Built between 1717 & 1721 for the Lombe brothers, Derby’s Silk Mill stands on the site of the world’s first factory beside the River Derwent. Originally built to house machines for twisting silk together to make threads, the design of the machines was copied by John Lombe during a period of time he spent working in Italy within the Italian Silk Industry – quite possibly a first example of industrial espionage! These new machines were capable of producing far greater quantities of silk than traditional spinsters that worked in their homes, on spinning wheels. Factory spinning such as this would have become serious competition for the Italians. In 1722, Lombe died in mysterious circumstances. It is widely believed that Lombe was poisoned by an Italian as vengeance for stealing their trade secrets!
Ghostly children are among the spectres witnessed here as children as young as seven years old would have worked long arduous shifts at the mill. With stories of poisoning, spies, murder, suicide and child labour, not to mention the building catching fire twice, it is not surprising that this location is full of paranormal activity!
What will you be doing?
Guests will have the opportunity to use a comprehensive range of paranormal investigative equipment such as dousing rods, EMF meters (K2), ‘Ghost Boxes’ (record voice phenomena) as well as participate in vigils, séances,table tipping and the use of Ouija Board. You will be guided by our medium along with the Haunted Heritage team, but also encouraged to take the lead in the vigils and participate in small groups so that everyone is actively involved.