Image: Festival at the Rectory

‘Our generation has invested as never before in digital resources and we've done so because of the  opportunity they bring. Digital collections have grown in volume, complexity and importance to the  point that our children are baffled by the inefficiencies of the analogue age. Pervasive, fluid and vital:  digital data is a defining feature of our age. Industry, commerce, government, law, research, health,  social care, education, the creative industries, the heritage sector and private life depend on digital  materials to satisfy ubiquitous information needs and expectations.’

Image: Farwater Lane

The National Archives 2013

The central activity of the Dronfield Heritage Trust is the Digital Assets Management System – this will form the resource for all the activities and exhibition programmes. It also forms a central part of the Trust’s longer term vision to become the information point for the North-East Derbyshire district.

Digitising the Old Dronfield Society archives

A team of dedicated volunteers are working with MediaFiler to scan, add information and upload the images to a centralised online archive. To find out about training and join our team contact Maria Smith. We welcome enquiries from individuals and groups who have photographs, archives and records they would like digitising as part of our central archive.

Do you have any images of Dronfield you can share with us? Please visit our archive page


After many of hours of work by our fantastic team of quilters both young and old, the quilts, which highlight the three distinct periods of Dronfield and the District's history, have now been completed! The quilts are now hanging proudly on the first floor of Dronfield Hall Barn with the other heritage objects, and they serve to make the place look bright, colourful and more exciting. 


The quilts were made as a result of Dronfield Heritage Trust's push to increase the interest in quilting within the Dronfield community. This successful initiative allowed the quilts to be made not only by experienced quilters, but also people who have never quilted in their life. These range from primary school age children to middle-aged adults.

The quilts were designed and made to highlight the three main periods of Dronfield and District’s history - the Medieval, 17th/18th centuries and the results of the lead trade and the industrial developments of the Victorian period.

The adult quilters focused on the Medieval period and are entering their quilt in the NEC ‘Festival of Quilts’ exhibition in Birmingham in August.

Local primary schools have took up the challenge of the 17th/18th centuries and produced fantastic designs based on their research, and Henry Fanshawe are took a modern approach to the Victorian period to produce something that is truly amazing.DSC_3956

Out of these fantastic and dedicated teams, our own quilting group ‘The Quilting Barn’ was established. It is a group that takes a unique approach to the quilting process. They aspire to become a centre of excellence for artistic quilting, inspired by themes and encouraging self-expression and free thinking of the individuals within the group. They hope to develop unique ideas and following them through in activities and projects to lead to the completion of a piece/product with the facilitation of an artistic director.


The quilting group is led by Susanne Haywood and Chris White, and they hold monthly workshops to develop skills on the first Thursday of every month. They are working towards an exhibition, and so are working hard to create the best pieces they can - perhaps you can help with this!


If you want to get involved, please contact Maria Smith on 07814 140034 or email for more details, and to be added to the mailing list to keep abreast of any changes which may occur.


‘The quality of the earliest surviving timberwork inside Hall Barn and its location on the edge of a steep slope with commanding views over the river valley, suggest that the building represents the remains of an important house. Details of its carpentry single Hall Barn out as an outstanding example of late Medieval craftsmanship.’ Stanley Jones, Historic Buildings Specialist

signpost1Dronfield Heritage Trust is delighted to be working with Eckington School on this project which will create a 1/8th scale model of the hall barn Medieval framework. This will be created with the participation of students from the school, volunteering under skilled and professional guidance. The model will be created from the original recordings and drawings of Stanley Jones and additional material from archaeological investigations. A number of methods will be employed allowing the students to create the model including Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing as well as more traditional model making skills. The product will form a centrepiece for the opening exhibition at the barn and will be available to form a part of a travelling exhibition and for festivals/events.

Check our Facebook page over the next few months to see how it’s coming along!

Image:  Garden DesignOur project offers a unique opportunity to be involved at the innovative stage of a gardens/landscaping project.

As part of the developments at Dronfield Hall Barn the surrounding grounds will be landscaped and a series of specialist gardens planted.

This will include a heritage garden inspired by the barn’s Medieval and Tudor past, a sensory garden and a wildflower area. Courses lead by local garden designer Alex Styan will produce the designs for the gardens and we look forward to welcoming volunteers to help plant and maintain these special areas.

Anyone with an interest is welcome to join us – from complete beginners to experts!

Image: Garden CourseQuote from course participant

Image: Colour PlantingI really enjoyed today. It was very well run and very interesting. I learnt such a lot. It all came alive for me after seeing the pictures and hearing about what is planned and then looking at the land with that information. I would love to help with the planting when you are at that stage if you need someone. Many many thanks again for today. I am sure the other groups will enjoy it as much as I did’.

With thanks to the horticultural society for their promotional support.

For further information on our courses visit our events page or to register your interest in the gardens project please contact Maria Smith.

The Barn History Research Group continues its fascinating work to discover more about the history of Dronfield.

The group, which has about ten members, is led by John Harvey.

“The group was formed with two main aims: to identify and provide material for public displays and to research in detail the history of Dronfield High Street starting with the 19th Century,” John explained.

Image: Dronfield Research GroupSo far, members have used evidence from census records between 1841 and 1911 to determine who lived in all the houses on the High Street and its Yards. This has been supported by data from the Ancestry website. One of the things discovered is that in the nineteenth century, wealthy and professional classes occupied houses such as the Hall, Cottage, Manor House, The Rookery and Vale House. At the same time, miners and metalworkers and their families lived in insanitary houses at locations including Machin’s Court, Ward’s Yard and Eldon Croft.

A secondary area of research for the group has included using the records of the Dronfield Local Board of Health Inspectors to provide a thorough account of sanitary conditions in the town centre in the second half of the nineteenth century. This was when residents depended on wells and pumps for their water and when there was no effective system of sanitation.

Once this work has been completed, it will provide a detailed record of who lived in each house on High Street and Church Street over a long period and an accurate picture of living conditions within the town.

Dronfield Hall Barn will be the place to visit to access this information which will be used in future exhibitions and publications.

Gardener’s Corner Blog

We are currently looking for ideas for future training/events in our gardens project. Please email Maria with your suggestions and to sign up for our garden updates.

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