Perhaps because it seems to still remain on a human scale. I know this is due to the fact that it is a conservation area and there are buildings, houses, village ponds, wharves and waterwheels and cart tracks that still bear the mark of hundreds of years of real human experience, of toil and suffering, as well as celebration and play.
The hotel where we stayed used to belong to the family of Richard Arkwright who, with the development of his massive cotton mill housing the first water powered spinning frames, became a leading entrepreneur of the Industrial Revolution. The cottages and farms and even the original village school and weavers’ houses surrounding the hotel seem to carry a weight of fascinating social history.
For me Cromford provides an antithesis to the brash hustle and bustle of Nottingham city and is why I enjoy it so much. It provides a sense of retreat from the modern world.
We, the twelve painters and me (and daughter Sophie) had a really nice time. The weather was good most of the time and we got outside and re aquainted ourselves with the ubiquitous dry stone walls…oooh look at those textures!…the chickens and the abundant seasonal signs of late summer moving into Autumn. There were rose hips aplenty following the pink dog roses of June and the old orchard trees were dripping with their fruits.
The orchid project was a great learning experience for many of us and everyone worked so hard to produce some amazing results.