History of Haarlem

Thought to be the Roman Town of Lutudarum, Wirksworth was already well known around the world as a thriving lead mining centre and later a key quarrying town.

George Eliot, in her novel Adam Bede, based her fictional town Snowfield on Wirksworth and the character Dinah Morris on her aunt, who lived in the town. D.H. Lawrence lived with his wife Frieda on the outskirts of Wirksworth and whilst staying here in the bitter winter of 1918–19 wrote the short story A Wintry Peacock.

Haarlem Mill was constructed in 1777 by Richard Arkwright producing the ubiquitous red tape used for legal documents. It is considered to be the first coal powered mill. Haarlem Mill was bought and redeveloped to English Heritage standards by Wardmans of Matlock.

Since the decline of quarrying, Wirksworth’s distinct location and strong community centred ethos has attracted a large artistic and creative community. The town has developed into a creative hub, drawing in wider audiences for the last 20 years through the annual Wirksworth Arts Festival.

The strong sense of place that exists here is rare and we at Haarlem Artspace are compelled to harness these unique strengths to create an environment where art, artists and creatives can flourish.

Photo credit Jack Haystead
Photo credit Jack Haystead