New Mills is a very special place – described by some who live here as 'a hidden jewel'. There is much for visiting
walkers to discover and enjoy.
Built above the spectacular Torrs Gorge at the confluence of the Rivers Sett and Goyt, New Mills was originally a small
settlement that grew up around a new corn mill belonging to the Duchy of Lancaster (first recorded as New Mylne in 1361).
The walking available from the town centre is excellent and varies from short easy walks to challenging day-long hikes.
The renowned and stunning Millennium Walkway within the Torrs Gorge can be accessed by footpaths from several places in
the town, and the walkway links directly to 2 local nature reserves, and the Sett Valley Trail, as well as providing a vital
link to the Goyt Way, itself part of the long-distance walk The Midshires Way. The 14-mile Trespass Trail (a circular walk
starting in New Mills) was devised as part of the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass.
During the Industrial Revolution, development of the town took place firstly with coal mining, and subsequently with textile
production. A series of cotton mills were built in the Torrs Gorge, making use of the rocky gorge for stable sites, foundations
and building stone, and the fast-flowing rivers for water and later steam power.
A revolutionary new way of textile printing was developed by a local man John Potts, who (inspired by the production of
banknotes) devised a way of transferring textile designs onto copper rollers. This innovative technique subsequently extended
The local history of the town can be explored in the welcoming New Mills Heritage Centre Museum, which has a café and provides
information about local walks, walking books and maps, public transport information and local accommodation.
In the centre of the Torrs Gorge lies the Torrs Hydro Archimedes Screw, one of the earliest community-owned hydro schemes,
which generates electricity that powers the local Co-operative store, and feeds any surplus electricity back to the National
During the year the town hosts several events that welcome visitors, including the One World Festival and the New Mills
Festival, with its famous magical lantern procession which passes over the Millennium Walkway and through the Torrs Gorge.