Museum of Making | Derby
This weekend while in Derby for a family wedding, we popped into the Museum of Making. What we found there was such an engaging space filled with interesting facts and so many fabulous items that I couldn’t resist sharing what we discovered within it’s walls.
What is the Museum of Making?
Located with the walls of the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage site, the Museum of Making is a fabulous blend of historical artifacts within a contemporary space. It explores Derby’s 300-year history of making with the aim of inspiring creativity. Admission to the museum is FREE, though donations are appreciated.
We learnt from the wonderful lady on reception that the Derby Silk Mill building is the world’s first modern factory. It brought with it the all the complexities that the Industrial Revolution highlighted. From riches and prosperity for some and poverty and the exploitation of child labour for others. This is something that the Museum of Making does not shy away from but instead acknowledges that it helped shaped the city of Derby and secured it’s place in the industrial centre of England.
Engaging young audiences
What really stood out for us is just how engaging the installations were for children. Throughout the museum is a number of activities for little ones to explore, touch and engage with. Learning through touch and play, is such an important thing for little people. Something that the Museum of Making did wonderfully.
While there, our two loved making rope while learning that children their age would do this for up to 12 hours a day. They also used their creativity to make structures, build a marble run and then make their very own pom poms while exploring engineering and textiles.
What we thought of the Museum of Making
We spend almost 4 hours at the Museum of Making, including an absolutely delicious lunch in the museum café. We still had so much to explore, only making it as far as the second floor. This comes with a disclaimer though that we tend not to rush the kids when they’re engaged in a museum – and oh boy were they engaged! However, it does mean that most families will probably be able to get around it quicker than us!
Needless to say, we loved our visit. There was enough to keep an engineering loving husband happy and two young children engaged for hours. Both these things always makes for one happy mummy!
The staff were absolutely brilliant: full of knowledge and happy to chat. I’ve no idea if they were paid staff of volunteers, but they were fantastic and a real credit to the museum.
Where is the Museum of Making
The museum is located at: Silk Mill Lane, Derby, DE1 3AF. As mentioned, it is FREE to enter, though donations are appreciated. We parked at the Phoenix Street car park which is just across the river. It cost us £3.50 for up to 4 hours.
There is a paid exhibition space which hosts a wide variety of touring exhibitions. Therefore, it’s worth checking out their website to see what’s on. When we were there it was Henry Moore: Threads of Influence which was on tour from the Sainsbury Centre. The exhibit entrance fee depends on the exhibition. It’s worth checking the website though as entrance is FREE on the first Sunday of the month, on a first come first served basis.
You can find out more about the Museum of Making on their website.