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Prospect View of Sir Richard Arkwright's House at Cromford

Prospect View of Sir Richard Arkwright's House at Cromford

Engraver: Cartwright, T.

Medium: Aquatint

Date: 1792

Shelfmark: K Top Vol 11

Item number: 13

Length: 31.2

Width: 51.9

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Print

View of the Willersley Castle in Derbyshire. This was the home of industrialist and owner of the nearby Cromford Mill, Sir Richard Arkwright. It was built in 1789-90 to a classical design by London architect William Thomas. Although it was meant to be a classical house, it has romantic details like battlements and turrets. As can be seen in the print, the drive up to the castle was meant to be impressive and it stood on a hill with good views of the river below. John Byng, Viscount Torrington visited in 1789 'where Sr R. Arkwright is building himself a grand house' but pronounced 'by sticking [his house] up on an unsafe bank, he contrived to overlook not see, the beauties of the river, and surrounding scenery. It is the house of an overseer surveying the works, not of a gentleman'. Although he admired Arkwright's inventive prowess and his magnificent cotton mills, Byng was not ready to welcome a self-made industrialist into the landowning classes.

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