In Cromford, North Street contains the first housing built to encourage families to come and live near and provide labour for a mill. A hotel and shops were created by Sir Richard Arkwright, and a market for the community which was regularly used for festivities.
Cromford Hill is lined with 18th and 19th century workers housing. This is privately owned, so please respect people’s privacy when walking around. Successive grant schemes have helped repair and restore a number of the houses.
What makes it special?
- North Street contains the first housing ever built to encourage families to come and live near and provide labour for a mill.
- The housing and other facilities such as The Greyhound Hotel and Arkwright Stores were created by Sir Richard Arkwright. The hotel was also used for festivities organised by Sir Richard for his workers.
What is there to see and do?
- North Street was built to a higher standard than agricultural housing to attract the workforce Arkwright needed for the mill. These houses have distinctive weavers’ windows on the top floor which allowed fathers enough light to weave while their wives and children were employed at the mill.
- Accommodation in Cromford for visitors has been provided at The Greyhound since the 18th century. In architectural style it is the most distinguished building in the village.
- The Greyhound Pond behind The Greyhound attracts water birds and has seating nearby. From here you can see across the pond to Scarthin, with its famous quaint bookshop and many (former) chapels.
- Across the A6, beyond Cromford Mill, is St Mary’s Church, founded by Sir Richard Arkwright as a private chapel, and later enlarged and opened for public worship.
- Close to the church is the entrance to Willersley Castle, built for Sir Richard Arkwright and providing unparalleled views of the Derwent Valley. Set in extensive parkland, it retains many original features, and is now operated as a hotel by Christian Guild Holidays.
- Guided tours of the village are available through the Arkwright Society, based at Cromford Mills.