Tuesday 5 July 2022

Derbyshire Places (7) : Cromford

The village of Cromford is in the centre of the county in the Derwent valley. Crumforde was a farm near Wirksworth when listed in the Domesday Book and remained a small settlement until it's important role in the Industrial Revolution. Cromford was where Richard Arkwright built the first water powered cotton mill in 1771. Cromford also became the site of the first factory housing development with Cromford rapidly growing for the workers at the mill. Arkwright later built a manor house in Cromford which is nowadays known as Willersley Castle. The parish church of St Mary dates from 1790, built on the site of an earlier church.

The Cromford Canal was built from Cromford to link up to the Erewash Canal. Nowadays only a short stretch from Cromford is navigable. The Cromford & High Peak Railway was opened in 1831 to carry freight across the Dales. This closed in 1967.

Cromford railway station, on the line between Derby and Matlock, opened in 1849 and remains open.