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Chesterfield’s Walton Mill


I’ve always had a strong passion for photography…


And it wasn’t until I started my course that I realised I wanted it to be more than just a hobby, I wanted a career in photography. I have been applying to universities for photography courses and have secured offers for September 2018.

My name is Ellie Rhodes and I’m studying photography at Chesterfield College. I chose to go to Chesterfield College after my A Levels at Brookfield Community School to gain more UCAS points because at the time I wanted to train as a Children’s Nurse.

My work in photography has included commercial shoots, fashion work, derelict buildings and family portraits. It has given me the opportunity to develop my technical skills, creativity and post production editing.

The photographs I have taken are for my ‘A Sense of Place’ brief at college, which required me to document a place of
interest, with photos, interviews and film.


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Abandoned places appeal to me because of the contrast of what they look like now and how they looked in their day, and what their purpose was. I love the mysteriousness of the buildings and the history of Robinson’s Mill especially intrigued me.

I think these photos will be really valuable in the future, as Robinson’s Mill develops and evolves into new uses and

I am really keen to see how the site changes and would be really interested in photographing it through its journey.


Walton Mill: Also known as ‘Bump’ Mill was built in the 1770s by partners Hewitt and Bunting. ‘Bump’ referred to cheap cotton that was manufactured in the 1790s.


In 1800 a fire destroyed the building, which was then rebuilt and is locally significant for many reasons one being that it was one of the first in the country to adopt fire safety in its design. One of the rooms still has a fireproof structure of cast iron pillars and beams similar to those developed by Jedediah Strutt. In the 1840s and 1850s the firm was engaged in cotton spinning and doubling, candlewick manufacturing and bleaching. It was purchased by the Robinson family in 1896 and ran for over one hundred years before closing in 2003.


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Today the site is part of the Walton Works redevelopment, a £56M scheme that will see the restoration and conversion of the grade II* listed Walton Works building and Mill Terrace together with a proposal for a mixed development of retail floor space, a public house and residential development.

More recently the site has been used for Ghost Hunts and events staged by Zombie Uprizing.

Words & Images: Ellie Rhodes