William Day visited Derbyshire in 1789 when he toured the County with the artist John Webber (1751-1793). Day was a geologist and amateur artist who exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy from 1782 to 1801. Many watercolours survive from Day's 1789 tour.
Day’s view is painted from Cromford Bridge, a fifteenth-century structure that is now Grade II listed. We are seeing the view North up the River Derwent. The smelting houses on the left were demolished by Richard Arkwright to make space to build St Mary’s Church.