Lombe's Mill was the first successful silk throwing mill in England. It was built on an island on the River Derwent in Derby. It was built after John Lombe visited Piedmont in 1717 and returned to England with details of the Italian silk throwing machines – the filatoio and the torcitoio – and some Italian craftsmen. The architect was George Sorocold. At its height, the mill employed some 300 people.
Lombe's Mill was built next to Thomas Cotchett's 1704 mill on the west bank of the River Derwent in Derby. At this point a weir had been constructed across the river, and the mill was built on an island downstream which separated the river from the tail race of three corn mills. The tail race was also called a fleam or a leat. Derby was a key location as the river had a fast flow, and it was here that it was crossed by the London to Carlisle road
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