Welcome to Derby, Southern Gateway to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.
The remains of the city’s Roman, Saxon and industrial past can still be seen. From Darley Abbey, the River Derwent flows between two Conservation Areas, Strutt’s Park and Little Chester, before passing Derby’s Museum of Making. This occupies the site of a silk spinning mill built by the Lombe brothers in the early eighteenth century. Derby developed as a silk and cotton spinning centre from this time.
The pioneering Strutt family owned mills here as well as at Milford and Belper. William Strutt lived at St Helen’s House and the houses of Strutt’s Park are built over its gardens. There were also lace and elastic web weaving mills. Derby was renowned for its engineers. Along this stretch of the river, the Fox Brothers made machine tools, Haslam built refrigeration plants for ships and Handyside manufactured castings, bridges, towers, piers etc, which were transported across the world. Derby Crown China’s first factory was also close by.
The importance of Derby and its historic industrial neighbours at Cromford, Belper, Milford and Darley Abbey was reflected by inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001.
This leaflet offers a short circular walk, with optional extensions, visiting some of the most significant historic sites. During your walk you will see more information on interpretation boards.