Historic New Mills marina is given new lease of life

The restored New Mills marina on the Peak Forest canal
The restored New Mills marina on the Peak Forest canal

A marina which played a significant part in Derbyshire’s industrial past has just reopened as a holiday and leisure facility following a restoration costing a third of a million pounds.

The New Mills marina, situated on the Peak Forest Canal, was leased by Pridewater Estates from the Canal and River Trust in April 2014.

Over the past 15 months the renovation has transformed every building and berth on the site as well as creating two holiday apartments and a Caravan Club site.

Pridewater Estates director Robert Hutton said: “Not only were we excited by the prospect of bringing back to life such a historically and locally significant marina, but to also be a part of this magnificent landscape and provide a space for people to stop and unwind is a great pleasure.”

The reopening was celebrated on Saturday, September 5 at a party involving locals, guests currently mooring in the marina, Pridewater staff, the newly appointed marina managers Peter and Heather Best and representatives from the Canal and River Trust.

The work had to take into account many of the original, 19th century features, including the working wharf dating back to 1842 and two derelict buildings from the 1830s originally built to stable horses which towed the heavily laden barges along the canal.

Throughout, the marina was kept fully functional with boat-moorers encouraged to visit and witness the rejuvenation first-hand.

The marina is one of the oldest wharves on the canal network and has been continuously serving canal boats, their owners and crews for some 173 years.

It played a small but significant part in the county’s industrial heritage, when the town of New Mills grew and prospered both on the cotton trade and on the limestone quarries and kilns around Dove Holes a few miles south that fed an ever growing market for stone and lime.