At Belper, 14 km north of Derby and 10 km south of Cromford, the Strutt family built textile mills from 1773, transforming a small town whose main manufacture had been nails into one of eighteenth-century England’s principal centres of cotton spinning. The drawing of the iron-framed North Mill from Abraham Rees’s (1743-1825) Cyclopeadia , showing the transmission of power through the building, is one of the most celebrated images of the Industrial Revolution. Most of the Strutt mills have been demolished but the North Mill still stands and accommodates a visitor centre for the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site, together with exhibitions relating to the history of Belper. There are also demonstrations of spinning and other textile processes, and the centre is the starting points of guided walks and of trail guides through the housing built by the Strutts which is remarkably intact.
Adjacent to the North Mill is the huge steel-framed East Mill of 1912, which is now occupied as offices and retailing units detailed on the belpermills website.