Visit to Arkwright Society, Cromford Mills & Crich Tramway Village

575x144pic5 History BuildingsSQJoin us on this double destination Derbyshire day out. Trip includes The Arkwright Society‘s Cromford Mills (the world’s first successful water powered cotton spinning mill) and nearby Crich Tramway Village (home of the National Tramway museum and its vintage tram fleet collection, as well as the walks, rides and other attractions ).

Date & Timings: Saturday, 13th July 2013
Depart Melton Mowbray at 8.30 am. Arrive Cromford Mill at 10.00 am.
Depart Cromford Mill at 12.30 pm.  Arrive Crich Tramway Village at 12.45 pm.
Depart Crich Tramway Village at 5.30 pm. Arrive Melton Mowbray at 7.00 pm.

Cromford Mill & The Arkwright Society - open me for more info

Cromford Mill, the world’s first successful water powered cotton spinning mill, was built in 1771 by Sir Richard Arkwright. He continued to develop the mills, warehouses and workshops, which now form the Cromford Mills site, until around 1790. Considered as a whole it presents a remarkable picture of an early textile factory complex. However, problems with the water supply around 1840 imposed severe limitations on textile production at Cromford Mill and the buildings were put to other uses. These included a brewery, laundries, and cheese warehousing.

In 1922, the site was used as a works, producing colour pigments for paints and dyes. It is remarkable that so many of the buildings survived this use and, by 1979 when the Cromford Colour Works abandoned the site, many of them were heavily contaminated with lead chromate. It was generally believed the mills had reached the end of their useful life and would be demolished – all of the key buildings had fallen into disrepair and many of the historic features of the site, including the principal watercourse, had been obliterated by modern development.

The Arkwright Society was formed in 1972, growing out of the Arkwright Festival Committee which ran a local celebration commemorating the bicentenary of Sir Richard Arkwright’s first Cromford Mill. It is an educational charity devoted to the rescue of industrial heritage buildings and helping to preserve the precious built and natural landscape in and around Cromford. The Arkwright Society purchased the mill site in 1979 as an act of rescue and in the early 1980s began to implement its long-term economic plan. The strategy identified the buildings that were not required for the Society’s own uses and so could be repaired and leased to tenants. The aim was to create a rental income to cross subsidise the Society’s overheads and the costs of delivering services to the general public visiting the site.

It was not until the modern buildings had been cleared away and new historical and archaeological research had been completed that the true value of the site was recognised. This reappraisal led to an upgrading of the listing and the entire site now enjoys Grade I status and is part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

In the early 1990s the Society developed further income streams from a restaurant and shops run by its trading arm, Cromford Mill Limited. With more than £5 million raised and spent, many of the buildings have been brought back into economic use and the site now has two restaurants, several meeting rooms, office accommodation for rental, a gallery and several shops.

From the beginning, the Society has been engaged in the practical conservation of industrial monuments. It has also helped countless numbers of people access training and work and employs over 100 staff in numerous small businesses.

We will enjoy a 2 hour guided tour of the village and mill. Refreshments are available at the main restaurant in Mill Yard and the restaurant at Wheatcroft’s Wharf near the Cromford Canal.

Crich Tramway Village - open me for more info

Crich Tramway Village is located in the heart of Derbyshire on the edge of the Peak District National Park. Trams operate along the 1 mile track through the re-created village and out into spectacular views of the countryside. There is much to see and do at Crich such as unlimited tram rides all day, the museum, Woodland Walk, Rita’s Tearoom, The Red Lion Pub, Barnett’s Old Fashioned Sweetshop, Gift Shop, Fredrick’s Ice Cream Parlour*, Great Exhibition Hall, Depots, Workshops and a new Exhibition opened in 2011.

The National Tramway Museum is an Accredited Museum and is home to a world renowned vintage tram fleet, as well as vast collections of photographs and archive materials. The Museum’s collections are one of the most comprehensive collections of trams and tramway history in the world.

All the Museum’s collections are designated as being of National importance and at the core of the collection is the Tramcar fleet which comprises over 70 historic vehicles. The Tramway Museum is also home to a collection of period street furniture, which includes a Postbox, a Police Box and a Stench Pipe.

The cost of £23.00 per person includes coach travel, parking, gratuities, guides and access to Arkwright Society and Crich Tramway Villages.  Spare places may be offered to non-Society members who will be charged an additional £1 to secure temporary membership.

DLBOOKING-butTo reserve a place on the outing please return the completed booking form to the organizer with the full amount payable – cheques made out to the Melton Mowbray & District Historical Society – by 29th June.    Please enclose a stamp addressed envelope or an e-mail address so that receipt of your reservation may be acknowledged.  Payments for reservations cancelled within 2 weeks of the outing may be partially refunded provided entrance tickets have not been purchased.


Organizer: Peter Raikes, 39 Cavalry Close, Melton Mowbray, LE13 0SZ. Tel: 01664 567118

The Society can accept no responsibility for accidents, loss of property, etc. of those participating in the Society’s events