Derwent Valley Mills
The Derwent valley, upstream from Derby on the southern edge of the Pennines, contains a series of 18th and 19th century cotton mills and an industrial landscape of high historical and technological significance. The four principal industrial settlements of Cromford, Belper, Milford, and Darley Abbey are articulated by the river Derwent, the waters of which provided the power to drive the cotton mills.
Much of the landscape setting of the mills and the industrial communities, which was much admired in the 18th and early 19th centuries, has survived. In terms of industrial buildings the Derwent Valley Mills may be considered to be sui generis in the sense that they were the first of what was to become the model for factories throughout the world in subsequent centuries.