Insuring Cromford Mills

Cromford Mills is an 18th century heritage building built in 1771 and is the home of Sir Richard Arkwright’s first mill complex. Cromford was chosen as a site because it offered flowing water which allowed Arkwright to power many machines at once. The heritage site has plenty to offer whether you want a family day out or to show your friends around a site full of history in the heart of the Derbyshire Dales.


Cromford Mill was the world’s first successful water powered cotton spinning mill which was built by Sir Richard Arkwright. For about 20 years Arkwright continued to develop the mills, warehouses and workshops, which now form the Cromford Mills site. In 1840, there began to be issues with the water supply which created severe limitations on textile production. Due to these problems the buildings were put to other uses such as a brewery, laundries and cheese warehousing.

Finally, the site was used as a colour works; producing colour pigments for paints and dyes. Many people didn’t think the building would survive for much longer after this as it was abandoned due to being heavily contaminated with lead chromate! As a result people wanted the site to be demolished, as they believed it was no longer historically important. However, when the newer buildings had cleared away and new historical research was completed the true value of the building as revealed.


Cromford Mills is now a World Heritage Site and is owned and managed by The Arkwright Society which is an educational charity dedicated to rescuing industrial heritage buildings. You can now discover the history of Cromford Mills in the Visitor Centre and Arkwright exhibitions which has lots of interactive displays, games, puzzles and films providing you with everything you need to know to make the most of your visit to the area.

Cromford Mills provides educational visits for Schools, Colleges and Universities with plenty of learning resources for teachers to make use of and create bespoke workshops for their students. Find out more information here. The Centre is perfect for all ages making it a fantastic experience for everyone to enjoy.

You can also go on guided tours where the knowledgeable team can share stories with you about how Sir Richard Arkwright revolutionised the cotton industry and how the cotton mills at Cromford became a thriving community. Alternatively you can also download the Cromford Mills App on iTunes or Google Play Store to follow the route and hear more about the secrets of Sir Richard Arkwright’s work!

As well as learning about the history of Cromford Mills, you can also check out the artisan shops and grab some lunch in the Arkwright’s Café in the Mill Yard where there are succulent seasonal dishes to offer which are all made from locally sourced ingredients. You can watch this video to find out more.

Other uses

Cromford Mills is a mixed used site which also offers a unique office space called Cromford Creative that is located within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site with conference and meeting facilities, co-working, hot desks and office rentals. In addition to a business spaces, Cromford Mills also offers event space for wedding receptions, family celebrations and parties.

How have Hayes Parsons helped Cromford Mills?

Hayes Parsons Insurance Brokers has extensive knowledge in assessing risks posed by visitor attractions and therefore could accurately provide bespoke insurance plans suited to Cromford Mills’ requirements. Cromford is known to be a high flood risk area and so we worked closely with insurers to carry out in-depth risk assessments. We made sure that insurers completely understood the venue and the risk and so were able to price it appropriately.

If you would like to find out how Hayes Parsons can help with your visitor attraction or heritage property, get in touch with our specialist insurance broker, Ben Leah on 0117 930 1675 or [email protected]