Saturday, 20 June 2009


In memory of Penny Gallon

1. Arkwright's Mill

"It was at Cromford that Richard Arkwright started the first successful cotton spinning mill worked by water power...The buildings of c.1790 along the road have no windows along the lower floors and suggest a defence against industrial spies and rioters...It looks rather grim now and must always have been foreboding. Bray tells us that 200 would have been employed, 'chiefly children, they work by turns night and day'."*

*N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, 'Buildings of England: Derbyshire', (2002), p. 157-8.

2. Carboniferous Limestone

"South of the millstone grit area of the Dark Peak is the carboniferous limestone of the White Peak, or the Derbyshire Dales, as it is known...Limestone has fissures and is slightly soluble in water, therefore the rivers have been able to carve deep narrow valleys, which has resulted in some of the most spectacular riverside scenery."*

*E. Burkinshaw, 'Historic Walks in Derbyshire', (2003), p. 14.

3. Cromford Mill Shops

"Cromford's relatively poor communications led to the end of textile production in Cromford around 1840. The building was used for a variety of industries including brewing, cheese warehousing and finally in the early twentieth century for the production of colour pigments, paints and dyes... In 1999 it opened as a working textile museum and shopping village"*

*E. Burkinshaw, 'Historic Walks in Derbyshire', (2003), p. 184.

4. Gardens

Will I grow tomatoes like me grandparents? Will I walk a pig through Kimberley?

"the first custom built industrial community, which became a model for others throughout the world..."*

*E. Burkinshaw, 'Historic Walks in Derbyshire', (2003), p. 182.

5. Bookshop

"Between the two mils, the dramatic break through the limestone rocks, which is called Scarthin Nick. Behind this, away from the river, to the s, Cromford Village, the settlement created by Arkwright around his mill."*

*N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, 'Buildings of England: Derbyshire', (2002), p. 158.

6. Gate

7. Framework Knitting Workshops

Similar to what you might find in Nottingham and Leicester, except they're made out of Limestone instead of brick.

"SE of the marketplace is North Street, a complete street of housing built in 1771-6 by Arkwright for his employees. Two three story terraces with mullioned windows, originally larger in the attics, which were intended as framework knitting rooms"*

*N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, 'Buildings of England: Derbyshire', (2002), p. 158.

9. Modernism

1970s modernist houses? Local limestone? Perhaps. Clean lines, designed on a grid and modest.

10. Quarry

"Mineral extraction, particularly of lead had been important to the White Peak for centuries... The Cromford Sough, which ran from a Wirksworth lead mine by the river Derwent, was later used by Richard Arkwright to power his mill at Cromford."*

"Following the collapse of the lead mining industry in the nineteenth century... Limestone quarrying followed , which did provide employment but [nearby] Wirksworth became badly affected by the resultant dust, dirt and noise..."**

*E. Burkinshaw, 'Historic Walks in Derbyshire', (2003), p. 24.
**Burkinshaw, p. 165.

11. Sheep

Never attempt to read a map while walking through a sheep pasture, because you will be certain to tread in shit.

12. Arkwirght's Mansion

Willersley Castle was built as Sir Richard Arkwright's residence in 1789-90 by William Thomas of London. Arkwright died before he could move in. It is an ambitious seven bay stone structure of two and a half storeys, with lower side wings fronting the sheer face of the cliff across the sloping lawn and across the river. The house is entirely classical in construction but is romanticised by battlements and by semicircular turrets at the angles of the wings. Torrington in 1790 called it 'an effort in inconvenient ill taste'..." *

*N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, 'Buildings of England: Derbyshire', (2002), p. 159-60.

13. High Peak Railway

"The construction of the Cromford and High Peak Railway was considered an engineering masterpiece, which later attracted railway enthusiasts from all over he world...steam powered beam engines to haul wagons up the steep inclines...horses replaced by locomotives in 1832 but it was still an arduous 16 hour journey to compete the 33 miles, including the steepest gradient of any British railway, the 1 in 14 Hopton Incline."*

*E. Burkinshaw, 'Historic Walks in Derbyshire', (2003), p. 183-4.

14. Catch Pit

"Associated with the railway at the bottom of sheep pasture incline is a railway repair workshops, the bottom pulley wheel pit of the incline, and the water tank used by locomotives. Further up, a catch pit to catch [runaway] railway trucks, and on the main road the Loco and Agent's Houses, an early nineteenth century pair."*

*N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, 'Buildings of England: Derbyshire', (2002), p. 160.

15. Pump House

"At High Peak Junction... is a group of buildings belonging to the transhipment point between the High Peak Railway and the canal. There are two major architectural monuments: ... the pump houe to pump water from the river [Derwent], to the canal, a tall, narrow, rock faced stone structure with pediments voussoird arched windows and a tall elegant chimney with cast iron capping ..." *

*N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, 'Buildings of England: Derbyshire', (2002), p. 160.

16. Cromford Viaduct

"...[and] the Canal Aquaduct over the Derwent , 1792 by Jessop, ashlar, a beautiful single span bridge with wide elliptical arch, rebuilt at the engineer's own expense after the first one collapsed." *

*N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, 'Buildings of England: Derbyshire', (2002), p. 160.

17. Cromford Canal

"It was the success of the new factory system that stimulated the demand for more efficient communications, which lead Arkwright and others to promote construction of the Cromford Canal, which was completed in 1794. The engineer was William Jessop in partnership with Benjamin Outram and the total cost of the project was £80,000. The canal provided a vital artery into the national canal network and was the first part of a link from the Midlands to the North West...latterly carrying mainly coal and limestone."*

*N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, 'Buildings of England: Derbyshire', (2002), p. 158.

18. Cromford Wharf

"The water [for the mill] was supplied partly by the Bonsall Stream and and partly by and adit for draining mines called the Cromford Mear Sough...The same stream is the chief source of the Cromford Canal... Just past the mill is it's Derbyshire terminus at Cromford Wharf. One of the two warehouses still has a overhead canopy." *

*N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, 'Buildings of England: Derbyshire', (2002), p. 158.


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