About this image
Masson Mill was built in 1783.
Adams, in his 'Gem of the Peak' (1840) said that Masson Mill 'is replete with the improved machinery employed in making cotton thread'. He also described the night time view as 'exceedingly imposing. The spacious mill, with its hundred lights reflecting on the river and the thick foliage, mingling the din of wheels with the noise of the waterfall'.
Firth (1908) is less than flattering about the architecture when he described 'the great brick cotton mills with their stone quoins and windows, and their tall chimney'. The chimney, very recently restored, had not been erected long before Firth wrote this.
In 1897 Masson Mill became part of the English Sewing Cotton Company. Kelly's (1908) Directory stated that 'the Masson Cotton Mills .... give employment to many of the inhabitants' [of Matlock Bath].
By 1922 the Masson Cotton Mills were 'now the property of Sir Richard Arkwright and Co. Limited (branch of the English Sewing Cotton Co. Limited)' and the mill continued to be a major employer in the district for many years.
In recent times the mill building has been turned into a Museum and shopping centre. (information from www.andrewspages.dial.pipex.com)
This image is one of a collection by the famous local antiquarian, Thomas Bateman, of Middleton by Youlgreave. (1821-1861). Bateman organized his collection by inserting them into a 4 volume copy of Lysons Magna Britannia, Derbyshire, creating a fascinating and unique illustrated record of the county. The purchase of the collection for Derbyshire Libraries was made possible by the generous bequest of Miss Frances Webb of Whaley Bridge, well known local historian, who died in December 2006.