Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire

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Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire

Following a £1.5m redevelopment, Buxton Museum & Art Gallery was officially re-opened this week by the Duke of Devonshire. The museum was closed for nine months for the brand new Wonders of the Peak exhibition to be transformed, which houses a collection of objects focused on the geology of the Peak District landscape and archaeological finds which have been collected since the museum first opened its doors in 1893.

The collection of archaeological artefacts, minerals and fossils from the Peak District as well as artwork, photographs and objects owned by people who lived in Buxton, make it an important place for visitors to understand the social, geological and cultural history of the area.

The gift shop has also had a complete makeover with a fantastic new range of merchandise, gifts, postcards and souvenirs now on sale.

More than 200 people attended the official opening ceremony.

Ros Westwood, Derbyshire Museums Manager said,”this museum is for everyone to enjoy – the cabinets and cases for example were designed for flexibility and it will be much easier to up date and there are cabinets at higher and lower levels too so children can really experience objects and the displays like never before”.

“I hope that visitors will be inspired to get out into the iconic landscapes in the Peak District and be inspired by the archaeological finds that have been so carefully recorded in the collection”.

The Duke of Devonshire, speaking at the launch, declaring the museum ‘open’ said, “this is a museum about the landscape where life actually happens and goes on. And technology is racing along at a thrilling pace and we should relish it and enjoy it, we can do things we couldn’t do things even do ten years ago. The exhibition here tells you what it was like all those years ago to hold the object. I’m absolutely delighted to be able in this great place, in this great town of Buxton to declare the Wonders of the Peak gallery and the new digital experience open and I congratulate everyone involved”.

The museum now has 10% more objects on display and much more for children to explore and engage with – such as the Bear Trail, because yes, the bear is still here – which we were very pleased to see!

Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire Buxton Museum officially opened by Duke of Devonshire

Following the ceremony, we asked the team at the museum about the project to find out more:

How will the digital technology work – like the web app you’ve developed?

“One of the biggest challenges for the project team was how to use digital technology to enable the public to engage with the collection and follow trails and tours – related directly to objects in the museum collection”.

“And another huge challenge for us was how to combat the issue with phone signals across the Peak District area and in and around Buxton, most places are covered but there are black spots and we needed to create something that was available for people to use on their phones, even when there was a poor or no phone signal – so we created a web app which can be downloaded to your smart phone and then used regardless of whether there is a phone signal”.

Bed Bedwell, web designer and IT

Will the museum collaborate with other key attractions in the area to capitalise on this investment?

“Pooles’s Cavern definitely given we have objects in the collection found there. We’re already working with the Crescent development – which makes sense to extend the legacy of both places long term and collecting histories of Buxton and the area and memories from people. We’re also in talks with Buxton Opera House too and we’re working with tourism students from the University of Derby in Buxton who will be encouraged to get involved long term”.

Jo Perry, Collections Officer

What other museums were an inspiration to the layout and curation of the new Wonders of the Peak?

“We visited Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester, Manchester Museum and Manchester Archives, amongst others. It was interesting to see how they used digital technology. For example the way Manchester Museum uses their smart phone app showcasing their collections – such as their Egyptology collection.”

Jo Perry, Collections Officer

How do you think this investment will benefit the local community?

“We are keen to involve the local community more and more and our volunteer programme will continue and expand. People interested in their own heritage and who have memories of objects or places can share them and with the new Wonders of the Peak web app we can share these stories. The important thing is the Wonders of the Peak will be constantly grow as an ongoing project both through the volunteer programme and the public who will be able to contribute content to the web app. The fantastic thing is too, the exhibition is no longer static and can be changed and added to and will evolve over time.”

Jo Perry, Collections Officer


For further information about visiting Buxton Museum & Art Gallery, opening times or to find out about the latest events go to: www.derbyshire.gov.uk/leisure/buxton_museum

Buxton Museum & Art Gallery, Terrace Road, Buxton, SK17 6DA

Tel: 01629 533540 

Email: buxton.museum@derbyshire.gov.uk