Like many of its neighbouring towns, New Mills has a rich industrial heritage. Its name derives from a group of newer factories that were built around a fourteenth century cotton mill in the nearby hamlet of Ollersett.
Early industries in New Mills included paper and cloth, although iron and brass foundries, print works and cotton mills soon began to spring up. Since World War Two, the town has been home to the Swizzels Matlow factory, which produces sweets. It is a popular company, particularly with local children who are often asked to test the new ranges! It also remains the biggest and best-known employer in New Mills.
New Mills has some of the best scenery in Derbyshire, particularly in the Torrs Riverside Park. A tranquil and relaxing place, you’ll find a dramatic gorge and the opportunity to embark on many wonderful walks here. The beautiful countryside in this area is best seen from the mighty Millennium Walkway, which is a bridge that winds 125 yards through the gorge and attracts many admiring visitors.
The town also has some beautiful buildings and the Town Hall is certainly one of the most impressive. Opened by the Duke of Devonshire in 1871, it continues to serve the community today. The building’s distinctive clock tower was added later in 1875. It features a distinctive hand wound clock, which is rare as most clocks of this type were later converted to electric.
The town has a great sense of community spirit and regularly comes together for local events. One of the biggest of these is the New Mills One World festival, which occurs in June. Now in its eighteenth year, the festival intends to raise awareness of world and community development, peace and the environment. The festival usually has a varied programme, which comprises of environmental talks, theatre, art projects and music.
Whatever you’re interested in, you cannot fail to be bewitched by the breathtaking scenery, fantastic people and rich history of New Mills.