Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

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Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Silk Mill Lane
Derby
DE1 3AF

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01332 641901 Visit website

Description

The Museum of Making have won Bronze at the 2024 Peak District, Derbyshire & Derby Tourism Awards for Visitor Attraction of the Year

Visitor Attraction Bronze 2024 logo

THE MUSEUM OF MAKING: A GREAT ADDITION TO THE CITY OF MAKERS

A visitor attraction like no other

The brand-new Museum of Making has thrown open its doors to visitors from Derby and beyond, showcasing the region’s 300-year history of making and celebrating its rich history of innovation.

The Museum of Making is located on a site of global significance, where the Derby Silk Mill – widely regarded as the site of the world’s first modern factory – first stood over 300 years ago. This new visitor attraction is also located in the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the key sites of the industrial revolution - something that will appeal to visitors from far and wide.

This is no ordinary museum. It has been created and built by the people and industries of Derby, with hundreds of local volunteers helping to shape and design the way the museum will work for visitors. It will also tell the story of making in the region to help inspire visitors to unleash their creativity and start making.

Some stand-out elements to the new museum that visitors can enjoy include:

  • Entering the new museum via the Grade I listed Bakewell Gates. Designed by master ironmaker Robert Bakewell, the gates have stood proudly at the front of the Silk Mill in Derby since 1725
  • They will be able to make their own bespoke trail through the amazing 30,000 collections, which are displayed and shared in unique ways.
  • A seven tonne Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine suspended in the new Civic Hall above visitors’ heads
  • The much-loved Midland Model Railway, located in the Railway Gallery
  • The world’s smallest engine run using a human hair

Derby Silk Mill circa 1908 (L), and in the modern day (C), and an impression of the new Museum of Making (R).
Credit Derby Museums (L, C) and Bauman Lyons Architects (R).

A stunning building and a new place to meet

As well as being an exciting new visitor attraction, the Museum of Making will also provide a range of versatile spaces for locals and visitors alike. From fully appointed and publicly accessible workshops (packed full of equipment for any making project including a CNC machine, laser cutters and textiles) where people can actively create and make, to ‘The River Kitchen’ - a stunning new setting to meet friends and eat and drink overlooking the banks of the beautiful River Derwent.

On top of this, visitors to the Museum of Making can also enjoy:

  • A new viewing gallery at the top of the museum’s tower which looks out across the city and the beautiful Derbyshire countryside
  • The retail shop which showcases the work of makers, creators and designers from across the region to find new and unique products
  • Venue hire spaces which can cater for a variety of events, from small business meetings to large scale conferences - and even bespoke weddings like no other!

The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine being installed in the Civic Hall in August 2019 (L) and the world’s smallest engine, ran by a human hair (R). Credit Speller Metcalfe (L) and Derby Museums (R).

Inspiring and supporting the makers of tomorrow

The new museum will also be the home of the Institute of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths), a key educational resource for Derby and the wider UK generously supported by Rolls-Royce. New start-ups and makers will also have access to a new co-working space ‘The Prospect’, and young people will be inspired to come up with new ideas and solutions to problems when the Midlands Maker Challenge competition is launched in 2021 (generously supported by Midlands-based IMI plc.).

An impression of the new Civic Hall (L) and The Assemblage (R). Credit The Creative Core.

How the Museum of Making is being funded

The Museum of Making has been developed by Derby Museums, an independent charitable trust that also manages the Museum and Art Gallery and Pickford’s House in Derby. This £18m project is being funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and a range of trusts, foundations and businesses.

Discover more of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site 

Listing photographs credit: Pictoria Pictures and Chris Seddon Photography

Events at this venue

Menu image for The Derby Yaadaañ Archive Exhibition 22 Jul + more

The Derby Yaadaañ Archive Exhibition

22 Jul 2024 - 15 Sep 2024 Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Silk Mill Lane

Menu image for The Art that made Derby Summer Trail 23 Jul + more

The Art that made Derby Summer Trail

23 Jul 2024 - 1 Sep 2024 Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Silk Mill Lane

Menu image for Ceramics Course: Hand Building Skills 27 Jul + more

Ceramics Course: Hand Building Skills

27 Jul 2024 - 28 Jul 2024 Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Silk Mill Lane

Menu image for Summer Activities – Museum of Making 31 Jul

Summer Activities – Museum of Making

31 Jul 2024 Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Silk Mill Lane

Menu image for First Fridays: Summer Clothes Swap 02 Aug

First Fridays: Summer Clothes Swap

2 Aug 2024 Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Silk Mill Lane

Menu image for Play at the Museum of Making 07 Aug

Play at the Museum of Making

7 Aug 2024 Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Silk Mill Lane

Menu image for Embroidery workshop with On the Green Designs 10 Aug

Embroidery workshop with On the Green Designs

10 Aug 2024 Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Silk Mill Lane

Menu image for Summer Activities at the Museum of Making – Surface design 21 Aug

Summer Activities at the Museum of Making – Surface design

21 Aug 2024 Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Silk Mill Lane

Menu image for Summer Activities – Animate at the Museum of Making 28 Aug

Summer Activities – Animate at the Museum of Making

28 Aug 2024 Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Silk Mill Lane

Menu image for Wedding Fair at The Italian Mill 15 Sep

Wedding Fair at The Italian Mill

15 Sep 2024 Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Silk Mill Lane

Menu image for Think Human 27 Sep + more

Think Human

27 Sep 2024 - 22 Dec 2024 Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Silk Mill Lane

Menu image for First Fridays: Derby Poetry Festival Poetry Slam 04 Oct

First Fridays: Derby Poetry Festival Poetry Slam

4 Oct 2024 Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Silk Mill Lane

Menu image for Make your own JackTar Bag Workshop 19 Oct

Make your own JackTar Bag Workshop

19 Oct 2024 Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Silk Mill Lane

Menu image for Christmas Ball at the Italian Mill 29 Nov + more

Christmas Ball at the Italian Mill

29 Nov 2024 - 7 Dec 2024 Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Silk Mill Lane

Menu image for UK Ghost Story Festival 2025 14 Feb + more

UK Ghost Story Festival 2025

14 Feb 2025 - 16 Feb 2025, 21 Feb 2025 - 23 Feb 2025 Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Silk Mill Lane

Menu image for First Fridays: Empire and the Making of Modern Derby 05 Jul

First Fridays: Empire and the Making of Modern Derby

5 Jul 2025 Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Silk Mill Lane

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