If you visited Derby Museums, including the Museum and Art Gallery, The Silk Mill and Pickford’s House, a few years ago, you will probably picture a typical museum with the usual exhibitions and pictures.

But how things have changed in recent years! With innovative and dynamic exhibitions and activities, and a fresh-thinking approach, you’ll be amazed at what they have to offer our amazing city.Sharing days

So, to celebrate how fantastic Derby Museums are today, here’s our top 10 facts that you probably don’t know (but should):

  1. Derby Museums worked with dozens of communities from across Derby to create their World Cultures Gallery. The gallery is filled with artefacts from around the world, which are displayed in cabinets and cases designed and made by the local communities.
  2. There are free, interactive and innovative exhibitions happening throughout the year, including the current ‘Wild’ and ‘Bare Bones’ at the Museum and Art Gallery as well as an Agatha Christie exhibition at Pickford’s House. To find out about all the events happening across the sites, click here.
  3. Their Coffee House was opened in 2014 and was awarded Best Café in the Derby Food and Drinks Awards in 2016. They pride themselves on their use of local producers, and their fresh food which is ethically priced. Their selection of drinks is incredible – the chai tea is perfection!
  4. Derby Museums was a Major Partner Museum from 2015-2018, meaning they were in the top 20 museums in the country, alongside museums such as Tate and the Natural History Museum.
  5. The Silk Mill is to become the first ‘Museum in Making’, celebrating Derby’s heritage in making. Their plan is to encourage visitors to see themselves as makers and innovators, providing a fully-quipped workshop space to run classes, as well as a start-up space for new and up-coming businesses to trial their prototypes. There will also be a large civic hall which will be available for hire.
  6. They have also recently taken over the Central Library in Derby which will also be available for hire for weddings etc. There are already events planned in including the Derby Christmas Chilli Fiesta on 1st December and Great Gatsby-themed Christmas parties.
  7. In February 2019, 12 of the greatest drawings by Leonardo da Vinci will be displayed in the Museum and Art Gallery to mark the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death. Derby Museums will be the 12th and final location of the paintings.
  8. The Museum and Art Gallery have the largest collection of Joseph Wright paintings in the world. This is classed as a designated collection and is of national importance.
  9. The Silk Mill is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is on the site of the world’s first factory in 1721.Silk Mill from bridge small
  10. Benjamin Franklin visited the Silk Mill in 1771 and was so awe-inspired and impressed by what he saw that he took the concept back to the US.


As you can see, Derby Museums are working hard to be at the fore-front of museums and all the have to offer and we should feel proud that they are in our city!

If you would like to visit any of the Derby Museums sites or to find out more about any of their upcoming events, check out their website here and keep checking for regular updates on DerbyMums’ social media sites.