Derwent Valley mills and their communities

    Full details

    Authors & editors

    Publisher Derwent Valley Mills Partnership
    Year of publication 2001

    English (main text)

    Medium Book

    Dyestuffs & textiles > Silk
    Dyestuffs & textiles > Cotton & linen


    Scope & contentThis book was published as part of the bid to nominate the Derwent Valley Mills as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It contains the historical sections, bibliography and glossary of the nomination document. The Derwent Valley Mills stretches for 24km (15 miles) from Masson Mill at Cromford in the north to Derby Silk Mill in the south, including mills at Belper, Milford, Duffield and Darley Abbey in between. The mills demonstrate the history of water power in the industrial revolution and the establishment of the factory system. From the water-powered silk-throwing machines installed in Lombe's Silk Mill at Derby in 1721 to the Arkwright cotton spinning system at Cromford Mills in 1785 created by Richard Arkwright, the mills and their associated housing still remain. It describes the surge in industrial growth in the Derwent Valley. Richard Arkwright along with industrialists and entrepreneurs Jedediah Strutt, Thomas Evans and Peter Nightingale introduced important developments in manufacturing in creating self-contained factories incorporating the mill, workshops, forges and warehouses, as well exercising social responsibility for the the health and welfare of their workforce in the building of housing, medical facilities, chapels and schools to create industrial communities built around the mills. In addition, the mills in the Derwent Valley are examples of the development of fire-proofing techniques of the 1790's. The book contains detailed descriptions, photographs and plans of all the mills, associated buildings, workers' housing, farms and community buildings plus key technical structures along the River Derwent such as bridges, tunnels, weirs and aqueducts. A chapter describes in detail the history and development of the factory system at the various mills, the various inventions of Lombe and Arkwright and the development of the factory village. The decline and restoration of the mills and the valley is described and biographical notes of the key industrialists and their families are given namely Richard Arkwright, Richard Arkwright junior, Charles Woolley Bage, the Evans family (Thomas, Edmund and George), Peter Nightingale, Jedediah Strutt, and William Strutt.

    Copies held

    Accession no. 229966

    • Shelf location: Z00
    • Donor: Michael Dufau Collection
    • Notes: The Derwent Valley Mills was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2001.