BELPER NORTH MILL,
Strutt’s North Mill is part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.
The Derwent Valley runs from the River Trent into the Peak District of the beautiful county of Derbyshire in the heart of England.
Belper was a cotton spinning town. But cotton mills with wooden floors, inflammable materials, oil and candle lights frequently burnt down. The first mill on our site was so destroyed. Thus in 1804 William Strutt was determined to build a new ‘fire-proof’ mill. With cast iron columns and beams and brick arch floors this building is the forerunner of all today’s steel-framed buildings and this fine building can be seen in detail today.
Things to see
The Mill now houses a museum that explains the history of the textile revolution in cotton spinning from the domestic to the factory system.
Jedediah Strutt invented the Derby Rib attachment to the knitting frame so we show these developments and have a renowned collection of local hosiery. There is also a display of stockings that show the local speciality of chevenning.
The Strutts developed an early factory community and built house for their workers. Thus the ‘Long Row’, ‘The Clusters’ and so on can by seen nearby and are still in successful occupation.
Before cotton, nailing was the main industry of Belper so we show a nailer's workshop in the mill and an original building can be seen nearby.
In 1905 George Herbert Strutt gave the town land for what is now the beautiful River Gardens right next to the Mill. There are band concerts and boating in the summer.
The town itself has many interesting features and there are many delightful walks in the area
Strutt family and Belper Mills
Jedediah Strutt (1726-1796) from Derbyshire took out a patent in 1759 for his attachment to the framework-knitting machine, enabling it to knit a rib and thus the fabric to stretch, and made a fortune. In 1769 Richard Arkwright was looking for backers and went into partnership with Strutt. They built the worlds first water powered cotton-spinning mill at Cromford, Derbyshire in 1771-3. More mills followed at Belper and Milford on the River Derwent. The partnership was dissolved in 1781. Strutt kept the Belper and Milford Mills.
The Strutt family built a factory community to house and care for their workers. Their farms provided good and cheap food and the chapel served their spiritual needs. The philanthropic nature of the Strutt family through several generations can be seen throughout the town.
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