Arts Derbyshire Header Image

Spa town heritage on display for free

Buxton’s resurgence as England’s leading spa town will be at the heart of its contribution to this year’s Heritage Open Days, England’s largest festival of history and culture.

Heritage Open Days bring together over 2,500 organisations, 5,000 free events and 40,000 volunteers each September in a celebration of heritage, community and history.

This year Buxton will be putting on its largest selection yet of events and invitations to tour heritage buildings in the town.

Major additions to last year’s programme include the Pump Room, part of the redevelopment of The Georgian Crescent; and St Mary’s Church, which was opened 100 years ago as a ground-breaking part of the Arts and Crafts architectural movement.

Vera Brittain, an author and early leader of the nuclear disarmament and anti-apartheid campaigns, will be celebrated in her home town with an actor playing her at the University of Derby’s Buxton Campus in the Devonshire Dome - where she trained as a nurse and found her pacifist calling during the First World War.
The historic Old Hall Hotel, England’s oldest continually operational hotel, is taking part with an actor’s recreation of its most famous guest, Mary Queen of Scots; Buxton Opera House will open its doors to tourists and Clowes Chemist will take part by displaying its wonderful history inside their historic pharmacy on Cavendish Circus.

Show cave Poole’s Cavern will be the hub for talks and walks on the town’s geology and geography, and Buxton International Festival will demonstrate how it renews the town’s cultural history each year with its Made in Buxton opera productions.

Heritage Open Days in Buxton are being organised by the University of Derby.
“Our wonderful Dome started life as a stable, became a hospital and is now a seat of learning which has just been awarded the Gold standard for teaching, putting it on a par with Oxford and Cambridge,” said Dr Sarah Rawlinson, Head of Department Hotel Resort and Spa Management.

“The town has a great track record of re-inventing and renewing itself in a similar way, and Heritage Open Days allow us to tell the world about the unique and fascinating history of England’s Leading Spa Town.”
Heritage Open Days in Buxton: September 7 to 10. 

See, or tweet #HoDBuxton
For more information contact Claire Grabowski at 

Featured artists

Angela Thompson

Angela Thompson

Paula Sharples

Paula Sharples

Richard Bett

Richard Bett

Featured articles

Derbyshire Festivals

Take a look at all the amazing festivals that Derbyshire has to offer right through the year and right on your doorstep - come along, join in the fun and see the world-class entertainment.

Courses, workshops and education

Check out these courses and workshops across Derbyshire through the year.

artsderbyshire on Facebook and Twitter

Come and join in the conversation.