Pinched from other reports on here: Milford was named for its river-crossing, on an ancient route from Derby to the Peak district. Jedediah Strutt, a farmer turned hosier, recognised the potential of the site. The Inventor of the Derby rib machine, Strutt owned a Derby silk mill, and had set up cotton mills in Belper.
In 1781, he bought land in Milford to build a cotton spinning mill. It was one of a series of textile milles constructed on the Derwent between Matlock and Derby during the Industrial Revolution.
These pioneering developments, which included the creation of new communities to house and cater for the workforce they required, are now recognises as being of international importance.
The Milford Mill complex eventually included spinning, bleaching and dying mills, as well as foundries, joiners’ workshops, a gas-works and a corn-mill. The Warehouse, constructed in 1793, was an early attempt by William Strutt, Jedediah’s eldest son, to design a fire-proof multi-storey structure. The Strutt's success transformed Milford from a riverside hamlet into a company village. They built a school, created several farms to supply produce for their workers and helped establish the village’s various religious and social buildings. The remaining buildings are just fragments of a much larger site, mostly demolished through the 1960s and 1970s.
More recently the site had been mixed industrial/commercial units, with part of the site forming an antique centre. Currently it sits empty with the forecourt used as a car wash on weekends.
Generally I write something along the lines of things being a 'relaxed mooch' in this section. Having initially headed to Derwentside Industrial Park to see what was left of the Abru factory (A: Lots of rubble) I I had a fairly clumsy entrance over some barbed wire at Milford in full view of the adjacent A-road. Cut my hands and shredded my jeans a little but nothing too disastrous. Inside it's all pretty heavily graffed and stripped. Not sure I'd go so far out of my way to go back.
After wandering around for an hour it becomes apparent that there are other people on the site. Given my ungraceful entrance I assumed it was security. Cue a 45 minute game of hide and seek.
Transpires there are six people congregated in front of the gate. The site is encircled by a river so there are no alternative avenues of escape. After waiting and watching for a further half hour my patience fails and I decide to approach.
Turns out one of the blokes was (I assume) an estate agent. THe look on his face when I, the scruffy, unshaven bloke with ripped clothes and hands covered in blood and rust came towards him was priceless. He was polite but asked me to leave immediately and I walk purposefully towards the gate. I try to open it for the most awkward couple of minutes of my life before an exasperated security guard has to walk over and do it for me.
All in all not my smoothest moment.
If you're anywhere vaguely near Sheffield and want to link up then drop me a line.