The Info List - Cromford

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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.[1] It is principally known for its historical connection with Richard Arkwright, and the nearby Cromford Mill
Cromford Mill
which he built outside the village in 1771. Cromford
is in the Derwent Valley Mills
Derwent Valley Mills
World Heritage site.


1 Geography 2 History 3 Cultural references 4 Governance 5 Landmarks 6 Notable residents 7 Gallery 8 See also 9 References 10 External links

Geography[edit] 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
Via Gellia
dry valley joins the Derwent at Cromford.[2] 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 to Derby
and Nottingham. History[edit]

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
Richard Arkwright
built his cotton mill to make use of the water frame. The Gell family, who were local Hopton landowners heavily involved in the nearby Wirksworth
lead mining, had the Via Gellia
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
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.[3] Cultural references[edit] 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 Hotel, Cromford. 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
Colin Firth
plays the adult Blake, with Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent
cast as his dying father. 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 Industriemuseum. Cromford railway station
Cromford railway station
is located on the Matlock- Derby
Derwent Valley Line and can be seen on the cover of the 1995 Oasis single "Some Might Say". Governance[edit] 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 2005.[3] Landmarks[edit] The Cromford Mill
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
Landmark Trust
holiday cottage. Masson Mill
Masson Mill
(1783) is on the northern fringe of the village. Willersley Castle
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
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 of London.[4] St Mary's Church, Cromford
St Mary's Church, Cromford
built between 1792 and 1797 by Richard Arkwright. The Cromford Canal
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
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. Notable residents[edit]

Francis Hurt
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 Farm.


The Greyhound Hotel built for Richard Arkwright
Richard Arkwright
in 1778 for the use of businessmen and others visiting the mills.

Pond built in 1785 as the pound for Cromford

This shuttle, locally known as "The Bear Pit" controlled the water from the sough into Cromford

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 on occasion.

Panorama of Cromford's mill pond

See also[edit]

Richard Arkwright Cromford
Mill Masson Mill


^ "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

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cromford.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Cromford.

Arkwright Society Cromford
home page Christian Guild history of Willersley Castle
Willersley Castle
page Cromford

Authority control

WorldCat Identiti