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

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.