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Sir Richard Arkwright's Masson Mills
Open today: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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Review Highlights
Good for shopping

Been here several times and always worthwhile. Good shopping and good prices and generally well... read more

Reviewed December 11, 2018
Wizardblue14
,
Northampton, United Kingdom
Worth a quick visit

We were three couples so the men went to the museum and the ladies shopping - why don't other... read more

Reviewed October 21, 2018
annbannister
,
Leeds, United Kingdom
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All reviews self guided tour shopping centre industrial revolution textile museum working machines cotton mill old mill car park interesting building working museum household goods three floors under one roof fascinating insight worth a visit step back in time rainy day
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Reviewed October 8, 2014

Derbyshire and the Derwent Valley Mills prides itself as a cradle of the — so called — Industrial Revolution. The river and surrounding areas containing a large collection of 18th and early 19th century cotton mills which inspired organisational and architectural models for many other mills across the north of England.

Masson Mill near Cromford, in spite of its industrial pedigree has been neglected. Its importance in the context of the industrial revolution, and the personality of Richard Arkwright seems to play a much less important role than the shopping ‘village’ and a car park; both of which seem to have been built within the existing structure of the mill, destroying much.

The museum itself suffers from a lack of information pertaining to the building, the machines or the people who worked there. It also suffers logistically as it is easy to lose track of the planned route around. Most of the machines within the factory are late 19th and early 20th century and seem to be in a state of disrepair, hardly contributing to the feeling that the museum is little more than an industrial dumping ground for clapped out machines. The only attempt to present information regarding the mill is in the form of QR barcodes, which for anyone without access to a smart phone will obviously present complications. In addition to that, anyone with a smart phone would soon realise the difficulty accessing the information available due to the poor signal within the valley. (If a museum is to rely on QR barcodes, which excludes a percentage of museum goers from engaging anyway, free wifi accessibility would surely be logical; that or more traditional information boards). There seems to be little attempt to impart any information about the building and its significance in the business of Arkwright, its changing state of operations, any historical context of the industrialisation of the Derwent Valley, or of Arkwright himself. This being said though, the museum does seem to highlight an iron ring onto which Arkwright tied his horse to, though to anyone not knowing who Arkwright was, this would mean nothing. (Even to those who do know of his achievements and life it means very little.)

In all Masson Mill, sadly, seems to prioritise a commercial shopping experience over its own heritage. A wider engagement historically (or even an *actual* engagement) could provide context to the mill. In spite of the fact that the presentation of industrial heritage is a extremely difficult nut to crack, an attempt to present it would help to make Masson Mill engaging for those not there for the shopping!

Date of experience: October 2014
2  Thank L0rem_ip5um
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2014

I had high hopes of visiting this attraction after reading other reviews. Sadly I was very disappointed. The rooms we saw held plenty of machinery akin to the cotton processes but sadly no information. There were QR barcodes dotted here and there but to those of us who don't happen to have a smart phone, then these aids proved worthless. This venue could be made so much better and inviting to visitors - information sheets, audio guides and possibly someone on hand to answer questions. Parking is plentiful (adjacent the shops) (pay and display) and there is a lift up to the street level.

Date of experience: October 2014
1  Thank Bernadette H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2014 via mobile

Felt like i had stepped into the past , as though the workers had just gone home and left the mill for the night. Genuine machines from the industrial revolution , displayed almost casually to great effect . And don't miss the fabulous view of the Weir and Derwent which still powers the place . Great for kid studying this period of history.
Nice cafe .

1  Thank Hilary3112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2014

One of the most fascinating working museums we have visited in a long while. Everything was fully explained by the helpful staff. Mill live must have been really tough, even at Masson which would have been one of the better equipped mills in the area when it first opened.

If holidaying in the Derbyshire Dales, a visit here is highly recommended. There's a good cafe on site and a trip round the shops on the other floors of the mill after visiting the museum certainly snaps you straight back to the 21st century!!

Date of experience: August 2014
3  Thank MotorNoter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2014

Parking explained in other reviews but the guys manning the car park were very helpful and explained how to claim the £1 back (and gave us a voucher for 50p each off entry to the museum).
The museum entrance fee was very cheap anyway £6 for two adults normally.
Being IT geeks we loved that a museum detailing mill life over 2 centuries is using QR codes to enhance the experience! If you have a smartphone, please install a QR reader as this will give you so much more information than the leaflet does. There are no information boards inside the museum as they want it to be as authentic as possible.
The demonstration was excellent and the guide (Andrew) was very knowledgable and answered a multitude of questions from an interested audience. With only a few machines running, the noise was deafening, you can imagine the din when there were thousands!
Very interesting - a highlight of our week in the area so far.
The shop was ok, we ate in the restaurant for lunch, which was tasty and reasonable in price, but found the shop very warm so we didn't stay any longer than we had to. It is a great use of the building however.

Date of experience: September 2014
3  Thank Lollyreddevil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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