  • Changing Places facilities
  • a new thematic children’s playground
  • a 1200m2 open-air circular piazza for community events

Beautiful environment

We are frequently up at the National Stone Centre site and will have lots of exciting news to tell you very soon. But in the meantime we are pleased to let you know that we are pulling together a team of volunteers with the goal of restoring the lime kilns that are on the site. This includes a large block of lime kilns at the bottom on the site next to Shaw’s Quarry and the smaller single kiln at the top of the site near the High Peak Trail and the car park. We hope to be successful with a grant application but we will be doing an archaeological survey of the buildings which will explain the historic importance of them.  As they are alongside well used public footpaths on a site where we will be providing more information boards and are clearly located next to the source of limestone and the transport routes we feel they are well worth saving. We would like to do a laser-scan of the building which will reveal the problems with the structure but this will need doing before we have the grant. Does anyone have links to a University which trains students to do laser-scans and which may be happy to help us out? Please email if you can help.

Go Green Event

Derbyshire Dales District Council invited the Institute of Quarrying (IQ) to join their first Go Green event in Matlock park last Saturday.

This event brought together businesses and organisations to promote their climate change, sustainability and biodiversity credentials and was well attended by the public. 

The architect’s sketches of the building were on display and were very well received by people visiting the event. The moving of the Museum to become part of the National Stone Centre in that building, along with an expansion to a mining and quarrying museum, was seen as a logical thing to do.

On hand to answer questions about the building and the changes at the National Stone Centre was Miles Watkins from IQ.  Our manager joined him for a while in the afternoon.

The new building is designed to last 100-150 years.

The electricity needs will be generated on site by the solar panels on the roof of each section, there will also be a ground-source heat pump installed.

The building will be highly insulated which will help to maintain an appropriate temperature throughout the year – it will be cool in summer just like our current location, but in winter it will be easier to keep it much warmer than the current Museum. This is something that our staff are very excited about! 

Rainwater harvesting will help provide the water for toilets as well as general use on site. 

IQ are working with local businesses to ensure the Green credentials of the building and to showcase what can be done.

FAQs on our planned move

Are you taking the Wills Founder Engine?

Of course we are! This is the centre piece of the Museum. It does present some challenges not least because it takes up 8.5m of vertical space and then the balance beam takes even more horizontal space. It was the first artefact installed in the Museum and then had the mezzanine built around it, which means it will be one of the last items out of the current Museum and one of the last items into the new Museum. It does come apart and compared with undoing rusted up bolts whilst working 360ft underground with water pouring down a shaft onto you it will be a much more pleasant job.

Will you still have the tunnels and a climbing shaft?

Absolutely. If anything they will be even more amazing and provide an even better experience of the type of tunnels and challenges miners worked in.

Isn’t this move going to cost quite a lot of money?

We will need grant funding to help with the move. IQ will provide us with a big open space, just like we started with at the current Museum. We will need to install ramps and mezzanines, the new tunnels and maybe even a cliff. Then we will transfer most of the existing Museum display and create additional exhibition panels for the quarrying part of the Museum. If you are able to direct us towards any grant funding or have experience applying for large pots of money do get in touch with Clare our Museum manager.

Hitting the News!

An open magazine shows an article on the Pavilion. On the top left there is an aerial photo of the Pavilion building. The photo on the right is of one of the bands that played at the Pavilion many years ago.

There is a lovely article in this month’s Reflections Magazine all about the history of the Grand Pavilion. The Museum has been in the building for longer than any other tenant – 45 years in September 2023 – so we were mentioned along with Temple Mine. I can confirm that we are definitely going to be on the move in the next few years!

This is the part of the article all about the museum's planned move. The head line is Museum on the Move? Yes. we are.