Opening times

25 March to 5 November

Monday - Sunday, 11am - 4 pm

Immerse yourself in the stories of Bakewell and this part of the Peak District at our award-winning museum.

Based in a Tudor building, explore the stories of the inhabitants and owners ranging from Christopher Plant, the Tudor tithe collector, Sir Richard Arkwright who housed his mill workers here, and the Pitt family who lived in one of the cottages in Victorian times.

The museum volunteers really look forward to seeing you soon!

Tickets can be purchased on the door or online.


Centre section of one of the Quilts showing a fmaily, birds and flowers.

Treasured Quilts: Warmth and Wealth

2024 Exhibition

Come and view some of the museum's collection of remarkable Patchwork Quilts and Coverlets. The quilts and coverlets are all made from offcuts and scraps of precious fabrics and old clothing; symbolic of kinship, resourcefulness, skill and craftmanship.


Each Patchwork Quilt tells a story and provides a glimpse into a way of life, encompassing all aspects of a journey through the historical period in which they were created. They are a record of social, economic and political environments, representing the connection between the past and present, creativity and heritage, culture and events.

The exhibits span 200 years, dating from the 1820s to 1940s and include contemporary little quilts produced in the 2020s, illustrating the longevity of a creative process that is passed on down the generations linked to families, individuals, history and dreams.

Fabric Furnishing Solutions of Darley Dale have kindly sponsored the Treasured Quilts: Warmth and Wealth exhibition.

Pop-up exhibition at the Visitor Centre: Bakewell, then and now

Four areas of Bakewell in pictures by Richard Hildebrand. Compare photos from the 1960s to 1980s with modern ones, with some recollections of the stores, people and areas by local resident, Richard Hildebrand. Here is an example (check out our social media posts for more soon):

"The Wheatsheaf pub now extends from Bridge Street right through to here (you can see the back entrance on the right of the photo). But before this, the Anchor pub occupied this half of the pub, and had its front entrance here on Anchor Square. There wasn’t a road here originally just a pathway."


The House

What stories these walls could tell!  Built in the reign of Henry VIII as a tax collector's cottage, the building was expanded into a gentleman's residence in the Elizabethan period - complete with ​garderobe (Tudor toilet). In the Industrial Revolution, it was repurposed as mill workers' cottages, by none other than Richard Arkwright himself who had built his third cotton spinning mill in Bakewell at Lumford. The house retains surviving features from all these periods: so there are plenty of details for all architectural enthusiasts.

The Collections

Our collections are as varied as the building itself. Artefacts found encased in the walls from the Tudor period, to ceramics, textiles and costumes, toys and cameras, there's all sorts hidden away in every nook and cranny. Donated by local residents over the last sixty years, there is a story behind every one of these artefacts, linking them to this particular corner of Derbyshire. Hear some of these stories via interactive QR codes.

If you want to donate an item to the collection please contact us to make an appointment with one of the collections team. We cannot accept items dropped off at the Welcome Desk.

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