The Midland Railway had its transport and engineering hub at Derby for almost 80 years – a pivotal time for the city’s manufacturing take-off. The museum collections contain a wide range of important artefacts reflecting this enterprise, from full-size locomotives and rolling stock (on loan to the Midland Railway Butterley), to models, plans, drawings and small items such as tickets and badges. These have been combined with the collections of two partner organisations – the Midland Railway Society and the Roy F Burrows Midland Collection Trust, to create an unparalleled research facility at the Silk Mill – the Midland Railway Study Centre. It is open for special events and by appointment only.

The photograph shown here shows Armathwaithe Station in Cumbria during the last quarter of the 19th Century.  The station was opened by the Midland Railway in May 1876, closing in 1970 it was then reopening 16 years later and remains open today. The photograph illustrates the sort of items that can be accessed at the Study Centre which holds copies of photographic images, drawings, advertising material and objects from the everywhere that the railway operated.



Joseph Wright of Derby defined the 18th Century, the age of enlightenment and the industrial revolution.


Joseph Pickford the architect built this house in 1769-70 as his family home and workplace.

The Soldiers Story

Dedicated to the history of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers, The Sherwood Foresters and the Derbyshire Yeomanry.

Archaeology Gallery

Discover more about The Origins of Derby in our fascinating and unique collection.


Transitional Spaces are the places that we are beginning to use to show our previously stored collections.


Derby Museums have a collection that is wide ranging and varied. We hope that you find something to interest you.


The Mildand Railway Study Centre at the Silk Mill is the UK's largest pre-nationalisation railway archive.

About Us

Derby Museums is a charitable trust responsible for the rich cultural and creative history of Derby. The Trust manages three sites: the City Museum and Art Gallery, Pickford’s House and The Silk Mill, and all art and collections are held and curated by the Trust.

Derby Museums,
Museum and Art Gallery,
The Strand,
Derby, DE1 1BS

01332 641901

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As a charitable trust, Derby Museums relies on funding and grants from organisations and donations from businesses and the general public. Find out more about how you can support our work through donations or by volunteering…

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