The textile mills in the Derwent Valley had a massive impact on world history. This was the birthplace of the modern factory, where the innovations of industrial pioneers, coupled with access to tireless water power, enabled mass production to occur for the first time. The communities created to support the early mills are remarkable, and much has survived of the early workers' housing in Cromford, Belper, Milford and Darley Abbey.
Now inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Derwent Valley Mills are beginning a new life, with restoration and fresh uses for historic buildings along the valley. In places, views have been lost and buildings demolished or changed, yet this historic valley is as fascinating now as it ever was. Using a selection of old and new images, this book highlights the progress being made and the work that still needs to be done, while celebrating the diversity and heritage of these mills and communities.
Well-known local historian and researcher, and once the Editor of the Ripley and Heanor News, Adrian Farmer is the heritage co-ordinator of the World Heritage Site - in 2010 he was asked to switch on Belper town's Christmas lights. Adrian regularly leads guided walks and gives talks about the World Heritage Site. He created the Discovery Days Festival in 2005, which now brings in over 15,000 visitors to the World Heritage Site every year. In 2012 he was highly commended in Visit England's first Tourism Superstar award scheme.