Chesterfield Museum and Art Gallery

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The museum tells the story of Chesterfield from its origin as a Roman fort to the present day. It is located in the Stephenson Memorial Hall, built in 1879 as a mechanics institute, and named in honour of the town's most famous Victorian resident, railway pioneer George Stephenson. The museum opened in 1994 and is the first public museum in the town - a suprising fact considering Chesterfield's long and important history as a midlands market town and industrial centre. The museum stands in the shadow of the famous 'Crooked Spire' of St Mary and All Saints and is a short walk from Chesterfield's excellent open market, one of the largest in the country.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

except Tue, Wed & Sun

Closed: Tue, Wed & Sun

Admission charges


The museum's most important exhibit is a medieval builders' windlass used for the construction of Chesterfield Parish Church ('The Crooked Spire') in the 14th century. It is an impressive sight standing around 20ft high and dominating the entrance to the galleries.

The museum holds finds from a series of excavations in the town centre, mainly associated with the area of the Roman fort and the core of the medieval period town. However the majority of the collections relate to the social and industrial history of Chesterfield and the surrounding area of north eastern Derbyshire.

These recall the past industrial activities of the town, including coal-mining and engineering, and the museum has an extensive collection of locally made stoneware pottery (often known as 'Bramptonware' after one of the areas in which it was made). Recently acquired is the Robinson Collection of packaging and healthcare products made by Chesterfield based Robinson & Sons Ltd, who are perhaps most famous for designing and making the original 'Smartie Tube' and for being the first manufacturers of the disposable nappy.

There is a small collection of material relating to George Stephenson and his family, including a group portrait by John Lucas RA.

Local artist Joseph Syddall's (1864-1942) work is usually on display in the art gallery. He was a professional portraitist and illustrator, who was declared by his teacher, Sir Hubert von Herkomer, to be the 'finest draughtsman in England'.

Collection details

Archaeology, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Industry, Land Transport, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History, Trade and Commerce

Chesterfield Museum and Art Gallery
St Mary's Gate
S41 7TD




01246 345727


01246 347220

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