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History

history and research

History & Development

of the World Heritage Site

Not only was textile production revolutionised with dramatic consequences for the British economy, the Arkwright model also informed and inspired developments in other industries. It was here in the Derwent Valley that the essential ingredients of factory production were successfully combined. A source of power, in this case water power, was applied to a series of complex mechanised processes for the first time on a relatively large scale.

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Derby Silk Mill

Key Sites

a rich inheritance

It was Richard Arkwright’s Cromford Mill which provided the true blueprint for factory production. Arkwright’s system was copied widely in many parts of Britain and, soon after, in other countries.

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Cromford Mill

Communities

an architectural history

The Derwent Valley World Heritage Site nomination contains within its 24 kilometres (north to south) four industrial settlements. It extends from the edge of Matlock Bath and Cromford in the north and almost to the centre of the city of Derby in the south. The industrial settlements which are included are Cromford, Belper, Milford and Darley Abbey.

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North Street, Cromford

Key Figures

the movers and shakers

Find out more about the key figures who helped to build the Derwent Valley Mills.

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Richard Arkwright

Bibliography

the site in print

The select bibliography which follows has been confined in its scope to manuscript sources and printed material which illuminate the history and conservation of the nominated site. It does not include the wider ranging literature or works of fiction.

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Derwent Valley Mills and their Communities books

Research Framework

shaping future research

This project was funded by English Heritage as part of its programme of regional research frameworks, and aimed to provide a Research Agenda and Strategy for the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and its wider Buffer Zone.

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Research Framework consultation with stakeholders

Research

recent research documents

We are committed to encouraging research into the World Heritage Site and its impact on the rest of the UK and the World.
Recent research will be published here.

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Samuel Slater plaque

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