Steam Gala, at Barrow Hill, Derbyshire

As you know The Roundhouse is currently closed to the general public as our exciting building and renovation project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, takes place.

In 2016, we were awarded £1.3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund for our exciting new project; ‘Moving Forward’. The project will create exhibitions that will be fun and interesting for new visitors and bring a different insight for our existing supporters, but retain the working atmosphere of our unique heritage site.

The project will include the construction of a brand-new café and entrance to welcome visitors and where they can relax with a tea, coffee, snack or a meal. The new exhibitions will inform and entertain all visitors while they learn all about the roundhouse and its history.

There will be science, engineering, history and interactive displays for schools and families.

We are developing an exciting learning programme for school visits including sessions (keep an eye on our website for our new learning pages!) and family activities on weekends and during school holidays.

If you would like to find out any more information about the project or enquire about volunteering on the learning team, feel free to contact us!

Grace Escott Tebbutt - Learning and Access Officer:
Glynn Wilton – Project Manager:

Please see below for more details of how the project is coming along.

June Update...

We haven't done an update for a few months but there has been plenty going on!

The Roundhouse is now fully repainted and was enjoyed by thousands of people at our annual Rail Ale Festival. We are also ramping up the excitement for our relaunch in September and the new family and schools programme that will go with it. The new exhibition is in progress and will tell the fascinating story of the site as well as including fun interactives for children.
In addition, the new 'learning coach' is getting ready to host school trips and family days with its new flooring and will soon have a polish with some lighting and audio equipment for fun activities.
We have had 3 of the original windows restored back to their Midland Railway style and the cafe is almost completely finished! Glazing is being fitted as we speak with the underfloor heating in progress.

In addition to all of this, we have even had some volunteers and members of the public join us on our free heritage training days, where they have been trained to repoint the walls of the Roundhouse, joining students from Chesterfield College in learning this fantastic new skill.

Our next family day will be the 22nd and 23rd July when we will host some professional archaeologists for a fun few days lookng at finds from the nearby Staveley dig and learning about our upcoming dig on the car park.





March Update...

This month, the cafe is really coming along and half of the Roundhouse has been repainted!

We are really starting to see a huge change where we used to have our small cafe block. The contractors recently filled the foundations with cement - it was very entertaining to watch as it was sprayed out of the huge tube. This will give the new cafe its foundations. At the same time, they set in place a new drain in the centre of the adjacent rail. This should stop the flooding that we have occasionally experienced during beer festivals and other events.
The cafe will be glass sided, allowing the original features of the old building to remain visible. We want to ensure that the arched windows and brickwork can still be appreciated alongside the new building. The steelwork which will support the new glass structure has also now been erected, so we are starting to see the shape and size of our new, larger cafe.

In the Roundhouse, the walls in one half of the building have been completely repainted to their original standard. This has allowed the space to become lighter and seem more spacious - also enabling a better view of the engines inside, whilst keeping the authentic atmosphere. The steel work has also been painted a light grey - watching the painters hang off the cherry picker certainly made us feel very nervous!

Dave and Dale have been busy shunting engines across to the other side of the Roundhouse so that the rest can be painted.

We will be holding several public open days in the coming months. These will be posted onto our Facebook and website.


February Update...

The capital work began on site in the New Year. Our contractors have made a brilliant start as you can see!

This started with the demolition of the old kitchen extension, witnessed by Bill and Ellen who have worked in the café for the past 16 years. They will be presented with a brand new facility once the works have finished.

The contractors have also completed a huge section of repointing on the external walls facing our platform. The interior ceilings have been taken down to reveal some fantastic wooden beams which will be included in the new rooms.

The original brick floor is being carefully taken up in the eating area to be replaced after under floor heating is installed. Our learning programme is currently being planned and designed ready for schools to book onto in the coming months.

Keep your eyes peeled for some training opportunities in repointing in the spring!

February Update