Cromford Mills – Paranormal Investigation
Cromford Mills are nestled in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside.
Built-in 1771 by Sir Richard Arkwright, it is the world’s first successful water-powered cotton spinning mill and a cornerstone of the Industrial Revolution.
World Heritage Site
The mill is classified as a Grade I listed building and is now the centrepiece of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage site. From then until 1790, he continued to develop the mills, warehouses and workshops, which now form the Cromford Mills site. Historical England declared the Cromford mill complex “one of the country’s 100 irreplaceable sites.”
Leading the Way
Arkwright started from humble beginnings as an apprentice barber and wigmaker who became one of the country’s wealthiest men.
In 1769, Richard Arkwright patented a water frame to use the extra power of a watermill after he had set up a horse-powered mill in Nottingham.
Arkwright chose the site at Cromford because it had a year-round warm water supply, which helped continue production at the mills.
Most of the employees were women and children, the youngest being only seven years old; later, the minimum age was raised to ten, the children were given six hours of education a week, which was most unusual in this era. It was later understood that the children, once educated, would undertake all the record-keeping for the mills, something their illiterate parents could not do.
The End of an era… maybe not
The cotton mill ceased operation in the 19th century, and the buildings were used for other purposes. In 1979, the Grade I listed site was bought by the Arkwright Society, who began the long task of restoring it to its original state; it was generally believed that the mills had reached the end of their useful life and were to be demolished.
So degraded that the local authorities believed it had lost too much of its original character and was no longer historically significant… they were wrong! It soon became clear that the actual value of the site was recognised once the modern buildings and rubble were cleared away.