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.

Hillhead 2022

We are busy learning about quarrying so where better to go than Hillhead 2022? This is one of the largest exhibitions of quarrying, construction and recycling equipment and ancillary products. It has lots of equipment on display and live demonstrations of it.  I had a chat with the staff on the Archaeological Research Services Ltd – they have been involved in a lot of archaeology in quarries and had some of their finds on display. These included musket balls, roman pottery and pre-historic flint tools all of which were found in Derbyshire quarries. They were almost as excited about the new museum as we are and we look forward to working together as part of that project.

The images are of the view down to the quarry floor where most of the exhibitors are based.

Looking down into a quarry filled with rows of white exhibition tents and some bright coloured quarry equipment. The sky is a bright blue and in the distance you can see the dark quarry face.
Looking down into a quarry where there are rows of brightly coloured quarry equipment including excavators on the loose stone at the right hand side of the quarry face. The sky is bright blue.

The picture is dominated by a large blue/grey arc shearer with the blade along the top of it. This machine is surrounded by old hand tools.

We have been down to Bath to take a look at the David Pollard collection of quarrying artefacts which are not currently accessible to the public. There are over 4000 artefacts in this collection ranging from hand tools used from the seventeenth century through to this large Samson arc shearer which was last used in Monks Park Quarry. Most of the collection relates to dimension (solid block) quarrying. Our thanks go to Nina, Mary, Mike and Doug for showing us around the collection and sharing some of the stories of quarrying in the Bath area.

The National Stone Centre

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.

We are busy working away behind the scenes. The National Stone Centre and Peak District Mining Museum have just submitted a grant application to the Everyday Heritage grant. If successful this will lead to a community project recording the life of local quarry workers and miners. Keep your fingers crossed for us!