Latest News | 19 May 2021

Cromford Mills to mark 250 years of Industrial Revolution in style

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Cromford Mills is set to celebrate 250 years of the Industrial Revolution with a series of events as it welcomes visitors back.

Thanks to a £717,400 Culture Recovery Fund grant secured towards the end of last year by The Arkwright Society, which owns and manages Cromford Mills, the venue will mark the anniversary of Sir Richard Arkwright coming to Cromford and building the world’s first successful water-powered cotton spinning mill.

The grant is also helping Cromford Mills toast two other key anniversaries.

Simon Wallwork, chief executive of The Arkwright Society, said: “Without this vital funding support, we would not be able to mark these key milestones – 250 years since Sir Richard Arkwright established his first factory in Cromford, 50 years since the Arkwright Society was formed and 20 years since the Derwent Valley Mills were inscribed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

“We are looking forward to celebrating these significant events with staff, members, volunteers and the wider public.”

Nestled in the picturesque Derwent Valley, Cromford Mills was founded in 1771 by Sir Richard Arkwright.

His mill, at Cromford, rose to fame as it became the birthplace of the modern factory system and the first successful water-powered cotton spinning mill in the country.

Now, the venue is set to celebrate the anniversary of his arrival in style, with a summer of artisan markets, antiques fairs, special weekend events, online talks and outdoor theatre.

The celebrations will kick-off this weekend with a Conservation and Restoration Event, which will showcase the Arkwright Society’s achievements over the last 50 years, including the restoration of Cromford Mills.

Visitors will be able to discover the skills that helped rebuild Cromford Mills from a derelict industrial site into a beautiful tourist attraction, small business hub and World Heritage Site. It will feature expert demonstrations and hands-on activities.

On 26 and 27 June, the mills will stage a Georgian Weekend, where visitors will be able to step back in time and experience Georgian life.

Featuring re-enactors, visitors will be able to sample traditional Georgian treats and take part in a family trail.

Outdoor theatre will be staged throughout June and July, with performances including The Merry Wives of Windsor, Heroes, Macbeth and Robin Hood.

Tickets are now available for these performances.

And on 21 and 22 August, an event called Celebrating the Arts will take place, which will encourage visitors to reflect on the beauty of the Derwent Valley.

Local artists will compete in an outdoor painting competition and people are encouraged to enter the Cromford Mills photo competition.

The weekend will also celebrate local makers and artists who feature around the site and in Cromford Mills’ independent shops.

For more information about all the forthcoming events taking place at Cromford Mills please click here.

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