Building record MDR9877 - North Street, Cromford

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Industrial Housing in Cromford shows many two and three storey terraces of the early 18th century, e.g. Cromford Hill SK 292 565 - SK 294 568. The Market Place was built 1790. (1) North Street was built between 1771-76, by Richard Arkwright for his employees. North Street consists of two terraces of three storey dwellings, constructed of gritstone with square sectioned mullioned windows. The houses were of a high quality which surpassed much of the later housing associated with industrial settlements. The houses originally had framework knitting rooms in the attics, and there were larger windows to illuminate these working areas, which have been largely blocked up; although the window openings can still be distinguished. At the east end of North Street, may be seen the school and associated schoolhouse, built in 1832 by Arkwrights son, it was enlarged during the 19th century. North Street is probably the earliest example of purpose built industrial housing in Derbyshire. (2) North Street was built in 1776 and was the first of Sir Richard Arkwright's housing in Cromford. The street consists of two long gritstone terraces which face each other across a broad street, comprising 27 dwellings in all. The accommodation is superior to rural housing in Derbyshire at this date and North Street set a pattern for what was to follow elsewhere in Cromford, although it exhibits a higher standard of construction and design than some of the later houses in the community. The mixture of leaded lights and sashes on two storeys and doorways which echo classical design features convey a social pretension which would not have been lost on the skilled workers Arkwright sought to attract to Cromford. Sash windows would have been generally reserved for farmers or the commercial classes in this part of Derbyshire at this time. Provision for domestic accommodation was on the ground and first floors with workshop space on the top floor, characterised externally by distinctive 'weavers' windows'. These workshops enabled members of the family not employed within the mills to earn an income. When these houses were built they were intended for weavers and their families. (3) Contemporary opinions were favourable towards the standard of housing Arkwright provided for his mill workers. John Farey in 1813 found them "neat and comfortable", their tenants " much better provided … than they commonly are in the Southern Counties of England", while in 1836 Peter Gaskell, a critic of the factory system, listed the Arkwrights' cottages among those "often exhibiting signs of comfort and cleanliness highly honourable to the proprietor and the occupants". (4) The Arkwright Houses, Nos. 1-11 North Street and an unnumbered house to the left of No. 1, are Grade II* listed buildings. A row of eleven houses built 1776-7 by Richard Arkwright to accommodate textile workers. This and the row opposite (Nos. 14-29) are the first of the workers' houses erected by Arkwright and mark an important stage in the development of the textile industry and workers' housing in that they provided both accommodation for the workers at his new Cromford Mill and workshop space on the second floor. The un-numbered house, although part of the row, is double fronted and had no workshop and was probably the manager's house. The houses are constructed from coursed stone rubble with tiled roofs and brick ridge stacks. They are of three storeys with two domestic floors and the top floor formerly for workshops, which it is understood extended uninterrupted along the entire floor of the row. They were originally single unit with services to the rear (the earliest services appear to have been small gabled wings to the rear, see gable scars). Single-storey rubble outshuts have replaced the original rear service wings except a storeyed version to the un-numbered (former manager's) house where it survives intact. A slate-roofed rubble pig-sty or privy to the rear of No. 9 is included in the listing. (5) The Arkwright Houses, Nos. 14-29 North Street, are Grade II* listed buildings. A row of 16 houses identical in construction to the row opposite. The rear of Nos. 22-27 have later storeyed outshuts which post-date the 1841 Tithe Map. (6) The outbuildings to the rear of No. 1 North Street are Grade II listed buildings. The buildings are attached to a stone slate roofed projection from the rear of the range of buildings forming the northern side of North Street and appear to have originally formed part of that range. They subsequently (pre-1964) became part of No. 41 Cromford Hill. They are late 18th century with 19th century additions and 20th century alterations. They are constructed from coursed square rubble gritstone with plain tile roof coverings. (7) The Cottage and Weaver Cottage are Grade II listed buildings. These two probable early 19th century houses consist of two parallel and adjacent ranges forming low wings to the rear of Nos. 18 and 19 North Street. Although considerably altered in the 20th century, the original massing survives intact and they form part of an important group with Nos. 14-29 North Street (to which they are attached). They are constructed from coursed rubble with tiled roofs. (8) Nos. 30 and 31 North Street are Grade II listed buildings. They are both probably late 18th century houses with later alterations, No. 30 also used to be a former shop and No. 31 forms part of a public house with a dwelling over. They are constructed from coursed sandstone rubble with a tiled roof and have stone copings to the left gable. They are of three storeys with a plan similar to the Arkwright phase I type. To the rear No. 30 extends to occupy a small stone cottage partially rebuilt in brick facing the passage off Cromford Hill. This rear wing adjoins 'The Back Shop' and together with The Bell Inn the various premises enclose a small courtyard. (9) The Back Shop is a Grade II listed building. A former shop, probably early 19th century, consisting of two storeys probably with a half basement, constructed from coursed sandstone rubble with a tiled roof. The building faces the passage to the south side of The Bell Inn, Cromford Hill being sandwiched between The Bell Inn and the cottage forming the rear wing of No. 30 North Street. The Back Shop forms part of the house at the rear of No. 47 Cromford Hill, which was formerly listed as part of The Bell Inn and No. 47 Cromford Hill, and the remainder forms part of No. 30 North Street, which is listed as part of Nos. 30 and 31 North Street. (10) The Bell Inn and No. 47 Cromford Hill are Grade II listed buildings. They are two elements of a public house, both under a single roof line of three storeys with a tiled roof, but the public house also occupies an adjacent house on North Street (No. 31 North Street). No. 47 is constructed from coursed ashlar and is probably late 1780's, but the principal part of the public house on the corner is probably a rebuilding of c. 1800 and is constructed from small bricks in an irregular bond on a low stone plinth. Within No. 47 the right-hand room (a half-basement) is built into the hillside. There is a low wing to the rear of No. 47, which is listed separately as The Back Shop and part of Nos. 30 and 31 North Street, that consists of two builds both later than the front range. There is also a low outbuilding to the rear. (11) The un-numbered houses on the northern side of North Street, between No.45 Cromford Hill and the un-numbered [manager's] house of the Arkwright Houses, are Grade II listed buildings. The two houses are mid 18th century with later alterations. The bonding between the right-hand house and the un-numbered Arkwright house suggests that the former pre-dates the latter. The left-hand house once served as an inn and may originally have been a three-room plan farmhouse. The right-hand house was formerly a barn or warehouse, subsequently became a workshop and then a school of homeopathy. Both houses are two storeys constructed from coursed sandstone rubble with tiled roofs and two brick ridge stacks. The right-hand house forms an annexe to the unnumbered house at the left end of the Arkwright Houses. The left-hand house forms part of No. 45 Cromford Hill, but was formerly listed along with the right-hand house rather than along with the shop front of No. 45 Cromford Hill. The listing was later amended so that the listing for the un-numbered houses on the northern side of North Street, located to the left of the Arkwright Houses, only included the right-hand house and the left-hand house was included as part of No. 45 Cromford Hill. (12) Most of Cromford Village dates from the period of the expansion of Arkwright's mills from 1771 to 1830. Only a small proportion was built by Arkwright. Attic rooms at the top of the three storey houses were rooms for hand weaving. (13)

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: 1975. Council of British Archaeology Panel on Industrial Monuments. p 14.
  • <2> Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card. North St, Cromford.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Derwent Valley Mills (DVM) Nomination Steering Panel. 2000. Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage List Nomination Document. p 49-50.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Fitton, R S. 1989. The Arkwrights: Spinners of fortune. p 187.
  • <5> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. 3/2956/16A.
  • <6> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. 3/2956/16C.
  • <7> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. 3/2956/10024.
  • <8> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. 3/2956/138.
  • <9> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. 3/2956/137.
  • <10> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. 3/2956/111A.
  • <11> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. 3/2956/111.
  • <12> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. 3/2956/135.
  • <13> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 1997. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. A Gazetteer of Sites. Part IV. Derbyshire Dales.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SK 2944 5674 (97m by 78m)
Civil Parish CROMFORD, DERBYSHIRE DALES, DERBYSHIRE
World Heritage Site Derwent Valley Mills

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR3865

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Record last edited

Dec 21 2018 9:27AM

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