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Belper North Mill


Jedediah Strutt started to build his first cotton mill in Belper in 1776. The original North Mill, completed in 1786, was destroyed by fire in 1803. It's replacement, built by Jedediah's son William is described as being the "most sophisticated, beautiful and technologically advanced building of its era" in the BP book of Industrial Archaelogy. This glowing report was mainly due to it's fire proof structure, warm air central heating and breast shot water wheel. The old cotton spinning mill is the second oldest fire proof iron framed building in the world and the fore runner of today's enormous steel framed structures.

The Belper North Mill is the home of the Derwent Valley Visitor Centre, an important element of the National Heritage Corridor. It now contains a whole range of stories illustrating the development of the factory community in the 18th and 19th centuries. Examples of Hargreaves Spinning Jenny, Arkwrights Water Frame and Cromptons Mule take pride of place. There are also examples of stocking making machines and the ancient art of chevening - the decoration of stockings by hand.

The Centre also offers information for tourists to enable them to visit other Opening hours are Thursday to Sunday, from 1pm to 5pm, except over the christmas of the Derwent Valley and to find accommodation in the area.

Summer opening from March to November, Wednesday to Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. Also Bank Holiday Mondays Winter opening November to March Saturday and Sunday 1pm to 5pm Open any time by prior arrangement