The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings: the oldest of all the Heritage Protection lobbies, formed by William Morris in the 19the Century, has recognised the importance of the Lumsdale Valley. They chose Lumsdale in the face of stiff competition from other heritage projects to make Lumsdale the focus of their annual Volunteer Working Party for the summer of 2017. They carried out detailed conservation work to stabilise and protect the ruined mills which will help to ensure that there is no further deterioration of the fabric. This action has not only made the valley safer for visitors to the site but has also aided in the preservation of the buildings for future generations. The project was funded by over 30 visiting SPAB volunteer members who carried out the work during 2017. We are enormously grateful towards the SPAB volunteers for giving us their time, skill and expertise.
In 2014 The Arkwright Society was awarded £78,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, Explore Lumsdale, in the Lumsdale Valley. This project re-instated the historical middle and lower ponds for the benefit of wildlife and to enable visitors to gain a clearer understanding of the energy sources used to power the mills. The project, led by volunteers, provided opportunities for volunteer training and working parties, for outreach work within the community and for developing educational projects with local schools. A key part of the project was to improve safe access for all to the site, with better pathways and viewing platforms.
The project was completed in the summer of 2015.
The Society has received awards for its work in Lumsdale:
- Derbyshire Heritage Awards – Best Volunteer Project 2015 – Explore Lumsdale
- In 2014 the Lumsdale mills and associated water management features were scheduled by English Heritage (now Historic England) as a monument of national archaeological and historic importance.
- Derbyshire County Council Greenwatch Award – Commendation, 1990
- The Times / RIBA Community Enterprise Award, 1986 (presented by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales)
- The Civic Trust Pride of Place Competition – 2nd Prize, 1981 and 1986