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Main Display

Main Display

The main museum displays take you on a journey through Chesterfield’s past from its origins as a Roman fort to how it became the town it is today. Our biggest exhibit greets you as you walk through the door, a medieval builder’s wheel used to build the town’s iconic Crooked Spire. It is one of only five in the country and the only one on display in a Museum.


The story begins with the Romans with artefacts on display found through excavations in the town. Lying at the crossroads of England it’s unsurprising that Chesterfield became a market town and prospered.

Chesterfield became the industrial centre of England with many diverse industries such as coal mining, engineering, pottery and glass. Of course the building of the canal and the arrival of the railways gave Chesterfield the transport links it needed. George Stephenson was pivotal in this and made Chesterfield his home exploiting the coal and iron deposits at Clay Cross.


With the growth of any town comes the services that create a community. The Museum explores the growth of the council and the development of transport, police, healthcare and schools.

Whilst on your journey have a go at Roman coin rubbing, try on a miner’s helmet, use a mangle and listen to local stories. Take a seat and enjoy our short video about events in the town that shaped its history.

Talk to our knowledgeable museum assistants who will guide you on your journey into Chesterfield’s history.

Last updated on 18 July 2019