The Industrial Heritage of the Peak District.

Image: Industrial Heritage, Peak District Cromford Canal and Cromford Wharf.

The Peak District may not have been a major player in the development of the Industrial Revolution, however, there have been a number of significant contributions. Derbyshire is seen as a predominantly rural county, however, it has its fair share of industrial relics, railways, canals, mill buildings, mines and lime kilns to name but a few.


Derby is associated with two major industries, the Railways (Midland Railways HQ) and Aero engines. But many other industries have come and gone, for example the colour works that made way for the car park and 'cock pit' traffic island plus textiles and chemicals (British Celanese at Spondon). The Silk mill (the first water powered Silk Mill in Britain built by John Lombe and George Sorocold) marks the start of the Derwent Valley Mill World Heritage site which stretches north all the way to Cromford, where Arkwright's Cromford Mill stands. Cromford Mill is said to have been the true birthplace of the modern factory system and many of the buildings constructed for the mill workers can be seen in the small town of Cromford. Between Derby and Cromford, the World heritage site includes textile mills constructed by Jeddediah Strut, most notably at Belper where, after a disastrous fire, Strutt constructed the world's first fireproof mill building.

As well as sich iconic figures as Strutt and Arkwright, Rolls and Royce, Lombe and Sorocold, there is the canal engineer James Brindley who was born in a village close to Buxton and the MP for Derby Samuel Plimsoll who introduced the Plimsoll line to ships to improve the safety for mariners.

 

 


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