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Cromford Mills
Mill Road
Derbyshire DE4 3RQ

t: 01629 825936

Latitude, Longitude: 53.1088 N, 1.5558 W

OS X: 429833, OS Y: 356937

Please note that there are two separate mill complexes in Cromford that were built by Sir Richard Arkwright. We are in the old, stone built Cromford Mills on Mill Road and not the newer, brick built 'Masson Mills', which is very close by, on Derby Road.


There is some free parking on the road outside the mill and the 2 car parks immediately adjacent to the mill, operated by the Arkwright Society, are free for 30 minutes. However, if you are going to be at the mill longer than 30 minutes, the parking charges on Cromford Meadows car park (Matlock Rugby Club) or the nearby, Council operated car park, both located a little further along Mill Road are more reasonably priced.

Below is a 3D illustration of the mill complex showing other facilities on the site and is included with permission from the Arkwright Society. Click on it for a larger, printable PDF version to help you plan your visit. The Council operated car park is the 'P' on the right hand side. Cromford Meadows car park is just off the drawing, about 50m further along Mill Road.

Click on map for printable version


click here to view a larger map and get directions

About Sir Richard Arkwright's Cromford Mills -
'where the industrial revolution began'

As well as Quiltessential, there are other specialist retailers within the Cromford Mills complex and two excellent cafes (one is across the road by the canal), which provide light meals and homemade cakes. There is ample car parking nearby and mobility impaired customers can park directly outside the shop, which is wheelchair accessible.

The Mills are located in the beautifully picturesque Derwent Valley in Derbyshire. Due to its early industrial significance the Mills have been included within a UNESCO World Heritage Site which stretches 24km from Matlock Bath to Derby.

Two of the images shown are of the Mill yard where Quiltessential is located inside the pair of green, sliding doors bearing our logo sign. The other image shows a historic terrace of mill workers' cottages in nearby Cromford village. The Arkwright Society provide informative guided walks around the Mills and Cromford village. See their website for more details.

Cromford Mills was Sir Richard Arkwright's first and most important cotton mill, at which he pioneered the development of his water frame spinning machine and revolutionised the manufacture of cotton thread, thereby laying one of the cornerstones of the Industrial Revolution.

Arkwright began his career in the Nottingham area, but in 1771 he and his partners moved to Derbyshire to take advantage of the potential water-power available from the streams and rivers there. Cromford was chosen as a suitable site and the water from Bonsall Brook and Cromford Sough (a lead-mine drain) were utilised to power the mill.

The first Mill was built in 1771 and a further one added in 1776. Arkwright developed further patents and the mill buildings were further expanded until 1791, when they reached their greatest extent. Efficiency increased when the Cromford Canal spur opened in 1793 giving Arkwright a cheap and easy way of transporting both raw materials and finished goods to and from the site.

The Mills at Cromford with their powered machinery, large workforce and factory village became models for others throughout Britain and abroad. For the Victorians, who learnt so much from his example, Arkwright earned the accolade 'Father of the factory system'.

By 1840, however, Cromford Mills were already out of date and had been overtaken by the steam-powered mills in Lancashire and the Masson Mills, also built by Arkwright, upstream towards Matlock Bath.

The site was derelict when the Arkwright Society acquired it in 1979 and several million pounds have been spent restoring it, a process which is still ongoing, subject to the availability of funding.

Further information about Cromford, the Mills and other important sites within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site can be found at the following websites:



Arkwright’s Legacy

by Darren Mayner

In 1770 Arkwright came,
To Derbyshire to make his name,
He wanted to replace the horse,
With water as his power source.

In Cromford, Bonsall Brook was dammed,
Waterways and culverts planned,
To keep water flowing even,
Any day, whatever season.

From Cromford pond the water flowed,
By aqueduct it crossed Mill Road,
On water wheel it then did spill,
To drive machines at Cromford Mill.

With spinning frames he took the lead,
And Cromford’s where he sowed the seed,
For revolution far and near,
Factory system pioneer!

Today we link the Arkwright name,
Together with the spinning frame,
But you'll discover more I’m sure,
On a Cromford Mill guided tour.



Cromford Mill Waterfall 141205

3 images above are of Arkwright's Mill yard where Quiltessential is located; the bottom image shows a row of Arkwright's millworkers' cottages in Cromford



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