Buxton Museum and Art Gallery Festive Opening Times 2019

You’re no doubt wondering when you can visit Buxton Museum and Art Gallery this festive season and take a welcome cultural break from all that eating and drinking. Well, wonder no more; here are your opportunties to see some great admission-free exhibtions and get warm after braving Buxton’s frozen streets:

Saturday 21st December: Open 10 to 5

Sunday 22nd December: Closed

Monday 23rd December: Closed

Tuesday 24th December: Open 10 to 1

Wednesday 25th December: Closed

Thursday 26th December: Closed


Friday 27th December: Open 10 to 5

Saturday 28th December: Open 10 to 5

Sunday 29th December: Closed

Monday 30th December: Closed

Tuesday 31 December: Open 10 to 4

Wednesday 1 January: Closed

The Kids Take Over Buxton Museum 2019

Museum attendant Clio Flaherty has gone from being a local art student to a member of the team. One of the first exhibitions she helped to arrange also happens to the one that first gave her the opportunity to show her work. Over to you, Clio:

‘Artwork’ is an annual exhibition at Buxton Art Gallery and Museum that showcases the work of local students. This year is the 19th year of the exhibition and the levels of creativity in the final pieces continue to impress.

The display is comprised of GCSE and A-Level pieces from both Buxton Community School and St Thomas More School. The art produced in this collection is of a very high standard, encompassing a variety of different mediums and artistic techniques. The students continue to produce a wide variety of unique pieces every year. In recognition of this exceptional work, the exhibition aims to promote young talent and give the art the exposure it deserves.

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On 29th November, we held a preview launch night for the exhibition. The evening was a great success, offering the opportunity to view and discuss the work in a relaxed and social setting. Pupils and their families from both schools were in attendance as well as the teaching staff who came to offer their support. Some Music students also came along to celebrate the launch by providing wonderful performances throughout the evening.

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Many of the students whose work has been displayed in previous ‘Artwork’ exhibitions have gone on to pursue careers in the arts and the exhibition hopes to encourage this decision and inspire other young people to follow in these footsteps. The enthusiasm of the students is reflected in the final pieces they have produced and it is important that this plays an important role in the local community.

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You can see the exhibition for yourself until 8 February. Plan your visit here.

Canadian Red Cross Special Hospital Buxton 1915 – 1919

The building that Buxton Museum and Art Gallery is housed in has a varied past, beginning its existence as a spa hotel in the 1800s before becoming a museum in the 1920s. It also had a brief lesser-known role as a war hospital. Derbyshire Museums Manager Ros Westwood sheds light on this dim chapter of Peak Building’s history:

We are often asked about the role of this building in the First World War.

Peak Buildings

The museum was built in about 1875 as a hydropathic hotel, offering cold water treatments. By 1915 the Peak Hotel was (again) up for sale. The Canadian Red Cross Society secured a lease to establish the Canadian Red Cross Convalescent Hospital, No 2, Buxton

The Canadian Red Cross Hospital, Buxton opened in May 1916, under the command of Lt. Col. H.D. Johnson C.A.M.C.  He would soon be relieved by Major F. Guest (later Lt. Col.) and in 1917, by Major F. Burnett DSO, who was also promoted. There were 11 officers on the staff, 35 nursing sisters and 101 other ranks. The nursing sisters had accommodation at Northwood, now part of the University of Derby campus, which became an annexe hospital in October 1917.

Canadian hospital 02

Amongst the doctors was Frederick G Banting, who would return to Canada after the war to continue research into diabetes and the use of insulin in its treatment, for which he was awarded the Nobel prize.

The hospital had 275 beds in rooms with central heating, its own electricity system and was on the town’s mains water. About 100 patients a month were treated, using the latest apparatus. This included swimming baths, warm mineral and vapour baths. Three quarters of the patients received therapeutic baths daily or on alternate days.

There was massage, mechanical vibration, high frequency apparatus, radiant heat, and cataphoresis electric cautery. Before the introduction of antibiotics this procedure was used to close wounds and stop infection. Research suggests it might not have been as effective as anticipated.

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Of course, having easy access to drinking water from Buxton’s famous St Anne’s Well may also have been beneficial.

As a ‘special’ hospital, patients were admitted with a range of conditions many made worse from having been in the war zone on the Western Front. They were suffering with rheumatic fever, myalgia (which affects the muscles), neurasthenia (exhaustion of the nervous system), neuritis, osteitis (inflammation of bone), insomnia, arthritis, nephritis (kidney inflammation), functional diseases of the heart, neuralgia, certain kinds of gout and especially, shell shock.

Eventually in March 1919 the hospital was absorbed into the larger Granville Canadian Special Hospital, Buxton, which functioned in both the Buxton Spa and Empire Hotels. The hospitals were all closed during that year. By then almost 3,300 people had received treatment in this building.

I am grateful to a researcher by an MA student at the University of Ottawa with access to the archives in Canada who has turned up this fascinating information.

The Fin Cop Burial by Gordon Maclellan

Those of you who have visited Buxton Museum and Art Gallery lately and/or read the blog will know about the recently-excavated site called Fin Cop. Collaborative artist Gordon Maclellan aka The Creeping Toad has had time to explore and contemplate the mysterious place and write this thought-provoking response.

He also provides some handy links if you want to know more about Fin Cop.

Thanks Gordon!








Discovering Franklin catalogue online

Derbyshire Record Office

Three cheers!  The brand new catalogue of our material relating to Sir John Franklin, his family and friends, can now be viewed on our online catalogue in collection D8760.

discovering franklin

Archives Revealed funding and the help of volunteers has enabled us to catalogue in much greater detail than we normally would.  This means there are now four times more catalogue entries than there were before!    That’s a lot to browse through, so if you’d like to search the Franklin material instead, click on ‘Search our catalogue’, put ‘D8760*’ (don’t forget the asterisk at the end) into the ‘Reference number’ box, and then add your keywords into the ‘Any Text’ box at the top.  You can also add a date range to narrow down your search.

Over 1000 letters have also been exported into a spreadsheet.  If you are interested in Franklin, or just 19th century letters in general, the spreadsheet enables you to keyword…

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