New Mills Heritage and Information Centre
NEW MILLS TOWN COUNCIL
Rock Mill Lane, New Mills, High Peak, Derbyshire SK22 3BN
Tel: 01663 746904
Tuesday - Friday 10.30am - 4pm
Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays 10.30am - 4pm (4.30pm BST)
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NEW MILLS HERITAGE AND INFORMATION CENTRE WANTS YOUR VIEWS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CENTRE BEFORE WE FINALISE THE FORWARD PLAN.
Please send us your views by 31st March 2014 by email to the Heritage Centre (firstname.lastname@example.org), or by post to the Heritage Centre, Rock Mill Lane, New Mills, SK22 3BN, or by dropping your comments into the collection box at the Heritage Centre, and we will take them into account.
The draft Forward Plan is available on line at http://www.newmillstowncouncil.org.uk/heritage.php and paper copies are available for you to read in New Mills: in the Heritage Centre and New Mills Library on Hall St.
NEW MILLS HERITAGE & INFORMATION CENTRE
FORWARD PLAN 2013-2014 & 2014-15... and beyond
FOR YOUR COMMENTS
Purpose of the Centre
The Centre provides the inhabitants of New Mills and visitors to the area a place to learn about the growth and development of the town. Its main functions are to:
Tell the ’New Mills Story’ as it has unfolded over the centuries
Serve as the town’s local history museum
Play a key part in the town council’s strategy to encourage visitors and tourists. Its position on the edge of The Torrs gorge, which has been conserved and enhanced for public access, is important in this respect. As part of this function, it provides information for visitors to the town and outlying area.
Provide a focus for the promotion and provision of information regarding the town’s main conservation area.
Be a forum for those involved in the New Mills Story and form partnerships with other organisations
Be used for meetings, events, and exhibitions organised by the Town Council, Derbyshire County Council and private organisations and individuals.
Location & Access
New Mills lies on the north-western fringe of the Peak District, on the edge of the Greater Manchester conurbation. It is a hub of communications.
The Centre is conveniently located near the Central Railway Station (on the Manchester to Sheffield line), adjacent to the Bus Station. Newtown Station (on the Manchester to Buxton line) is three quarters of a mile away. Parking is available nearby.
The Centre is on the track leading down into the 'Torrs', a dramatic gorge on which the town perches. The Torrs - 'the Park under the Town' - provides access to an area of spectacular natural beauty which includes mills and the ruined foundations of mills and weirs lying in the bottom of the gorges, attracted to the site at the end of the eighteenth century by the water power potential. It also includes Torrs Hydro, the first community–owned hydroelectric scheme in the country, which attracts visitors nationwide.
The Torrs path links with the Sett Valley Trail along the old railway track to Hayfield and the nearby Peak District National Park. It also is part of the Goyt Way, a section of the national long distance off-road route E2 (Dover – Kirk Yetholm), which links the Manchester conurbation with the Goyt Valley and Buxton. New Mills is part of the national Walkers are Welcome network, formed to publicise towns and villages that have the facilities and willingness to welcome walkers. The launch was held at the Centre which is well located to promote this.
The Peak Forest Canal, three quarters of a mile away is part of the Cheshire Ring which is linked into the national canal network.
The Centre is open every day except Monday (open on Bank Holidays) throughout the year and admission is free. There is a public toilet on the premises (which are accessible for wheelchairs).
New Mills Heritage and Information Centre
The Centre was established in 1989 and has over 12,000 visitors a year. It includes the Museum, an information Centre, and a shop, which generates income by selling publications, maps, trails, sundries, light refreshments. The centre publishes books on aspects of the history of the town and its area as well as guided history trails and welcomes research and study enquiries.
The Centre’s collection includes over 250 items. The permanent displays are augmented by temporary exhibitions and special events are organised to attract users. Volunteers assistants are on duty to service the shop, provide information, deal with or pass on enquiries, and supervise the displays. Volunteers also help to manage the collection under the supervision of the Honorary Curator. Volunteers are represented on the management committee
The current lease of the premises within which the Centre operates currently expires in September 2016. Additional storage for the collection is provided off-site in a dedicated store at New Mills Town Hall.
From the inception of the centre there has been a close working relationship with New Mills Local History Society. The society was represented on the working party which set up the centre, members of the society planned the lay-out of the centre and the content of the rooms, wrote the text of the display panels and laid out the content of the display cases. Items belonging to the society are on loan to the centre and are on display. The society is represented on the management committee.
Ownership and Management
New Mills Heritage and Information Centre is owned by New Mills Town Council and is housed in several rooms on the ground floor of a converted building leased by the Town Council. It opened to the public in July 1989. It has a budget of over £30,000 a year.
The running costs of the centre are met by the Town Council, which is the governing body, The responsibility for the operation of the centre lies with a management committee appointed by the town council ...to which it reports. The day-to-day running of the centre is the responsibility of the Temporary Administrator who is employed by the Town Council. The honorary curator of the centre is appointed by the town council. The current curatorial adviser, appointed by the town council, is a former member of staff of The Manchester Museum.
The local tourism authority, High Peak Borough Council, and the Education and Cultural Services Authority, Derbyshire County Council, are represented on the management committee. Situated on the fringe of the East Midlands, the management committee liaises not only with relevant organisations in the East Midlands but also local museums outside the region, nearby, and with national bodies.
Partnerships and Outreach Activities
The Centre liaises with local interest and education groups to develop relevant projects and provides talks outside the Centre. A joint project with the local history society, financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has put the historic digitised photographic collection of New Mills and district, on-line and accessible to a wider public (some 11,000 images to date). Members of the Town Council, High Peak Borough Council (the local tourism authority) and Derbyshire County Council (the Local Education, Countryside, Highways and Cultural Services authority) are represented on the management committee. The Centre has links with a host of other organisations in the town, including the Hydro Scheme, Visit New Mills, U3A, new Mills Volunteer Centre etc.
CURRENT WORK AND PROPOSALS (NB The Plan is reviewed annually)
This is available as a Docx file download including the above information, from the following area of this site. Go to home page - The Town Council - Document Archive - Heritage Centre Forward Plan Document Folder. Just click on Forward Plan docx and it will download.
New Mills lies on the north-western fringe of the Peak District, about 8 miles east of Stockport, UK.
The Heritage and Information Centre is conveniently located near the Central Railway Station (on the Manchester to Sheffield line), adjacent to the Bus Station. Newtown Station (on the Manchester to Buxton line) is three quarters of a mile away.
The Centre is on the track leading down into the 'Torrs', a dramatic gorge above which the town perches. The Torrs - 'the Park under the Town' - provides access to an area of spectacular natural beauty which includes mills and the ruined foundations of mills and weirs lying in the bottom of the gorges, attracted to the site at the end of the eighteenth century by the water power potential.
The Torrs path links with the Sett Valley Trail along the old railway track to Hayfield and the Goyt Way, a long distance route linking the Manchester conurbation with the Goyt Valley and the Peak District National Park.
The Centre offers a selection of light refreshments, local tourist information, trail guides, walking books and maps, local history publications, gifts and souvenirs. Our friendly team of volunteers are always on hand to help and advise when they can.
Opposite the gate into the Centre is the viewing platform and from here you can look down on the Millennium Walkway.
Our cafe offers a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy a well earned drink and a snack - Tea, coffee, chocolate, soup and a selection of chilled drinks are available along with cakes, biscuits, flapjacks and chocolate bars. Dogs are welcome
There are also tables out in the courtyard should you prefer to sit outside.
The Museum tells 'The New Mills Story'
The formation of the magnificent Torrs gorges over 10,000 years ago
The Torrs gorges were created during the ice age when ice occupied the Goyt and Sett river valleys. Meltwater from the ice cut 94 feet (29m) through the Woodhead Hill rock, a hard sandstone
The area in the times of Domesday, 1,000 years ago
The fascinating story of the medieval 'New Mylne' which gave its name to the town
The growth of cotton, coal mining, roads and rail
The people of New Mills at work, at play and at prayer
Listen to John Potts - a life size model in his workshop - as he tells you the story of his invention
A model of New Mills as it was in 1884 is a 3D illustration of the accompanying commentary which expalins how New Mills grew from a single corn mill to an industrial town the model is further enhanced with an interactive panel which highlights some of the main points of interest both historic and current.
Put on a hard hat and crawl through a reconstruction of a coal mine tunnel there is also a colliers wagon
To download PDF copies of trail guides and information leaflets for New Mills please click here