Derby Arts & Culture

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Places of interest

There are plenty of places of interest in and around Derby, which is the major city of Derbyshire; most of the cultural attractions in Derby are very close to the centre of the town if not in it. The Museum and Art Gallery is on the corner of The Strand in the centre of town. A number of collections are held at the Museum and Art Gallery and they showcase different exhibits from time to time. The Gallery houses a number of paintings by the eighteenth century artist Joseph Wright, who lived in Derby and was an associate of the Royal Academy. The archaeology gallery has exhibits from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages. There is a museum shop selling a range of souvenirs and books.

The Silk Mill Museum is Derby’s industrial museum and is on the site of one of the world’s oldest factories the Silk Mills, built in 1702 and 1717. Part of the foundations and the tower of the 1717 mill are still visible the exhibits cover the industrial history of Derby. The Museum has an educational programme and regularly changing temporary exhibitions.

The Pickford House Museum is an example of a Georgian residence with the dining room, drawing room and morning room laid out as they would have been in Pickford’s time. There is a recreated bedroom and dressing room on the first floor and a servant’s room on the top floor. The kitchen and cellar have also been reconstructed, and there are toy displays on the top floor.

Quad is Derby’s new arts and media centre with a cinema, a gallery, a workshop and a café, Quad also has changing exhibitions throughout the year. Quad runs family activities and events and the idea is to make the arts and media accessible to everyone. Visitors are welcome and can get a coffee and a snack at the Quad café. The Assembly Rooms and Guildhall Theatre is opposite Derby’s Market Hall and puts on a range of performances throughout the year.

Derby Playhouse Theatre is situated in the Westfield Centre. It has faced changing fortunes over the last two or three years, closing down because of lack of funding. The Theatre has recently been supported by Derby University and is now back in use as a working theatre. Deda is Derby’s Dance Academy with two performance spaces, conferencing facilities and a café/bar. Public performances vary and there are also various events in the Cube café/bar.

There are various stately homes in and around Derby. Calke Abbey is about seven miles from the centre of Derby; the house has many rooms all with different collections. The grounds and gardens are great and you can picnic and watch the new lambs playing in the fields. Tissington Hall was built by Francis Fitzherbert in 1609 and has remained the home of the Fitzherbert family for the best part of four hundred years. The hall is open to the public during the months of June, July and August.

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