Hide

Cromford

hide
Hide

CROMFORD, a chapelry and market town in the parish of Wirksworth, in the county of Derby, 2 miles N. of Wirksworth. It is situated on the canal and the river Derwent, and is a station on the Buxton branch of the Midland railway. It was a crown manor at the time of the Conquest, and is called Crunford in Domesday Survey. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in the cotton-mills, which are worked by a sough nearly 2 miles long, and in the lead-mines and colour works.

The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Lichfield, value £180, in the patronage of P. Arkwright, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a small neat structure, erected and endowed by the late Sir Richard Arkwright. The schools, erected for the instruction of the children employed in the cotton factories, are mainly supported by Peter Arkwright, Esq. In 1654 Mrs. Mary Talbot founded almshouses for six poor widows. In the vicinity is Rock House, the seat of the Arkwrights, containing a portrait of Sir Richard Arkwright, who erected the first cotton-mill here in 1775.

Roman coins of the Lower Empire have been found at Scarthinnick, and a valuable muriate of lead is deposited in the sough or adit leading from the zinc and lead mines. The Cromford canal crosses the rivers Derwent and Amber by two aqueducts each 200 yards long, and passes under the High Peak railway, at Butterley, by a tunnel of 2,100 yards. The High Peak railway, with stationary engines for the conveyance of minerals, was constructed in 1830 at the cost of £200,000. The market is held on Saturday.”

from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

Hide
topup

Archives & Libraries

Cromford village is served by the Mobile Library on route N, which makes two stops in the village every fourth Friday at mid-day.

topup

Bibliography

  • ALLSOP, Eddie - Around Cromford Dam. Scarthin Books, 2005. ISBN 1-900446-08-1.
     
  • NAYLOR, Peter J - Cromford - A History. Watnay Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-84114-185-2.
     
  • POTTER, Hugh - The Cromford Canal. Tempus, 2003. ISBN 0-7524-2802-0.
     
  • UTTLEY, Alison - Our Village: Alison Uttley's Cromford. Scarthin Books, 1984, pprbk, 80 pages. ISBN 978-0907758082.
     
  • WAITE, Glynn - Cromford Station - A History. Pynot Publishing, 2009. ISBN 978-0-9562706-0-3.
     
  • Memories of Cromford : A Derbyshire Village seen through the eyes of its people 1900 - 2000. Cromford Womens' Institute, 2001. No ISBN.
topup

Census

  • The parish was in the Matlock sub-district of the Bakewell Registration District.
     
  • Census transcripts are online at Wirksworth.Org.
     
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
     
Census
Year
Piece No.
1851 H.O. 107 / 2150
1861 R.G. 9 / 2542
1891 R.G. 12 / 2776
topup

Church History

  • There was an ancient chapel here before 1857, but all traces of it had disappeared by then.
     
  • The Anglican parish chapel is on Mill Lane and is dedicated to Saint Mary.
     
  • The chapel was built as a Chapel of Ease in 1792.
     
  • The chapel was restored and improved in 1858.
     
  • The ecclesiastical Parish was formed 19 March, 1869, from the parishes of Wirksworth and Middleton.
     
  • The chapel was renovated in 2002.
     
  • The chapel seats 450.
     
  • The church has its own website with information for attendees.
     
  • Angella STRELUK has a photograph of Cromford Church on Mill Road on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2005.
     
  • Paul HARROP has a photograph of St. Mary's Church on Mill Road on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2017.
     
  • A Chapel of Ease was dedicated to Saint Mark and erected in 1877 This chapel was demolished in the 1970s.
     
  • St. Mark's seated 200.
topup

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1797.
     
  • Check for parish church records at Dusty Docs.
     
  • We have a pop-up window of Cromford burials in a text file for your review. Your additions are welcomed.
     
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Wirksworth.
     
  • The Wesleyan Methodists built a chapel here in 1810 and enlarged it in 1840. There is now a Methodist church on Water Lane.
     
  • David DIXON has a photograph of the Methodist Church on Water Lane on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2013.
     
  • The Primitive Methodists built a chapel here on Scarthing road in 1853.
     
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Primitive Methodist plaque on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2011.
     
  • David BEVIS has a photograph of the Primitive Methodist chapel on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2011.
     
  • There is also a Congrationalist church in Cromford, but it may be modern.
topup

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
     
  • The parish was in the Matlock sub-district of the Bakewell Registration District.
topup

Description & Travel

"CROMFORD, a market-town and township, in the parish of Wirksworth, situate about midway between that town and Matlock, is eminently distinguished by the extensive cotton works, established by the late Sir Richard Arkwright, the father of the improvements effected in this branch of trade in this country. These works are now in the proprietary of Messrs. Peter Arkwright and Co. which, with the lead mines, smelting works, manufacture of red lead, grinding and preparing calaminaris, &c. give employment to a great number of hands, and renders this village of high importance in a mercantile view, to which the Cromford canal, and "Cromford and High Peak railway", are great auxiliaries."

[Description from Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory for Derbyshire, 1835]

The parish lies 147 miles north of London. There is passenger train service to and from Cromford, but the station at Cromford is not staffed. Travel time from Derby is approximately 26 minutes. The station was originally known as "Cromfield Bridge."

The parish has its own website with information for travelers and family historians.

J. THOMAS has a photograph of a picnic area near Cromford Wharf on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2011.

Chris THOMAS-ATKIN has a photograph of the Cromford Canal on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2018.

You can see pictures of Cromford which are provided by:

topup

Directories

topup

Gazetteers

topup

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Cromford has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

topup

History

  • In 1771 Sir Richard ARKWRIGHT kt. established a cotton factory here, the first in the kingdom, and in 1789 purchased the manor and erected spacious mills, a portion of which was destroyed by fire 7 Nov 1890.
     
  • In the Cromford Mine accident of 1797, only one man, Anthony PEARSON, lost his life in the flooding of the mine.
     
  • The ‘Greyhound Hotel” is pleasantly situated in the centre of the town.
     
  • Do you know any of these 1909 Boy Scouts?
     
  • The Matlock and District Rifle Club was here at Hill Top in 1912.
topup

Manors

In 1912, Willersley, near Cromford Bridge, was the seat of Frederick Charles ARKWRIGHT esq., D.L., J.P. and lord of the manor and sole landowner.

topup

Maps

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK296570 (Lat/Lon: 53.109373, -1.559282), Cromford which are provided by:

topup

Military History

  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Scarthin War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2011.
     
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST also has a photograph of the Cromford War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2011.
     
  • David DIXON also has a photograph of the Cromford War Memorial overlooking the village on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2013.
     
  • David DIXON has a photograph of the Dedication plaque on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2013.
     
  • The building at Willersley Castle in Cromford was one of many used as an Auxiliary Hospital during World War I. Robert HARVEY has a photograph of the Dedication plaque on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2019.
topup

Military Records

  • For a photograph of the Cromford War Memorials and a list of the names on them see the Cromford War Memorial page.
     
  • The Traces of War website tells us that St. Mark's chapelyard has one Commonwealth War Grave from World War I and one from World War II.
topup

Newspapers

"Jane Taylor" provides this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 2 December, 1802: "MARRIED: This morning, at Wirksworth, in this county, Mr Withnall CLARK, of this place, to Miss DEBANKE, of Cromford."

Jane TAYLOR in Redcar contributes this snippet from the Derby Mercury of 6 January, 1803, "MARRIED: "At Sheffield, a few days ago, Mr. Wm. BEBANK, of Cromford, in this county, to Miss NEEDHAM of the former place."

topup

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient Chapelry in Wirksworth parish but became a separate modern Civil Parish in December, 1866.
     
  • This parish was in the ancient Wirksworth Hundred (or Wapentake).
     
  • In April, 1934, this Civil Parish gave up 5 acres which joined Wirksworth Civil Parish, and it gained 6 different acres from Wirksworth in a boundary re-alignment.
     
  • You may contact the local Cromford Parish Council regarding civic or political matters. They are NOT staffed to help you with family history questions.
     
  • District governance is provided by the Derbyshire Dales District Council.
topup

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • In 1662 Lady ARMYNE established almshouses for six poor widows of the parish.
     
  • Bastardy cases were heard at the Petty Session hearings in Wirksworth.
     
  • As a result of the Poorlaw Amendment Act reforms of 1834, this parish became a member of the Bakewell Poorlaw Union.
topup

Schools

Richard ARKWRIGHT II built a day school here in 1832. The school was enlarged in 1894 to hold 200 boys and girls and 140 infants.

topup

Societies

There is a "Canal & River Trust" dedicated to protecting and enjoying places like the Cromford Canal. They have an electronic newsletter you can sign up to receive.