Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Cromford Mill

 The waterfall which crashes down the wheel pit  and into a vaulted watercourse running a third of a mile underground to connect with the River Derwent.  Constructed (1772) by Richard Arkwright to power his first cotton cotton mill and his newly patented water spinning frame.  This revolutionised and introduced factory production on a large scale. The water, which was so important
came from Bonsall Brook and combined with a sough draining off water from a local lead mine.  Unseen in the photo are the huge trout swimming leisurely through the water.  This is part of
 Cromford Mill part of the Derwent Valley UNESCO World Heritage site, designated as such for its historical importance in the beginning of the factory system.  This is, and was, a rural area so for such large scale industrial production the employment of the first 200 workers was not enough (eventually there would be a 1000 here).  Arkwright's solution was to expanded the housing of the nearby village of Cromford.  The weavers lived in the houses and their children, some as young as 7, worked in the spinning mill, the parents weaving on the topmost floors.
The fact that further development of cotton mill technology happened in Lancashire rather than Derbyshire means that the Derwent Valley Mills were not redeveloped so these early industrial buildings sit in a rural landscape. There is a long term restoration programme here at Cromford Mill  somewhere inside the temporary building entrance just glimpsed in the photo.
 I contented myself with photos of the machinery of the smaller waterfall and the old
managers building before moving off to the tea shop and a walk along the canal.

1 comment:

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

Great shot of the waterfall and love the reflection in the second photo - nit been to Cromford - went to Masson Mill round the corner from there a few years back.