‘The Story of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site’ is our Children’s Guide, introducing this fascinating, special place. The short book is beautifully illustrated by local artist Rebecca Morledge. We have made it into a short video specially for Discovery Days. The Children’s Guide will be available from different places in the World Heritage Site, so look out for it, when you are able to visit us, or you can download a pdf of the Children’s Guide here.
Women and Work at Cromford Mills
Joan Link, Volunteer Tour Guide at Cromford Mills, talks about ‘Women and Work at Cromford Mills’. One area of research that Joan is interested in includes the role of women in the mills at Cromford and throughout the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.
Paint along with Ruth Gray
Join local artist Ruth Gray as she paints Willersley Castle and learns about the history of this magnificent building with Adrian Farmer. You can follow Ruth as she guides you with tips and advice to create your own work of art.
The interactive art installation, designed by artist Jo Fairfax, was a water and cycle-powered drawing machine which took inspiration from Sir Richard Arkwright’s early career as he started out his journey as entrepreneur, inventor and architect of the modern factory system.
In 2019 local artist Tracey Meek was commissioned to take up an artist’s residency with Birdswood, a heritage narrowboat which runs trips along the Cromford Canal. Taking boat trips along the Canal and recording her journey she created a series of 3D collages, to make a bespoke pop up installation and experience aboard Birdswood.
On Sunday 4th August 2019, recording artist Jay Dean (lead singer of Wirksworth based Goddesses and founder of Dubrek Studios in Derby) played for the first time a new sound composition in the historic railway workshops at High Peak Junction. This was the result of months of creative activity and collaboration, working with the team at High Peak Junction, and fellow musicians the Russell Sisters.
A look at the workings and history of the Leawood Pumphouse.
CD Weaving with George
It’s craft time! How to use an old CD to create a weaving loom. Stay at home textile craft activities linked to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site – the world’s first factories where cotton was spun on water powered machinery for the first time to woven into different textile products.
Scandinavian Friendship Braids
Using two people to make Scandinavian Friendship Braids (or Nordic Slinging) to make a decorative rope braid. Linked to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site where there are machines that would have used the cotton spun at the mills to make elaborate braiding and roping.
Pete Castle Folk Concert
Anyone who is a regular to our Discovery Days Festival knows that we always have a traditional Folk Concert, so here are a few of Pete’s songs for you to enjoy.
The Nightingale’s Song to the Sick Soldier
Pete Castle sings the Nightingale’s Song to the Sick Soldier to mark the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth in May 1820.
The Factory Girl
The Factory Girl is a traditional song which is known all over Britain, performed here by Pete Castle.
The Cotton Mills Now at Cromford
A song composed for the yearly Celebration of the Cotton Mills at Cromford and printed in the Derby Mercury 1778. Performed by Pete Castle.
The Man who Stole the Parson’s Sheep
Storyteller and folk singer Pete Castle tells a traditional midwinter/Christmas story from Derbyshire.
If you want to hear more from Pete and carry on the Folk Concert you can visit his YouTube channel here.
Cromford Past and Present
A short video looking at how Cromford has changed over the years.
Coming Soon! The Arkwright Society Industrial Revolution Conference
Hidden Histories of the Industrial Revolution: Enslaved People and Women
The Arkwright Society joins the Zoom revolution with their first virtual Industrial Revolution Conference on Saturday 7th November. The Industrial Revolution Conference has been running for six years with a diverse range of topics and expert speakers.
This year, leading experts on the Industrial Revolution will set out their views about the time when Britain changed in every way. They will talk about the partly ‘hidden histories’ in this context of enslaved peoples and women.
Here is a Preview of some of the events we are planning for our Celebration Year of 2021!
2021 is going to be a special year for Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, as we have so many anniversaries to celebrate.
It’s the 20th anniversary of our Inscription onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List – that means this wonderful place is one that is recognised as having global significance to humankind. If you want to find out why, you can watch our Understanding Attributes videos in Discovery Day 1. Look out for the many special events which will celebrate this achievement throughout the year.
It is 300 years since the Lombe brothers built the Silk Mill in Derby, and all being well, the Silk Mill will be reopening as The Museum of Making.
It is also 250 years since Richard Arkwright chose Cromford to build his first manufactory to produce cotton on a mass scale. Here is Michael from Cromford introducing the celebrations that will take place at Cromford.
A preview of the installation planned in 2021 called The Machinery. Find out more about what to expect when this installation comes to the Derwent Valley next year.
Derwent Delights 2021
Derwent Delights are beautifully hand-crafted, sculptural boxes which contain various textile, poetry and digital treasures created by artists with local communities, to celebrate the uniqueness of the World Heritage Site. The Great Place Scheme project was due to launch this July and will now be something to look forward to in 2021. Here’s a quick taster of what has happened so far:
Darley Abbey Day and Constella Opera Ballet
Constella Opera Ballet was due to join Darley Abbey Day this June. The event is now rescheduled for May 2021, and we can look forward to a day including dance, music and art working within the government Covid-19 guidelines in place at that time. Here’s a quick taster of things to come!
Willersley Castle: The London Mothers
This is a short promotional film for ‘The London Mothers’, an arts commission for the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Great Place Scheme. Artist Heidi Luker has researched the history of Willersley Castle’s role as a maternity hospital during the Second World War. She has created a short play which will be performed in early 2021.
Derwent Valley Images
Photographers Ashley Franklin and Ian Daisley are launching their new book, in association with the Arkwright Society in Autumn 2021, to mark the anniversaries in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.