LET'S TAKE A STEP INTO THE PAST.
Known locally as 'The Park Under The Town' and sitting 100 feet below ground level at its lowest point, The Torrs is certainly an unusual location yet filled with fascinating history and where two rivers - the Sett and Goyt - meet.
The rivers are hugely important to The Torrs because towards the end of the 18th century, riverside sites like this were quickly becoming sought-after locations to power water mills for the ever expanding cotton industry.
By the early 1800s, no fewer than five mills were occupied in The Torrs alone.
Skip on a century to the early 1900s when the combination of bankruptcy, fire and continuing poor access contributed to the industrial decline to all but Torr Vale Mill. With all the other mills in ruins and used as a dumping ground, The Torrs very quickly became an area dangerous to the public and remained so for over 50 years. It was in 1970 when the outstanding recreational value of The Torrs was recognised and the area was cleaned and officially opened to the public in 1974.
Torr Mill, lost to a fire in October 1838. Now the site is home to the Archimedes Screw.
TORR VALE MILL.
Torr Vale Mill was built in the 1780s by Daniel Strafford and was originally known as Strafford's Mill. It was powered by two waterwheels to spin and weave cotton, until it was rebuilt in 1856 and a steam engine added.
Unlike most other mills, Torr Vale Mill continued manufacturing cotton into the 20th century, still powered by both steam and water until electricity took over in the 1940s.
Finally after 210 years of textile production - making it the longest continuous production in the UK - the mill closed its doors on this era in 2000.
Unfortunately, not long after its closure, it fell victim to vandalism and a fire destroyed one of the main buildings.
The mill is now owned by a family who wanted to bring a new life to the building and to realise its potential as a local and national landmark.
In more recent years, extensive works has been undertaken and thankfully it is now facing a very bright and exciting future. Not only home to a unique and exclusive wedding venue, but also; individual office and retail spaces, three holiday cottages renovated from the mill outbuildings and The Shrub Club - a dog friendly boutique bar.
We are keen to involve the local community in our plans for the future of Torr Vale Mill and we welcome ideas from those who wish to get involved. Ultimately, our aim is to bring this historical place into a new era in which it is both financially and environmentally self-sustainable.