Five interesting facts about New Mills

1. How New Mills got its name

The town’s name can be traced back to 1391 when its first corn mill, known then as Berde Mill, was built near to the present Salem Mill on the River Sett in the hamlet of Ollersett.

The small community which grew up around it was described as New Milne.  By the late sixteenth century the name is spelt as New Mill and by 1775 as New Mills. By this time, the industrialisation of textile production was in its early stages, and so early mill builders were attracted by the same fast flowing rivers of soft water, which provided both the power and the means of processing fabric production and printing.

2. New Mills and the Kinder Trespass

Six ramblers arrested on the Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout on 24 April 1932 were kept locked up in the cells of New Mills constabulary before being tried at Derby Assizes. The old Police Station on Hall Street, now a private residence, has a plaque on the wall to commemorate the event. The Mass Trespass helped to bring about the Act of Parliament which established the National Parks and Access to the Countryside.

3. A setting for The Railway Children 

Edith Nesbit, author of The Railway Children, is believed to have set her famous book around Strines Station and the railway line between Marple and New Mills. The contrasting landscape of isolated hilly upland with industrial activity in the valleys appears to have inspired the author in her writings. The Edith Nesbit Literary Trail visits the sites.

4. John Wesley preached here

Methodism was important in New Mills. John Wesley first visited the town in 1740 and many times over the following 50 years. The Wesleyan Chapel on High Street was built in 1766. The Revival Church took over the building in 1995.

5. The home of Love Hearts

For as long as anyone can remember, the tantalising smells emanating from the Swizzels-Matlow factory have been a part of life in New Mills. Nestling alongside the picturesque Peak Forest Canal, it is an ever-present reminder of a manufacturing success story that is known and loved around the world. Swizzels makes a range of iconic sweets including Love Hearts, Refreshers, Drumsticks, Parma Violets, and lollies.

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