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Cressbrook Mill before restoration
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The Wye Mill. The original mill at Cressbrook was constructed by Sir Richard Arkwright in 1785, and still stands as the part of the mill closest to the river. The magnificent main building (with the clock and lantern) was erected in 1815 by Arkwright's agent, William Newton. The mill brought work and prosperity to the area and the mill owners were responsible for the construction of most of the village, starting with the apprentices' cottages just behind the mill building, which predate the main building by several years. These were built to house orphans brought as child apprentices from London to work in the mill. The heyday of the mill was the 19th century and after World War I all the mills in the area struggled to make a profit. Cotton production stopped here in 1965 and the mill finally closed in 1971. It fell into a state of disrepair (even though it is a grade II listed building), though it was eventually converted into expensive flats.