Cromford Mills: Celebrating our Past and Present

Cromford Mills: Celebrating our Past and Present

Welcome to the summer at Cromford Mills! We are ‘Good to Go’: meeting the Visit England status as somewhere ticking all the criteria to keep it’s visitors safe.

We very much hope to see some of you in the yard for the events and activities planned to celebrate our anniversaries this year. It’s a remarkable time for us, being 250 years since Arkwright came to Cromford, 50 years since the Arkwright Society was formed and 20 years since the Derwent Valley was declared a World Heritage Site.

May Events include:

  • Bazaar: 2nd May
  • Antiques Fair: 9th May
  • Artisan Market: 16th May
  • Guided Tours re-launch on 17th May (See website)
  • Conservation & Restoration Weekend: 22nd &23rd May
  • Online Talk: Water- the driving force behind Cromford Mills: 27th May.

Book your ticket here:


Plus - don't miss our outdoor theatre performances.

  • Three-inch Fools - 'Merry Wives of Windsor': June 19th
  • Chatsworth Players - 'Heroes': July 23rd
  • Handlebards - 'Macbeth': July  25th
  • Three-inch fools / Robin Hood: July 27th

Details on our website:

Mill Matters: An occasional look at snippets from our history - The Second Mill.

The first mill, built in 1771, was very successful and by 1776 Arkwright was ready to expand.  He began building the second mill a little downstream from the first.  It was larger than the first mill and was 7 storeys high: the top storey had clerestory windows, an unusual feature.

The second mill was powered by the Bonsall Brook and Cromford Sough after they passed the first mill.  In order to create a greater fall of water, and therefore more power, Arkwright sank the waterwheels in a deep pit underneath the mill.  The water then flowed into the River Derwent via an underground culvert.

The Second Mill was destroyed by fire and only the base of the walls and the wheelpit still remain. With the help of a grant from the RCEF, we are currently investigating how we can generate power from the wheelpit once more. Watch this space.

2021: A Year of Celebration

Join us at our celebration events through out the year.

Did you take part in the original Arkwright Festival in 1971? Do you have any photographs? 

Our Archives only contain 4 photographs of what took place for these celebrations, which led to the formation of the Arkwright Society and the purchase of the Cromford Mills Site.

We know that Cromford School put on performances during the Festival, and that there were exhibitions, talks and guided tours of the then derelict site. We would love to see more photographs of what took place, and what the site looked like at that point.

Spin A Tale

Book your free tickets here:


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