"NEW MILLS, an extensive hamlet, in the parish of Glossop, and in the High Peak hundred, is 14 miles from Manchester, 6 from Chapel-en-le-Frith, and 8 from Stockport. It is pleasantly situate on the borders of Derbyshire and Cheshire; and, within a comparatively few years, has risen to importance in the manufacturing district; cotton spinning being carried on here to a considerable extent, affording employment to numerous hands."
[Description from Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory for Derbyshire, 1835]
The parish includes the hamlets of Beard, Ollerset, Thornset and Whitle.
The name of New Mills derives from the corn mills built beside the river Kinder. It was originally known as Bowden-Middle-Call, comprising several hamlets, when early in the 18th century a 'new mill' was erected on the River Kinder for the use of the inhabitants in grinding corn, and the name of 'New Mills' was born.
Later in the 18th century, the Lancashire Cotton Industry found the conditions at New Mills ideal for cotton production, resulting in increased prosperity for the district. However around this time also, Milford in South Derbyshire was known briefly as 'New Mills' as well.
The name 'New Mills Road' appears on a map of Duffield as it was in the Year 1787, and also the indentures of Samuel Slater, Jedidiah Stutt's apprentice, who founded the American cotton spinning industry. A copy of Slater's Indentures is on display at The Arkwright Mill in Cromford, the wording of which suggests he was living at "New Mills" which it has been suggested was an attempt to give Milford a new name.
So researchers might like to bear in mind, if they find reference to their ancestors at New Mills in Derbyshire dated around the 1780s, that there is just a slight possibility it may not refer to the New Mills in North Derbyshire. This has certainly happened in the past, as a number of older textbooks suggest Samuel Slater was from New Mills in Cheshire.
[Information on 'New Mills' kindly provided by Jed BLAND - see his website Old Duffield