Conference: Enlightenment, Science and Culture in the East Midlands c1700-1900

University of Derby.

 

 

 

 University of Derby

Faculty of Arts, Design and Technology

Centre for Identity, Conflict and Representation

 

Enlightenment, Science and Culture in the East Midlands c1700-1900

9-5pm Saturday 22nd June 2013

This conference examines the impact of scientific and intellectual cultures in the English East Midland counties of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland between 1700 and 1850. Keynote speakers include Professor Ruth Watts of the University of Birmingham and Professor John Beckett of the University of Nottingham.

 

Key Themes Include:

Enlightenment, Science and Technology

Urban Science

Representations of Science, Technology and Industry

Science, Class, Gender, Religion and Ethnicity

Heritage and Historiography of East Midland Sciences and Enlightenment

 

This conference is hosted by the Centre for Identity, Conflict and Representation in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Technology at the University of Derby and will be held at the Enterprise Centre on Bridge Street in Derby, close to the city centre.

Cost of the conference:

£20: £15 students and unwaged. Includes refreshments.

If you wish to attend the conference then please visit the virtual unishop and register here

For other information please contact:

Paul Elliott at: p.elliott@derby.ac.uk or Teresa Barnard at: t.barnard@derby.ac.uk

Paul Elliott, Reader in Modern History and Teresa Barnard, Lecturer in English, School of Humanities, University of Derby, Kedleston Road, Derby, DE22 1GB, UK

The organisers are grateful for support for the conference from the Arts, Design and Technology Research Fund, University of Derby

Enlightenment! exhibition heads to Strutt’s North Mill

Enlightenment! exhibition at Buxton Museum, photographed by Nick Lockett

The Enlightenment! exhibition comes to an end at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery this Sunday, 14th April. 

Although it will be sad to see it go, the next part of its journey begins at Strutt’s North Mill.  ‘Derbyshire in the Age of Enlightenment’ opens in Belper on the 20th April and runs until 27th May.  The exhibition incorporates loans from Buxton Museum and Derby Museums and is accompanied by an events programme which includes guided walks of the town, a tour of Strutt’s Ice House, and a Night at the Mill evening event. More details can be found on their website.

Strutt's North Mill poster

Walter Evans & Co’s, Boars Head Cotton box

Boar's Head box

Derby Museums have bought a 19th century brass-bound mahogany box, with the lid inscribed in marquetry “Walter Evans and Co’s, Derby, Boar’s Head Cotton”.

The box also bears the boar’s head logo and would haveBoar's Head logo been used for storing cotton supplied by the mill in Darley Abbey. The Boar’s Head Mill was established by Thomas Evans in 1782. The Evans family seem to be the first in the Derwent Valley to recognize the commercial opportunity of having a retail outlet, serving local people with sewing and knitting cottons, embroidery threads and materials.

Earier in the project Derby Museums also bought an early 20th century cotton reel from the mill.

World Heritage Site Discovery Days 2012

Matt Edwards is giving a talk about the Enlightenment! project on Friday 2nd November, 1pm – 2pm at Derby Museum and Art Gallery.

There will be a chance to see some of Derby Museums’ purchases up close and personal at the end of the talk.  It is FREE but places are limited so please call Gwen Wilson , Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Administrator, during office hours on 01629 536831.

The talk is part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Discovery Days.  The festival is in its eighth year and there are over 160 events happening up and down the Valley between 27th October and 4th November.  You can see the full programme here.

I’ll just flag up a few events that might be of particular interest:

Joseph Wright’s Derby

Saturday 27th October

11.00am -12.30pm, starting from the Joseph Wright Gallery at Derby Museum and Art Gallery. FREE. Suitable for adults. Booking is essential on 01629 536831 (office hours only).

Internationally respected 18th century artist, Joseph Wright, had a strong connection to Derby – the place he lived, worked and died. Join the Assistant Head of Museums, Jonathan Wallis, for this fascinating walk around Joseph Wright’s Derby.

 

Joseph Wright’s Life and Work

Thursday 1st Nov

1.00pm – 2.00pm, Derby Museum and Art Gallery. FREE. Suitable for adults. Booking is essential on 01629 536831 (office hours only).

Join the Assistant Head of Museums, Jonathan Wallis, for his ever-popular talk on the life and work of the internationally renowned 18th century artist, Joseph Wright.

 

John Smedley’s Mill – 228 Years of Production at Lea Bridge

Saturday 3rd Nov

7.30pm at the Gothic Warehouse, Cromford Wharf. FREE. Pre-booking recommended on 01629 536831 (office hours only).

Illustrated talk by Jane Middleton-Smith, to include the history of the mill, the Smedley family and the project to catalogue the company’s unique heritage.

Arkwright Housing – From Cottages to Grand Houses

Sunday 4th Nov

2.00pm – 3.30pm, from outside the Greyhound Inn, Cromford Market Place. FREE. Pre-booking recommended on 01629 536831 (office hours only).

Barry Joyce reveals recent research on Alison House, one of the lesser known Arkwright Houses, on a walk from Cromford Village, past the housing built for the mill-workers on North Street.

View of Richard Arkwright’s Mill, Cromford – Derby Porcelain saucer

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery has bought a Derby Porcelain cup and saucer dating from 1795. The saucer was the main attraction as it shows a named view of Sir Richard Arkwright’s Mill in Cromford.

The painting in a naïve style appears to be a simplified copy of the Zachariah Boreman watercolour of ‘The Lower Mill’ painted eight years earlier in 1787. The A frame in the foreground is intriguing and after various discussions it is thought to be a frame for bleaching yarn in the sun. Other thoughts were that it might have been linked to a tannery (although no tanneries are thought to have been in the area) or it could have been a tenter frame (although the size is all wrong for this).

You can find out more about the Lower Mill on the DVMWHS website .

The cup shows a view near Little Eaton. We haven’t done much research into this piece but 1795 was the date that Benjamin Outram opened the Little Eaton tramway linking the village with Derby. This might have sparked an interest in the village or it could of course just be coincidental.

William Day – View at Cromford, Derbyshire, taken from the Bridge

William Day (1764 – 1807)

View at Cromford, Derbyshire, taken from the Bridge

 After a couple of false starts we have bought this William Day (1764 -1807) watercolour of Cromford. The view is particularly interesting as it shows the view from the bridge with the smelting mills on the left hand side. This is an unusual and rare view as the mills were soon to be demolished to make way for the building of St Mary’s Church – Arkwright’s private chapel.

We know the watercolour was painted in 1789 while William Day was on a tour of Derbyshire. Day was a geologist and self-taught artist who showed work regularly at the Royal Academy as an ‘Honorary Exhibitor’ between 1783 and 1801. He visited the County with his friend and fellow artist John Webber (1751-1793), who was the official artist for Captain Cook’s third voyage.

This purchase adds to the ‘pair’ of Webber and Day watercolours of Castleton that Buxton Museum and Art Gallery bought in 2011.

New Bath Hotel, Matlock Bath

 

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery has bought a watercolour of the New Bath Hotel in Matlock Bath.  The picture was sold to the museum by a private seller and has just come back after undergoing conservation work – check out the before and after photos below.   

 The watercolour shows the front of the hotel, a rather windswept looking fir tree and groups of visitors – complete with the ubiquitous angler that graces so many Derbyshire scenes.

 The sign on the gable end of the hotel reads ‘Saxton’s New Bath Hotel’.  George Saxton and his son (also George) owned the New Bath Hotel from around 1797 to the 1850s.  During this period Matlock Bath was a burgeoning tourist town attracting visitors with its warm medicinal waters and rocky picturesque setting – you’ll see the watercolour shows the hotel against a backdrop of limestone cliffs.

 Matlock Bath had many hotels and boarding houses but ‘well to do’ visitors would stay at either the New Bath Hotel, Temple Hotel or Hodkinson’s Hotel. 

The three hotels had the same tariff and  in 1819 they charged  5s a week for a bed chamber, 14s to a guinea for a private parlour and bathing was 6d a time.  Each hotel would have also provided post-chaises and horses for excursions to local beauty spots. 

 Dr. Granville writing in ‘The Spas of England’ in 1841 considered the New Bath Hotel the best of the three with the decorated ball room being its main attraction.  Benjamin Bryan in his 1903 book ‘History of Matlock’ describes the hotel as being ‘finely placed, has been thoroughly modernised, is luxuriously finished, and admirably managed’. 

 
 
 
 

World premiere for World Heritage film

 

WATCH THE FILM

In February Belper’s Ritz Cinema was the venue for the World Premiere of a new short film about the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

‘To Where It Begins…’ is a celebration of the diversity and beauty within the Derwent Valley, and has been produced in time for the tenth anniversary of the mills’ inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.  To find out more about the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and the making of the film visit their website.