The Museum

The Museum is a showcase for the history of Castleton and the surrounding area. It is an accredited museum housed at Castleton Visitor Centre and managed by Castleton Historical Society.

A major refurbishment of the Visitor Centre, carried out in 2017, brought about a transformation of the Museum with a revised layout, new display cases, interpretation boards and a brand-new look.

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Many aspects of Castleton’s past are featured among the displays, including its archaeology, geology, industry, inhabitants and its significance as a Norman fortified town. One of the most eye-catching displays traces the story of its famous annual Garland Ceremony.  The three costumes shown below, which were worn during the ceremony by the Garland King, span the period from early 1800s, possibly as early as 1790, to 2000, the earliest being a coachman’s coat, turned inside out and decorated with ribbons and rosettes.

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Follow this link for more information about the Castleton Garland ceremony.

                     Medieval finds from the Museum’s archives.

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Carved head dating from 1,000 BC and believed to represent a god worshipped by Iron Age people such as the Brigantes.

Farming tools on display
in the Centre’s Blueberry Café.


History of the Museum
In the mid 1980s Castleton Museum was originally housed in the Methodist Church and was moved to a more spacious and accessible location in the newly built Visitor Centre in the early 2000s.  Some of the displays on view before the recent refurbishment are shown below.


The museum’s collection of artefacts, photographs and documents provide a rich resource for displays created by CHS members to commemorate special events and highlight the Museum’s collection.  A few of these are illustrated below.

November 2018:  The People of Castleton during the War
This display of photos and information demonstrated how the war impacted the lives of many families in the Village and attracted much interest from visitors, in particular on Remembrance Sunday when a manned display offered the opportunity to handle a variety of artefacts such as cigarette boxes, engraved with a message from the Parish Council, given to local service men.  Photos below.

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World War 1 Exhibition 2014
The CHS Exhibition featuring the memories & photos of the people of Castleton during World War 1 was opened on August 1st by Mary Bagley of PDNPA & Peter Harrison of the CHS.  This project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and gathered together a varied collection of material about the village during the war.

Anyone who was not able to see the exhibition or would like to see it again can browse through the posters via this link Castleton’s Men at War.

The children of Castleton Primary School made a contribution to the exhibition with their own work, shown below, inspired by the theme of ‘Poppies’.



 2014 Castleton Christmas Tree Festival
In 2014 our contribution to the annual Christmas Tree Festival at St Edmunds Church remembered World War One with a theme of Christmas Cards from the war years. The source of the text regarding the Christmas truce on the front line and images for our decorations was “Picture Postcards from the Great War 1914-1918” by Tony Allen.

Recent Posts

AGM 2017


This year’s AGM was held on Thursday 19th January. We met in the Village Hall for a concise meeting followed by a pie and pea supper (very yummy) enhanced by BYO drinks. Maria as Chairman told members about the most significant activities of the past year including the changes at the Visitor’s Centre where the Museum will be re-established together with wider interpretation of the Peak Park, in a few months time. She also remembered Peter Harrison, our much missed late Chairman, who died suddenly last summer.

Before everyone left they were shown a few slides to finish off the evening – Jean talked about some recently acquired photos of village people, and Angela went through a selection of photos from the archaeology of 2016. There was a good turnout from members and guests, and it was a very enjoyable evening in the company of friends.