woensdag 1 februari 2012

UK, Derwent Valley Mills

The Derwent Valley in central England contains a series of 18th- and 19th- century cotton mills and an industrial landscape of high historical and technological interest. The modern factory owes its origins to the mills at Cromford, where Richard Arkwright's inventions were first put into industrial-scale production. The workers' housing associated with this and the other mills remains intact and illustrate the socio-economic development of the area.



Derwent Valley in central England saw the birth of the factory system, when new types of building were erected to house the new technology for spinning cotton developed by Richard Arkwright in the early 19th century. There was large-scale industrial production in a hitherto rural landscape. The need to provide housing and other facilities for workers and managers resulted in the creation of the first industrial towns.
The valley contains a series of 18th- and 19th-century cotton mills and an industrial landscape of high historical and technological significance. The industrial-scale production and the workers' housing associated illustrate the socio-economic development of the area. The construction in 1721 at Derby in the English East Midlands of a water-driven mill to manufacture silk thread was a very significant event in the Industrial Revolution. This was the work of Richard Arkwright, who in the 1760s successfully developed a machine for spinning cotton. He formed a partnership with silk manufacturer Jedediah Strutt. They selected Cromford, a village upstream of the river Derwent from Derby, for his first mill, work on which began in 1772. Arkwright also made provision for his workforce, mostly children. In order to attract them and their parents, he developed the village of Cromford. Weavers were invited to live in the houses that he built, their children working in the spinning mills and the parents weaving calico from Arkwright's cotton on the topmost floors.
The Evans brothers began building a cotton mill at Darley Abbey, just north of Derby, in 1782, in the beginning in partnership with Richard Arkwright. It was completed around 1786, but burned down two years later. Its replacement was constructed immediately and was considerably enlarged. The company diversified its production, eventually giving up spinning, and it is now the home for a number of small businesses.
Like Arkwright and the Strutt brothers, the Evans family provided a community for their workers. The late 1820s saw the beginning of a progressive decline in the fortunes of both mills. In 1979 it had suffered two fires and much alteration. It is now home to a range of small businesses, as well as a popular heritage attraction. The Masson Mill, by contrast, was modernized in the late 1880s and was in continuous operation until 1992. Now the complete property consists of a continuous strip 24 km long, from the edge of Matlock Bath in the north almost to the centre of Derby in the south. It includes four industrial settlements:
  • The Cromford Mill Complex and Matlock Bath, including Masson Mill, Upper Mill (1771) and Lower Mill of 1776; there are a number of other industrial buildings within the complex with various original functions: warehouses, workshops, a loom shop, mill managers' houses, etc. The Cromford Canal, built in the 1790s, ran 23.5km to join Erewash Canal, as part of a through route to Manchester.
  • Belper is located halfway between Cromford and Derby and is formed by Belper North Mill (1804) and East Mill (1912). Its houses are built from gritstone or locally made brick and roofed with Welsh slate. They are laid out in rows, largely on an east-west alignment and in various forms as the company experimented with different designs. There is also the Chapel and Chapel Cottage (1788).
  • In Milford (1781) little remains of the industrial buildings following a radical clearance operation around 1960, but much of the industrial housing survives intact. The houses, many of them in rows because of the topography of the area, are in a range of styles. Some are earlier farmhouses that were purchased by the company and converted into multiple dwellings. The public buildings established by the Strutts include schools, churches, and public houses.
  • Darley Abbey lies 2km north of Derby City Centre. It was an industrial hamlet, with fulling mills, corn mills, and a forge, by the mid-17th century, and these had grown by the early 1770s to five water-powered mills - a paper mill, a corn mill, two flint mills (for porcelain production) and a leather mill.

Historical Description

The construction in 1721 at Derby in the English East Midlands of a water-driven mill to manufacture silk thread was a very significant event in the Industrial Revolution. The large mill building was five storeys high and housed machines driven from a common power source, thus laying the foundations of the modern factory.
This was the work of Richard Arkwright (1732-92), who in the 1760s successfully developed a machine for spinning cotton. His search for backers to finance a patent and further develop his machine brought him to the Derby area, where he formed a partnership with silk manufacturer Jedediah Strutt (1726-97) and his partner Samuel Need.
They selected Cromford, a village upstream of the river Derwent from Derby, for their first mill, work on which began in 1772. Between 1772 and 1775 much of Arkwright's time (and hence the work of the mill) was devoted to experimentation, as a result of which he was able in 1775 to file his second patent, which was devoted primarily to mechanization of the pre-spinning processes.
This was put into operation in the second Cromford Mill, built in 1776-77 and financed by local lead merchant Peter Nightingale, who purchased the Cromford Estate on which the mill and a residence for Arkwright were built. Arkwright also made provision for his workforce, mostly children. In order to attract them and their parents, he developed the village of Cromford. Weavers were invited to live in the houses that he built, their children working in the spinning mills and the parents weaving calico from Arkwright's cotton on the topmost floors. This ingenious method of recruiting labour was adopted by the Derwent valley factory owners.
Once the second Cromford Mill was in operation a period of intensive activity began. Mills were built by Arkwright and his family and by Strutt in other parts of Derbyshire between 1777 and 1783. Royalty agreements licensing the use of the Arkwright machinery and process led to similar mills springing up in other parts of the country and overseas. Meanwhile, the Cromford operation expanded, and it was joined by another large installation, the Masson Mill at Matlock Bath, which was in operation by the mid 1780s.
Jedediah Strutt and his brothers established their mills further down the Derwent Valley. His first mill was built around 1776/7 in Belper. The destruction of this and a second one on the same site by fire led to the building of the fireproof North Mill in 1804. From 1781 onwards work went ahead on a second group of Strutt mills, this time at Milford, further down the river. Like Arkwright in Cromford, the Strutts created housing and other facilities for their workers in Belper and Milford. The Strutt business prospered during the first quarter of the 19th century, when it was the largest cotton factory enterprise in England, but thereafter it declined as the centre of the cotton industry moved to Lancashire.
The Evans brothers (Thomas, Edward, and William) began building a cotton mill at Darley Abbey, just north of Derby, in 1782, in the beginning possibly in partnership with Richard Arkwright. It was completed around 1786, but burned down two years later. Its replacement was constructed immediately and was considerably enlarged between 1796 and 1805 and again between 1818 and 1821. The company diversified its production, eventually giving up spinning, under the Evans family until 1903, then under two successive owners until 1969, when the mill was sold for other uses. It is now the home for a number of small businesses.
Like Arkwright and the Strutt brothers, the Evans family provided a community for their workers. Sir Richard Arkwright died in 1792 and the business passed to his son, Richard Arkwright junior, who sold all its holdings apart from the Cromford and Masson Mills. The late 1820s saw the beginning of a progressive decline in the fortunes of both mills. Cotton manufacture came to an end on the Cromford site in the 1870s: parts of it continued in use for other industrial purposes, but even these came to an end in 1979, by which time it had suffered two fires and much alteration. It is now home to a range of small businesses, as well as a popular heritage attraction. The Masson Mill, by contrast, was modernized in the late 1880s and was in continuous operation until 1992.


Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie plaatsen