Have you visited the town’s museum since its million-pound refurbishment last year? “…the beautiful little Buxton Museum and Art Gallery…” said Matthew Parris in The Times online (April 2018) is England’s highest and will be celebrating its 125th birthday this year.
People in Buxton and the Peak District have given the museum the most amazing collection of artefacts that when seen together, take you on a journey from the tropical seas where the limestone was laid down, 360 million years ago, right up to 2017. An amazing parade of the remains of ancient predators tell the story of the landscape before humans arrived: from sharks to scimitar tooth cats, lions and bears. There is also a mermaid!
Tools and trinkets that people have left behind reveal communities skilled in design but it’s not just old stuff: The objects have inspired several contemporary artists, a window made of slices of Blue John was made as a community project where the youngest participant was only 4 years old. There is film, music and poetry. There are clothes to dress up in (try a Roman helmet or cape!) and a microscope to explore small artefacts.
To find out more, and to explore the Peak District outdoors on a fine day, the museum has built a webapp –www.wondersofthepeak.org.uk and you can learn more about the objects on display in the museum on your phone or tablet and go out into the landscape to see where the artefacts were found.
Not interested in objects? Then explore the art exhibitions at the museum. HILL brings the community of farmers, quarrymen, families and their animals from Wirksworth to the museum until 6th June 2018. Their story is told through artworks made by Kate Bellis, Sally Matthews, Lucy Peacock and Gavin Repton. Meanwhile, Hills, Peaks and Dales brings together the works of contemporary textile artists working together as Threadmill Textiles, until 1st July 2018. If you’re looking for a unique gift, there is work for sale from both exhibitions – ask at the museum gift shop which offers a huge range of unusual souvenirs and treasure trove of rocks, minerals and crystals as well as bears, wolves and woolly mammoths!
Families can enjoy visiting the museum with something for everyone and there’s usually activity sheets for children to collect in the foyer where they are challenged to find different objects. The new Wonders of the Peak Exhibition has the Bear Trail that children can follow – where they can discover objects and learn more too. And don’t worry, for those of you who remember the famous Buxton Bear – he’s still here and still growls hello to visitors (if you feed him a coin or two 🙂 )
There are regular workshops and children’s activities at the museum – check their website for the latest updates on events.
The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sundays and bank holidays in the summer 12 noon -4pm. Admission is FREE although donations are welcome.
For more information go to www.derbyshire.gov.uk/buxtonmuseum
Buxton Museum & Art Gallery, Terrace Rd, Buxton SK17 6DA
Tel: 01629. 533 540