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a rich inheritance
Sir Richard Arkwright’s Masson Mills
Key Sites - Masson Mills

Masson Mill - built 1783 - proclaims Arkwright’s growing wealth and self confidence.

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Cromford Mill
Key Sites - Cromford Mill

It was at Cromford that Richard Arkwright extended the range and scale of his mechanisation of cotton spinning and devised the factory production techniques which yoked machinery, the workforce and water power as they had never been harnessed before.

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Cromford Mills complex
Key Sites - Cromford Mill Complex

Cromford Mill was the world’s first successful water-powered cotton spinning mill. The Cromford Mill Complex was built on an elongated site, constricted by cliffs to the north and south.

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Cromford Canal at High Peak Junction
Key Sites - The Cromford Canal

The Cromford Canal ran 23.3 kilometres from Cromford to the Erewash Canal at Langley Mill.

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Lea Mills, founded by Peter Nightingale
Key Sites - Smedley’s Mill

The 18th century cotton mill at Lea Bridge is so concealed by later buildings that it is visible now only from the air. Yet within the interstices of the Smedley factory the original mill has survived surprisingly intact.

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Belper Mills
Key Sites - Belper

There was nothing tentative about Jedediah Strutt’s entry into cotton spinning on his own account. Unlike Richard Arkwright, he came to the business with considerable wealth and, by waiting until Arkwright had demonstrated the full potential of his mechanical inventions and production systems, he was able to invest in a full-scale production unit without having to embark on his own expensive research and development.

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The Weir at Milford
Key Sites - Milford

Strutt next turned his attention to Milford where, in March 1781, he bought Makeney forge and, soon after, adjoining property. Later in the same year he bought Hopping Mill Meadow, a site which included a fulling mill.

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Peckwash Mill
Key Sites - Peckwash Mill

The relationship between papermaking and the textile industry is an area of study which needs closer investigation. Within the Derwent Valley there were paper mills associated with two of the major cotton spinning sites, Masson and Darley Abbey and at least three others within, or adjacent to, the nominated site.

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Darley Abbey Mills
Key Sites - Darley Abbey Mills

The association of the Evans name with Darley Abbey started long before 1782 but the impression is misleading.

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The Silk Mill, Derby
Key Sites - The Silk Mill

The story of how the large-scale manufacturing of high quality silk thread arrived in Derby early in the eighteenth century is now very much better understood thanks to recent research by Anthony Calladine.

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