Manufacturing Birthplace of the World

Lombe's Mill was the first successful silk throwing mill in England and probably the first fully mechanised factory in the world on the banks of the Derwent in the town of Derby. Upstream from Derby on the southern edge of the Pennines is the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. It's here where the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) 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.


Derby Silk Mill the first fully mechanised factory in the world

It began with the construction of the Silk Mill in Derby in 1721 for the brothers John and Thomas Lombe, which housed machinery for throwing silk, based on an Italian design. The scale, output, and numbers of workers employed were without precedent and why it lays claim to be the manufacturing birthplace.

Richard Arkwright's water-powered spinning mill created industrial-scale production

It was not until Richard Arkwright constructed a water-powered spinning mill at Cromford in 1771, and a second, larger mill in 1776-77 that the "Arkwright System" was truly established.


"The Derwent valley, upstream from Derby on the southern edge of the Pennines, contains a series of 18th and 19th century cotton mills and an industrial landscape of high historical and technological significance."

Industrial Revolution, manufacturing, factories and the Heart of the Midlands

The Derwent Valley is home of the Industrial Revolution and Birthplace of Manufacturing, because although Britain had a long history of producing textiles like wool, linen and cotton; Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the British textile business was a true “cottage industry,” with the work performed in small workshops or even homes by individual spinners, weavers and dyers. Things which began here were copied throughout Britain and the world.

Manufacturing and the modern factory changed how we live

Though many people in Britain had begun moving to the cities from rural areas before the Industrial Revolution, this process accelerated dramatically with industrialisation, as the rise of large factories turned smaller towns into major cities over the span of decades. Goods that had once been painstakingly crafted by hand started to be produced in mass quantities by machines in factories, thanks to the introduction of new machines and techniques in textiles, iron making and other industries.

Rail brought better transport to cope with increased production

Pioneered by Stephenson, rail transport was one of the most important technological inventions of the 19th century and a key component of the Industrial Revolution. He was responsible for the North Midland line from Derby to Leeds, and the Birmingham and Derby line. George Stephenson lived in Tapton House, in Tapton, Chesterfield, Derbyshire between 1832 until his death in 1848.