The town is situated at the north western edge of the Peak District, one of England's National Parks.
Pop. (1901) 7773. Its ancient name was Bowden Middle Cale. The name of New Mills was given to it from a corn-mill erected on the Kinder in the hamlet of Ollersett, and is specially applied to the group of factories which have grown up round it. Formerly paper and cloth were the staple industries of the district, but the inhabitants of the various hamlets are now occupied chiefly in iron and brass foundries, cotton mills and print-works.
A short branch of the Midland railway leads to the town of Hayfield (pop. 2614).