Cromford is a village and civil parish, two miles to the south of
Matlock in the
Derbyshire Dales district in Derbyshire, England. The
population at the 2011 Census was 1,433. It is principally known
for its historical connection with Richard Arkwright, and the nearby
Cromford Mill which he built outside the village in 1771.
Derwent Valley Mills
Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage site.
3 Cultural references
6 Notable residents
8 See also
10 External links
The River Derwent, with its sources on
Bleaklow in the Dark Peak,
flows southward to
Derby and then to the River Trent. The geology of
this section in the
Derbyshire Dales is that of limestone. The fast
flowing river has cut a deep valley. The A6 trunk road, which was the
main road between London and Manchester in former times; the Cromford
Canal and the Derwent Valley Line, linking
Derby and Matlock, were all
built in the river valley. The
Via Gellia dry valley joins the Derwent
The A6 passes to the north of the village of Cromford; its land rises
from 80m to 150m above mean sea level. It is 27 km north of
Derby, 3 km south of Matlock and 1 km south of Matlock Bath.
Trains operate from
Cromford Station, on the north bank of the Derwent
Derby and Nottingham.
Workers cottages in Cromford, some having "weavers' windows" visible
on the top floors
It is one of the significant sites in the development of the
Industrial Revolution. Here,
Richard Arkwright built his cotton mill
to make use of the water frame.
The Gell family, who were local Hopton landowners heavily involved in
Wirksworth lead mining, had the
Via Gellia built to connect
Cromford and Grangemill in the late 18th century.
Some cottages and farm buildings pre-date Arkwright's time, but a
large part of the village was built to house the mill workers. They
were provided with shops, pubs, chapels and a school.
The 20th century saw the development of council and private housing.
Dene quarry, currently operated by Tarmac Ltd for the production of
aggregrates and roadstone, was excavated to the south west of the
village from 1942 onwards.
In December 2001 a 15-mile corridor from
Masson Mill in Matlock Bath
to the Silk Mill in
Derby and including the mills in Cromford,
Milford, Belper and Darley Abbey was declared the Derwent Valley Mills
World Heritage Site.
The 1931 novel 'Saturday Night at the Greyhound' by John Hampson takes
place over the course of one evening in the bar at the Greyhound
In late 2006,
Anand Tucker used certain parts of Cromford, including
its historic bookshop, for his film And When Did You Last See Your
Father?, based on the autobiographical memoir by poet Blake Morrison.
Colin Firth plays the adult Blake, with
Jim Broadbent cast as his
A quarter of the German town
Ratingen is named after Cromford, as this
is where industrial pioneer Johann Gottfried Brügelmann 1783 erected
the first factory outside England, using Arkwright's factory as an
archetype. The factory today forms part of the Rheinisches
Cromford railway station
Cromford railway station is located on the Matlock-
Valley Line and can be seen on the cover of the 1995 Oasis single
"Some Might Say".
Cromford has a population of 1,669 (in 1991). In the 2010 election
Derbyshire Dales, formerly West Derbyshire, returned a Conservative,
Patrick McLoughlin, with 24,378 votes, exactly the number he polled in
Cromford Mill (1771) buildings and accommodation for workers to
staff the factories form part of the Derwent Valley Mills, which is
recognised as a
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site for its importance. North Street,
constructed by Arkwright is important as a very early purpose built
industrial workers housing and was rescued from dereliction in the
1970s by the Ancient Monument Society who have since sold off the
houses. One house in the street is now a
Landmark Trust holiday
Masson Mill (1783) is on the northern fringe of the village.
Willersley Castle dominates hill on the east side of the river, with
commanding views of Masson Mill, the village, and the road from Derby.
Commissioned by Richard Arkwright, building work began in 1790, but
was delayed by a fire in 1791.
Richard Arkwright died in 1792, and the
building was occupied by his son Richard in 1796. The Arkwright family
moved out in 1922, and the building was acquired by some Methodist
businessmen, and opened to guests as a Methodist Guild hotel in 1928.
During World War II, the building was used as a maternity hospital by
the Salvation Army while evacuated from their hospital in the East End
St Mary's Church, Cromford
St Mary's Church, Cromford built between 1792 and 1797 by Richard
Cromford Canal – built to service the mills – is now in
disuse, but has been designated a Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The canal tow path can be followed from
Cromford Wharf to High Peak
Junction, and on to
Whatstandwell and Ambergate. The
Cromford and High
Peak Railway, completed in 1831, ran from
High Peak Junction
High Peak Junction to the
Peak Forest Canal
Peak Forest Canal at Whaley Bridge. Its track bed now forms the High
Peak Trail, a walk and cycle route which is joined by the Tissington
Trail at Parsley Hay.
Francis Hurt (1803–1861), Tory politician and member of Parliament
who represented a constituency in South Derbyshire
George Turner (1841–1910), landscape artist, was born here.
Alison Uttley, (1884–1976) writer, was born nearby at Castle Top
The Greyhound Hotel built for
Richard Arkwright in 1778 for the use of
businessmen and others visiting the mills.
Cromford Pond built in 1785 as the pound for
This shuttle, locally known as "The Bear Pit" controlled the water
from the sough into
A mid-nineteenth century water wheel for a mill grinding locally mined
barytes . It is no longer used for any purpose but can be seen turning
Panorama of Cromford's mill pond
^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for
National Statistics. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
^ Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL24
^ a b
Cromford Village Website Accessed 8 July 2010
^ Christian Guild website, History of Williersley Castle page,
accessed 19 August 2013
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cromford.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Cromford.
Cromford home page
Christian Guild history of
Willersley Castle page