With its imposing stone buildings and intricate network of narrow lanes, yards and alleys, Wirksworth is one of Derbyshire's prettiest market towns.

Its fortunes were built on lead mining, quarrying and textiles - introduced by Richard Arkwright at Haarlem Mill, considered by some to be the mill in George Eliot's novel The Mill on the Floss.

Eliot is also thought to have based the fictional town of Snowfield in Adam Bede on Wirksworth, and DH Lawrence lived and wrote here.

Wirksworth offers plenty to see and do. The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway operates from Wirksworth to Duffield, running through one of Derbyshire’s most lovely and unspoilt valleys.

The spectacular Wirksworth StarDisc – a 21st century stone circle star chart – sits high above the town and illuminates the constellations at night.

The National Stone Centre lies on the edge of Wirksworth, and in the town itself, St. Mary’s Church – one of the finest in the county – is well worth a visit.

Properties and Wirksworth Town Hall Properties and Wirksworth Town Hall (Image: Gary Wallis)

A new award-winning Heritage Centre tells the fascinating stories of Wirksworth and its people, and regular guided walks around the town also leave from here.

Like many of Derbyshire's market towns, Wirksworth is perhaps best explored on foot.

Local traditions include Well Dressing, the ancient ceremony of 'Church Clypping', the annual carnival and Wirksworth Arts Festival. This is the time to experience the buzz of street theatre, music, family events and the famous Art and Architectural Trail, when more than 150 artists open their doors for visitors to browse and buy original and affordable art.

It’s also a chance to look inside some of the most historical and quirky homes and buildings in Derbyshire.

- Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, the area’s official tourist board

The architectural charm of St John's Street The architectural charm of St John's Street (Image: Ashley Franklin)


Many Wirksworth residents speak of a unique community spirit found in Wirksworth and that, once there, you’ll find it difficult to leave the Peak District’s oldest recorded town, which is ‘big enough to provide all the things you need, but small enough to always meet someone you know.’

Wirksworth’s high street is awash with local offerings – from fruit and veg; art, crafts and gifts; butchers; shoemakers; mini markets; antiques; independent cinema and much more besides. Don’t forget the famous Wirksworth Tuesday Market!

Similarly, Wirksworth’s Food and Drink options are superb with a number of traditional pubs mixed with upmarket restaurants offering cuisine from around the world – many of which take full advantage of the wonderful town centre architecture to create a truly memorable experience for guests.

There is a Co-Op convenience store and petrol station at the northern entrance to the town, a medical centre on Hannage Way and a pharmacy in the town centre.

Both Wirksworth Junior School and Wirksworth Church of England Infant School are rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted, while secondary education is available in the town in the form of Anthony Gell, which is also rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted and provides education up to and including A-Levels.


According to Rightmove, the UK’s largest online real estate property portal (rightmove.co.uk), properties in Wirksworth had an overall average price of £320,771 over the last year.

This is considerably higher than the overall county picture, with properties in Derbyshire having an average guide price of £241,440 over the last year (Rightmove), which points to the town being a desirable and sought after location.

However, according the most recent ONS data, Wirksworth sits just under the overall average for the Derbyshire Dales area (£339,000).

The majority of sales in Wirksworth during the last year were detached properties, selling for an average price of £433,125. Semi-detached properties sold for an average of £309,571, with terraced properties fetching £249,520.

Overall, sold prices in Wirksworth over the last year were 15% up on the previous year and 25% up on the 2020 peak of £256,944.

For those wishing to live a little out of town, Wirksworth boasts some stunning and picturesque neighbouring settlements – such as Middleton-by-Wirksworth, Alderwasley and Idridgehay, while the town is also just a short drive from Cromford, which offers access to the A6 road.