Strutt's North Mill - Belper

Derwent Valley Mills

In December 2001, the Derwent Valley Mills in Derbyshire was inscribed on the World Heritage List. This international designation confirms the outstanding importance of the area as the birthplace of the factory system where in the 18th Century water power was successfully harnessed for textile production.

Stretching 15 miles down the river valley from Matlock Bath to Derby, the World Heritage Site contains a fascinating series of historic mill complexes, including some of the world's first 'modern' factories.

World Heritage Sites

World Heritage Sites have a cultural or natural significance that “is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and of importance for present and future generations of all humanity.” This concept, referred to as Outstanding Universal Value, is set out in the World Heritage Convention of 1972. It is a not a list of all properties of great interest, importance or value, but only a select list of the most outstanding of these from an international viewpoint. By regarding heritage as both cultural and natural, the World Heritage Convention exemplifies the value that we place on both culture and nature and recognises the fundamental need to preserve the balance between the two.

There are currently 981 World Heritage Sites spread across 160 countries (as of January, 2014) reflecting the rich diversity of the world’s cultural heritage. Within the UK, sites as diverse as Stonehenge and Avebury, Blaenavon Industrial Landscape, the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast and the City of Edinburgh help to make up the UK’s heritage. Their position on the World Heritage List ensures that they will remain a part of our global heritage for generations to come.

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