This piece is from a sketchbook by Mary Twopenny that captures her various trips around Derbyshire. It is a pencil drawing of the view from a high vantage point looking down on to a road, with a lane rising to the right. It is dated 14th June 1828.
Search Results for: cromford
This was once a cotton mill and the first to be successfully powered by water. Warm water from the lead mining soughs supplied a regular flow of water all year round. This mill saw the birth of mass production and round the clock working – something that had never been done before.
Look at the buildings and how many storeys there are. Many machines could be fitted in on each floor. There are lots of windows, essential to let light in because of the delicate manual tasks that were done to operate the machines.
Over 200 years ago the canal was the main transport route connecting Cromford with the outside world. Not only did it carry goods but it was vital for communication – the broadband of its day. And we thought dial-up slow!
Within the wharf area there was a warehouse, a weighing machine, saw pit, counting houses, stables and a smithy. What other evidence of industry can you spot here? Look out for the crane on the end of the cafe building, used for loading goods.
Notice in the wide canal area where the canal splits for the two wharf sheds, there is an arched stone boat house. This was Arkwright’s private boathouse, at the bottom of his garden.
You need to climb about fifty steps and you will have a good view of the Mill Yard on your left hand side. The five storey building was Richard Arkwright’s third mill on this site, dated 1785. It now houses the Visitor Centre and Cromford Creative. To the right of this mill is Arkwright’s 1771 mill, the world’s first successful water powered cotton spinning mill. You can hear the sound of water still passing through the site. The visible three storey buildings were warehouses.
Above the warehouses you can see Rock House on the hillside. This is where Arkwright lived until his death in 1792.
This is the Mill Manager’s house built in 1796 with its ornate entrance. Opposite the Mill Manager’s House is the entrance to the mill site with a bollard on the pavement reputed to be made from a cannon used to defend the mill from machine breakers.
Heading towards Cromford Village along Mill Lane, you will pass the buttresses that once supported the aqueduct bringing water to the mill site and the blocked doorway into the first mill.
In the courtyard on your right you can see a brick-built cottage that once housed a worker and his family. Behind you can see Arkwright’s Loom Shop (weaving room).
In December 2001, the Derwent Valley Mills in Derbyshire was inscribed on the World Heritage List. This international designation confirms the outstanding importance of the area as the birthplace of the factory system where in the 18th Century water power was successfully harnessed for textile production.
Find out more information about the history of Cromford Mills here.
You can also find out what else there is to see and do in Cromford here.