Column: Queen Victoria’s Boxing Day seal of arrival to Wirskworth’s Barmote Court

A patent granted from Queen Victoria conferring stewardship of the Barmote Court, Wirksworth, to William Sealy Fisher Esq. dated the December 26 1891.
A patent granted from Queen Victoria conferring stewardship of the Barmote Court, Wirksworth, to William Sealy Fisher Esq. dated the December 26 1891.

In December, we held a joint event with the civic society entitled ‘Picture Wirksworth’ where we shared a large selection of our photograph archive and invited local people to come along and share their photos and memories.

The event was great success with at least 200 people passing through the council chamber.

We were given a lot of useful information about our own photos, and were able to scan several photographs with promises of others to follow. We had lots of wonderful stories shared about local families and industry of Wirksworth.

The feedback was very positive and there was a real ‘hub bub’ of conversation in the room.

Our design team Headland was also present with the most recent plans for the new centre, which they were able to share and consult the community on.

We wish to thank all who took part either contributing or visiting and to our volunteers for their invaluable help on the day.

The University of Lincoln has been working on seals of importance. The letters forming a patent granted from Queen Victoria conferring stewardship of the Barmote Court to William Sealy Fisher Esq. dated the December 26 1891.

The university carried out chemical analysis of the Duchy of Lancaster seal from which the staff at the University were able to draw some interesting results. The seals showed high traces of barium and mercury.

It’s suggested that the barium was potentially used as a filler when the seal was manufactured.

There is also evidence that the red colour of the seal was a mercury-based pigment, perhaps mercury oxide which is known to be a red pigment used in the 19th Century.

Our collections officer Lucy Godfrey is a rising star, having recently appeared representing the Wirksworth Heritage Centre on the BBC’s Bargain Hunt broadcast on December 1. The episode can be viewed on BBC iPlayer

We wish our supporters a peaceful New Year.