Cromford in 1837
Cromford is a market-town, township, and chapelry in the parish and hundred of Wirksworth, chiefly on the north bank of the Derwent. It is in a deep valley, enclosed on the north, south, and west by lofty limestone rocks. Cromford, like Belper, owes its prosperity to the cotton manufacture.
The late Sir Richard Arkwright erected here a spacious cotton-mill on the north side of the Derwent ; it is now occupied by Messrs. R and P. Arkwright, who employ in these mills and those at Masson, a little higher up the Derwent, 800 persons. The houses and mills are chiefly built of gritstone.
The church is a plain building, begun by the late Sir R. Arkwright and finished by his son ; there was a more ancient chapel, but it has been demolished many years.
The population of Cromford, in 1831, was 1,291. Lead-mines are worked in the neighbourhood ; lapis calaminaris is ground and prepared, and red lead manufactured. The Cromford canal terminates here ; and the Cromford and High Peak railway joins the canal a short distance south of the town.
The land in the township chiefly belongs to R. Arkwright, Esq.; every man employed at the mills capable of purchasing a cow has a piece of land sufficient to maintain it allotted to him. The market is on Saturday, and there are two fairs in the year.
The education returns for 1833 give 1 infant school, 10 boys and 12 girls ; 2 day-schools, 34 boys, 8 girls : all these are taught at the expense of their parents ; 2 day and Sunday-schools, partly supported by P. Arkwright, Esq., 110 boys, 82 girls, who attend daily ; 50 boys, 70 girls, who attend on Sundays. Mr. Arkwright was building in 1833 two new school-rooms. There is a Methodist chapel. There are almshouses for six poor widows.
The living of Cromford is a perpetual curacy, of the annual value of £96, in the gift of R. Arkwright, Esq.