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Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site

Type:Industrial Heritage

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Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site


The Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site contains a fascinating series of mill complexes, the watercourses that powered them and the settlements developed for the workers, stretching from Cromford to Derby.

Amongst the site’s most significant buildings are: The Silk Mill in Derby where water power was first used for silk throwing machines; the mills at Darley Abbey and Belper which represent important pioneering developments in fire-proof construction methods; and the mill complexes at Cromford and Masson Mills constructed by Richard Arkwright who extended the scale of mechanisation of cotton spinning and devised the factory production system.

Other sites of interest are much of Cromford – the village Arkwright created and which remained in his family’s ownership until the 1920s – Arkwright’s family home of Willersley Castle, the Cromford CanalJohn Smedley’s Mill and much of the market town of Belper, inlucing the River Gardens.

The site includes the communities that grew up around the mills to house the growing workforce comprising houses, schools, chapels and estate farms.

The Derwent Valley Heritage Way walking route follows the River Derwent from Ladybower Reservoir to Shardlow where it joins the river Trent. Passing through the whole of the World Heritage Site, the route follows paths, tracks and some sections of road through the valley’s beautiful and heritage-rich landscapes. The route is waymarked with Purple disc.

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Areas of the Site within the public realm are free to visit and open all year round. Individual attractions have different opening times and admission fees.



  • On-site light refreshments


  • Children welcome


  • Education/study area
  • Facilities for educational visits
  • Facilities for groups
  • Guided tours for groups

Meeting, Conference & Wedding Facilities

  • Facilities for conferencing
  • Facilities for corporate hospitality


  • Parking with charge

Property Facilities

  • Gift shop
  • Guided tours for individuals

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted

Opening Times

* The site is open at all times. Individual mills are open at various times.


Map & Directions

Road Directions

Encompases the area located along the A6 Valley from Masson Mill, Cromford to Silk Mill, Derby.Accessible by Public Transport.

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