Strutt's North Mill - Belper

Historic Belper

OTHER HISTORIC SITES INFLUENCED BY THE STRUTTS

Belper is a key community within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. It was here in the 1770s that Jedediah Strutt and his sons began their pioneering cotton mill business, and in the process transformed Belper from a small hamlet to a thriving industrial community. Through successive generations the Strutt’s built millworkers’ cottages, chapels, schools and leisure facilities for their workers, creating one of the world's first industrial communities.

Much of what the Strutt's built in Belper can still be seen today, including:

Belper River Gardens

Located just next to the Belper Mills, these unique and easily accessible riverside gardens have been giving visitors a beautiful place to stretch their legs and view the River Derwent for over 100 years. In 1905, the former mill owner George Herbert Strutt agreed for the river above Belper Weir to be used for recreational boating. A boathouse and landing stage were built on an island previously used to grow willows to make baskets for use in the cotton mills. The boating events proved exceedingly popular and the River Gardens were extended, with new additions such as the Swiss Tea Rooms, the Promenade and the Bandstand being added later.

The gardens include shrubberies, flowerbeds, water features and a central bandstand. There is also a children's play area is, which has been inspired by the history of Belper and the cotton mill industry of the world heritage site. Rowing boats can be hired during the summer months to take a trip along nearly three miles of the river and there are concerts, outdoor theatre performances and other special events in the grounds throughout the year. There's a pay and display car park and public toilets on site.

Millworkers' Cottages

The Beaurepaire Garden

The Old Nick

Across the road from the entrance to the River Gardens on Matlock Road is "The Old Nick". This was Belper’s Police station, built in 1847 and for two years from 1857 it served as the headquarters of the Derbyshire Constabulary. In 1877 three more Police houses were built alongside.

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