Birthplace of the world’s ground-breaking ‘skyscraper technology, Belper has a rich industrial history and lies at the heart of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.
Industrial pioneer Jedediah Strutt built one of the world’s first water-powered cotton spinning mills here in 1776 – and Strutt’s North Mill, now the Derwent Valley Visitor Centre – was rebuilt in 1803 using the world’s first fire proof iron frame, the template for modern high-rise engineering.
This cotton spinning mill is the forerunner of the modern skyscraper. Now houses a museum that celebrates the Strutt family’s contribution to Belper at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and tells the story of cotton spinning from the home industry to the factory setting with original and replica machinery, jenny, water-frame and mule. Also houses the renowned Brettles silk and cotton hosiery collection, unique chevening, framework knitting and nailmaking exhibits. Worker’s housing and famous River Gardens are nearby.
The mills at Belper were powered by the River Derwent and lie within the scenic 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. (Visit Peak District.com)