Discovery Days


There’s so much to see and enjoy during the Discovery Days Festival between 24th October and 1st November.

This year we’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Discovery Days Festival, so there are more new activities and events than ever to try out in 2015. It’s a great mix of breathtaking natural scenery, fascinating industrial heritage and pure spectacle.

Designated as a World Heritage Site in 2001, the Derwent Valley Mills have been described as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. It was here in the Derwent Valley that the essential ingredients of factory production were successfully combined.

Water power was applied and successfully used for the first time on a relatively large scale. Not only was textile production revolutionised with dramatic consequences for the British economy, the Arkwright model also informed and inspired developments in other industries.

Each mill has its own story to tell. Theirs is the story of pioneering engineers and entrepreneurs who put Britain on the map and set off a chain of events which ushered in the Industrial Revolution.

The mills and the industrial settlements around them, the churches, millponds, weirs and watercourses, canal and railways provide the perfect backdrop for a week full of discovery.

Discovery Days and Walks

World Heritage Site

24 October – 1 November

Lots to discover at Cromford

The Pentrich Revolt of 1817 Tues 27 Oct, 7pm in Gothic Warehouse.

Talk, with wine & cheese, about 400 men who marched from Pentrich, South Wingfield and Ripley to Nottingham, aspiring to revolution and the removal of a hated government. Cost: £7.50. Pre-book: 825995.

Cromford before the Arrival of Arkwright Wed 28 Oct, 2pm at Mills.

Talk which will reveal fascinating activities and occupations that went on before Arkwright arrived, and the very different way of life before the mills were built. Cost: £2.50. Pre-book on: 825995.

Wanted at Cromford, Children of all Ages Wed 28 Oct, 2.30 – 4pm Find out what is was like to live and work in Richard Arkwright’s Cromford Mill. Learn about the jobs in the mills and the way of life for both children and adults. Cost: £5. Pre-book on: 825995.

Preview Tours of the World Heritage Site Visitor Gateway

Thur 29 Oct, 10.30am – 11.45am, & 2pm – 3.15pm at Cromford Mills.

A presentation about the new WHS Visitor Centre at Cromford Mills, the challenges faced in restoring the Grade 1 listed building and why its success is so important, before a behind the scenes tour. FREE.           Pre-book on: 536831.

Exploring Cromford

Friday 30 October, 10am – 1pm, from Cromford Mills

Stunning views on a 5 mile guided walk taking you up Cromford Hill, to Bonsall before heading towards Masson Mills and Willersley Castle.

Cost: £5. Pre-book on: 825995.

Crooker’s Kingdom

Saturday 31st October, 2.30pm and 7.30pm in Cromford Mills

The Wireless Theatre Company presents this ghostly drama by Marty Ross, in a play mingling Cromford’s history with the supernatural chills of a local legend. Cost: £12.50. Pre-book on 01629 825995.

To book an event or find out where to pick up a programme ring 01629 536831