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Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site in the UK.

UK, UK Travel, UK Travel Guide, UNESCO, World Heritage, world heritage sites
Derwent Valley Mills

Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site

As the headlines about factory tend to feature China’s rapid emergence as the new global industrial giant, we look to the Beautiful Derwent Valley in England to find the beginning of the modern “factory”.   The factory innovation was so dramatically productive it soon became the key global model for the creation of goods, ushering in the industrial revolution which was clearly among the most significant events in all of human history.

Derwent Valley Mills is considered by many to be the birthplace of the modern factory system we now take for granted.

Photos at Flickr

Here at Derwent Valley Mills, textile production was revolutionized and the Arkwright model of industrial production was used as tens of thousands were eventually employed in several mills in the valley.    Although pieces of the puzzle of factory production had been solved by others in other places and contexts, it was here in the Derwent Valley that  “A source of power, in this case water power, was applied to a series of complex mechanised processes for the first time on a relatively large scale”.

The Derwent Valley Mills’ historical and cultural significance led to the prestigious “World Heritage Site” designation in 2001. The “Statement of Significance” reads:

The Derwent Valley saw the birth of the factory system, when new types of building were erected to house the new technology for spinning cotton developed by Richard Arkwright.

In the Derwent Valley for the first time there was large-scale industrial production in a hitherto rural landscape. The need to provide housing and other facilities for workers and managers resulted in the creation of an exceptional industrial landscape that has retained its qualities over two centuries.

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britain, UK, UK Travel, UK Travel Guide

Big news and a big name from the small Wales town of … wait for it …

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which is the home of the newest and most celebrated royal marriage in decades – Prince William and Cate Middleton.    Although the exact location of the royal couples home is kept secret for security reasons, it’s reported that they live modestly with only a security detail and no servants in a fairly modest 3-4 bedroom house.  Of course the prince has keys, an open invitation, and inheritance rights to the extravagance of Buckingham Palace, Balmoral Castle, and Clarence House in London.

Although Wales has been under British rule for some 800 years, there’s still a sentiment about separation from England that could in some ways be resolved if the royal couple has a Welsh born child, a very distinct possibility given their intentions to live there for some time. Prince William is a rescue pilot with the Royal Air Force and will continue his training in Wales.

UK Holiday Guide from Telegraph

Dover, Dover castle, UK Travel Guide, white pony tavern

The UK Telegraph is one of the best news sources for all things Britain, and they just published their Summer Travel Guide to the UK here:
www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/760632/Britain-2008-a-summer-holiday-guide.html

For Americans, England offers the comforts of the English language and other western sensibilities but also has the critical historical background to the American Experience. Here in the USA the history of much of our western cultural sensibilities only goes back a few hundred years, where in England you are literally walking the same streets tred by Kings and Queens over a thousand years ago. Dover Castle, on the chalky white cliffs above the town of the same name, played a powerful role in World War II as well as in the reign of King John II circa 1200 AD.

If you visit Dover be sure to hoist an Ale at the White Pony Tavern, one of the oldest in England, located just below the Castle near the many Bed and Breakfasts that guard the street up to Dover Castle.



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