A historic mill, which was once the site of one of the largest cotton manufacturing businesses in Britain, has re-opened to the public – marking a major milestone in a four-year transformation project at the National Trust’s Quarry Bank in Cheshire.
The £9.4 million project has been supported by National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund and thousands of generous donors. It’s one of the biggest projects in the Trust’s history, as the conservation charity continues its commitment to bring the stories of its places to life.
Over the past three years, new areas of Quarry Bank have been restored and opened to visitors, including the mill owners’ home, a workers’ cottage and a 19th century glasshouse in the kitchen garden.
Now, with new facilities, galleries and interpretation in the mill itself, visitors will be able to experience the entire site for the first time. Joanne Hudson, general manager at Quarry Bank, said: “This is an exciting moment for us as we invite our visitors to experience the complete story of Quarry Bank. It tells a story of social change and industrial revolution, rich and poor, mill owner and mill worker, the power of nature and the ingenuity of man; of benevolence and exploitation.”
New galleries across five floors of the mill focus on the early days of founder and owner Samuel Greg, the lives of the mill’s apprentices and workers, the cotton industry’s link to slavery and Quarry Bank’s place within the early Industrial Revolution. Sound and video installations, alongside powerful imagery, will give visitors a feel for working in the mill 12 hours a day, six days a week.
PHOTO: National Trust Images, Mark Waugh