From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

Cromford Mill

53° 6′ 32.4″ N, 1° 33′ 21.6″ W
SK 2982056960

  • History
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
Cromford Mill is a Grade I listed building, located in the village of Cromford, near Matlock Bath in Derbyshire.

Richard Arkwright built the mill at Cromford in 1771 after developing the water frame to help spin cotton. Cromford was chosen as it had a regular supply of water from the Cromford Sough, which drained the water from the lead mines at Wirksworth. He built the five storey mill with the backing of Jedediah Strutt. The mill was ran day and night with two twelve hour shifts.

He built housing for the 200 strong workforce, who were mostly women and children. The youngest was only seven years old. The gates of the mill were closed precisely at 6 in the morning and evening, any worker who was late did not get in. They lost a days pay and were also fined another days pay.

The mill was continually being developed until 1790. Problems with the water supply in 1840 stopped cotton production. The development of steam engines to power factories made Cromford Mill obsolete so the mill buildings were put to other uses, including a brewery, laundries and warehouses.

From 1922 the site was turned into colour works, producing pigments for paints a dyes. The colour works were abandoned in 1979, leaving the buildings contaminated with lead chromate.

The Arkwright Society bought the mill and began to restore it back to its original state.

Today, Cromford Mill is open to the public every day.