Pickford House is a Grade 1 listed building. It is the house that Derby architect Joseph Pickford designed and built in 1769 for his own residence.
Pickford was a highly respected architect. He designed the house at Calke Abbey, Ashford Hall. Other designs include St Helens House, and other houses in Friar Gate, Derby. Other commissions include Wirksworth, and The Grey House in Ashbourne, and Francis Beresford house in Compton.
Pickford was born in 1734 to William and Mary Picford of Ashow in Warwickshire. Pickford began an apprenticeship with his uncle Joseph in London in 1748. Pickford married Mary Wilkins in 1762 and had two children. A well known artist from Derby Joseph Wright, who was also a friend of Pickford, painted Pickford’s children.
In 1988 Pickford’s house was opened as a museum. I was told that the rooms inside recreate scenes from Georgian life, including costume displays. The sound of this brings images to my mind from when I took a tour around the house in Wellington where Katherine Mansfield had grown up.
Did I get as far as the museum? In a way yes and in a way no. I managed to get to the museum but wasn’t successful in finding a way inside. There were a number of doors there and as I walked from one to another I wondered why they were all locked. It wasn’t until I walked up to the front of the building that I read the sign that said it opens at 11am. It was only 9 something, so I wasn’t about to wait around, so that was that.
I managed to have a good nosey around the garden though, and am planning to go back again for a look. I might wait now until the next time we have some friends over.
Pickford house is on the list of visitors attractions for England. Pickford hosts a range of exhibitions and events. From March they opened an exhibition on ‘silk‘ and it will run until 2011. On Tuesday 1 June 2010 they will be running a free sketching and drawing workshop between 10am to 3pm.
Pickford House details:
41 Friar Gate
Derby DE1 1DA
Telephone: 01332 255 363