The Derby Museum and Art Gallery, situated in the heart of the city, was opened in 1879 and is the oldest of Derby’s museums. There are fine displays covering archaeology, military history, wildlife and geology. The Archaeology Gallery contains local material from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages with several fine Anglo Saxon crosses and a splendid sarcophagus. The military gallery relates to Derby’s local historical regiments and a walk in First World War trench scene attempts to capture a night at the front.
A specially reconstructed Bonnie Prince Charlie Room commemorates Derby’s role in the 1745 Jacobite uprising, complete with a figure of the prince himself telling the tale of his doomed attempt to seize the throne.
The museum is home to the renowned Joseph Wright collection of paintings, which include portraits, landscapes, subjects from literature, and scenes of industry and scientific experiment that represent his exciting period of pioneering discovery. There are also temporary exhibition galleries, which change periodically with not only the museums own collections but also travelling exhibitions of arts and crafts. There is also a stunning new Ceramics Gallery, and a museum shop selling an attractive range of souvenirs, slides, postcards and books on local topics.