Newest Review: ... the New Millennium some members of the association decided to build a total of nineteen stretches of dry stone wall in honour of the year 2... more
Well Stone the Crows.
National Stone Centre (Derbyshire)
Member Name: Sarahjh
National Stone Centre (Derbyshire)
Advantages: A good family day out.
Disadvantages: Nothing major.
The National Stone Centre is yet another Derbyshire gem, the centre is situated in Middleton by Wirksworth.
The Stone centre lays on land that was once used for quarrying and it is a very interesting place to visit, especially for anyone who is interested in geology.
The National Stone centre occupies a massive fifty acres of land and the geological aspects have ensured that the site has become recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
A visit to the site near Wirksworth in Derbyshire is an enjoyable and educational outing for all of the family.
On your visit you will learn much about stone and its history.
The centre will give you insight into stone ancestry, how stone is used in art form and how the many different types of stone first came into existance.
In the UK there is a Dry stone Walling Association. Dry stone walling is an ancient art and it is good to know that there are people who still wish to keep the tradition alive.
As we all celebrated the New Millennium some members of the association decided to build a total of nineteen stretches of dry stone wall in honour of the year 2000.
The Dry Stone Walling Association craftsmen flocked to The National Stone Centre armed with about ten tons of their local stone to erect a six metre wall that was similar to the walls that were built in their locality.
As you walk along the pathway beside the Millennium wall you will notice that all of the six metre dry stone walls have a plaque on them, these plaques tell you all about the style of the wall and which part of the country the stone was brought in from.
The stone comes from Scotland, Lancashire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Wales and Yorkshire.
All of these walls have been built without using any cement or mortar, the stones are chipped and chiselled until they butt into each other and sit comfortably.
If there are any of you who fancy learning the ancient art of dry stone walling then the centre do run hands on courses.
On that fifty rambling acres there are many unused lead mine shafts and disused quarries, plus four old lime kilns. This is all great to explore but obviously there is an element of risk so if you have children or pets in tow then make sure that you do not let them out of your sight.
On site there is a large Discovery Centre, this is home to the exhibitions and you can collect a free quiz sheet for the children if they are up for it.
If you visit the Discovery centre then you can buy A Discovery Trail book, in this small book you get three walks. The three walks all have themes, one is historical, one ecological and the last is geological.
It is possible to take a wheelchair or a pushchair around all three of these trails but there are an odd few places where you may have to take extra care.
Of course the centre has a gift shop where you can buy all manner of souvenirs including fossils and rocks.
If you fancy a cuppa and a cake then you can get one at the centre and the toilets are there too (disabled toilets on site).
If you have poor mobility then you can park at the side of the Discovery Centre and this at least gives you access to have a good look around the centre.
Inside of the centre you will see some beautiful stone sculptures that have been carved out by experienced wallers.
The directions, opening times and entry fees have been taken from the website.
the B5035 from Cromford to Carsington and Ashbourne goes past the door. Cromford, lies on the A6 Derby-Matlock road. Car parking is available at the centre.
By Bus: the R61 and 213 buses from Matlock to Derby and Wirksworth respectively stop at the centre.
By Train: Cromford station (on the Matlock - Derby line) lies approximately 2km distant.
When is it open?
The centre is open all year, seven days per week. Summer hours are 10.00am to 5.00pm and winter hours are 10.00am to 4.00pm.
What does it cost?
Discovery Centre Entry Costs - £1.80 Adult/ 90p Children/ £1.50 Concessions/ £3.60 Family.
Phone 01629 824833 for group bookings
Summary: Lots of fresh air.
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