It’s a double celebration for the team at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery as they scooped Judge’s Special Award at Derbyshire Heritage Awards for their Wonders of the Peak exhibition earlier this month. The museum has also seen record visitor figures for April, with the boom in numbers likely to be partly due to the current exhibition Hoards: a hidden history of Britain which been one of their most popular exhibitions to date. This touring show visiting just five venues across the UK, in partnership with the British Museum and The Salisbury Museum, features a spectacular collection of treasure hoards – including Iron Age gold torcs and recent prehistoric and Roman discoveries.“The Hoards exhibition has been received hugely well by visitors – the feedback has been phenomenal. People have travelled from all over to make a special trip to Buxton to see this. It’s fantastic to see the museum so busy!”, said Ros Westwood, Derbyshire Museums Manager.
Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, owned by Derbyshire County Council, which celebrated its 125th birthday in 2018 has come a long way since its humble beginnings when the museum first opened in Buxton Town Hall in 1893. For the last ninety one years Peak Buildings has been its home when esteemed British geologist and archaeologist Sir William Boyd Dawkins officially opened the ‘new’ museum in 1928. Originally the Peak Hydropathic Establishment (hotel), opened in 1880 by Dr Samuel Hyde, visitors could enjoy its fine accommodation and water treatments on site; by the mid-1880s the hydropathic movement was the height of fashion across Buxton, contributing to its spa town status today.
Fast forward to 2019 and Buxton Museum looks to a bright future ahead. The £1.5m redevelopment in 2017 with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Wolfson Foundation, Derbyshire County Council, Arts Council England and other benefactors has transformed the attraction; the Wonders of the Peak exhibition which tells the story of the geology and archeology of the Peak District landscape was given a complete revamp. This certainly seems to have helped raise the profile of the museum both regionally and nationally and no doubt helped to attract partners such as the British Museum – home to one of the largest collections of works in the world.
Ros Westwood, Derbyshire Museums Manager said, “We have more objects on display than ever before. The redevelopment and changes to our museum over the last few years has been incredible. And the entire museum remains free entry along with virtually all of our events programme. The public really does appreciate this too – we saw the best April ever in our donations boxes which we are very grateful for”.
“The hard work from everyone involved in redeveloping Wonders of the Peak has certainly paid off and it was fantastic for our museum to be a winner at the Derbyshire Heritage Awards a few weeks ago”.
Buxton Museum & Art Gallery, Terrace Road, Buxton, SK17 6DA
T: 01629 533540
Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm (Sundays and bank holidays, from Easter to September 12 noon to 4pm
Entry / Cost: Free