Cromford  Derbyshire


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Cromford like this:

CROMFORD, a small town, and a township-chapelry in Wirksworth parish, Derby. The town stands on or adjacent to the river Derwent, the Cromford canal, the Cromford and High-Peak railway, and the Ambergate and Rowsley railway, 2 miles N by E of Wirksworth; and has stations on both railways, a post office under Matlock-Bath, and a weekly market. ...

Its site is a deep valley, three-fourths engirt by lofty limestone rocks. It was the scene of the operations of Sir Richard Arkwright, the regenerator of the cotton manufacture; it owed to him so much of its character that it may be said to have been founded by him; it still possesses two large cotton mills belonging to his descendants; and it carries on a colour manufacture and other trade, in connection with minerals on their estate. The mills are worked by a perennial stream of warm water from lead and zinc mines on Cromford moor, never fluctuating in quantity, and always so warm in winter as to prevent the adjoining canal from being frozen. Thus "-Where Derwent guides his dusky floods, Through vaulted mountains, and a night of woods, --------------the watery god His ponderous oars to slender spindles turns, And pours o'er massy wheels his foaming urns." The chapelry extends beyond the town over vale and hill. Real property, £4, 328; of which £20 are in quarries, and £1, 915 in railways. Pop., 1, 140. Houses, 249. The manor belonged, at Domesday, to the Crown; passed to the Meynells, the Leches, and others; and was purchased, in 1789, by Sir Richard Arkwright. Willersley Castle, or the Rock House, is a spacious mansion, built by Sir Richard, and now the seat of P. Arkwright, Esq. About 200 Roman coins were found, not many years ago, at Scarthen-Nick. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Lichfield. Value, £180. Patron, P. Arkwright, Esq. The church was built in 1797; and contains a marble font and a monument by Chantrey. There are a free school and an alms-house.

Cromford through time

Cromford is now part of Derbyshire Dales district. Click here for graphs and data of how Derbyshire Dales has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Cromford itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Cromford in Derbyshire Dales | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 15th May 2021

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