Located right next to Derby train station – the Derby Roundhouse is steeped in Engineering history.
The Roundhouse at Derby is the world’s first and oldest surviving railway roundhouse. It was originally developed in 1839 by four rival rail companies, including North Midland Railway (NMR) for whom George Stephenson and his son Robert were engineers.
Robert was responsible for the engineering of the NMR buildings on the site, including the world’s first railway roundhouse, built for the princely sum of £62,000. The Stephensons are probably even more famous as the inventors of the Rocket steam engine which was designed and built by George and Robert for the 1829 Rainhill Trials.
In 2008, the Grade II* Listed building and other associated buildings on the site were sympathetically restored and repaired using the William Morris principle of ‘honest repair’. There are also two newly-constructed buildings which have been designed to blend in with the existing structures.
A number of innovations were incorporated into the new-build construction including a ‘chameleon glass’ which changes colour depending on the light and angle of view. Naturally, the short, 12-metre engine turntable can still be found in The Roundhouse today and is just one example of the rich manufacturing and railway heritage of the site.