iCHSTM 2013 Programme • Version 5.3.6, 27 July 2013 • ONLINE (includes late changes)
| Paper sessions timetable | Lunch and evening timetable | Main site
Quarry Bank Mill and Styal Estate excursion
Event code: X232
Thu 25 July, 12:45–17:30

Quarry Bank Mill at Styal, in the Cheshire countryside just over 15km from central Manchester, is a superbly preserved example of an Industrial Revolution-era cotton mill with its settlement of workers’ housing. Owned by the National Trust, it has been partially adapted as a museum of the cotton industry. 

Erected in 1784, the Mill represents a period when the convenience of water supply for power still determined the geography of industry: a long channel from the nearby River Bollin turned the original wooden wheel. As production expanded, more wheels were added, iron replaced wood, and the valley above the Mill was dammed to create a reservoir. The present-day wheel, though not original to Quarry Bank, is an authentic textile mill-wheel reclaimed from a site in Yorkshire, and the most powerful working waterwheel in Europe. Displays in the Mill building include live demonstrations of spinning and weaving technology using authentic equipment.

The site also includes extensive grounds, gardens, and the Apprentice House, home to the pauper child ‘apprentices’ (effectively, unpaid labourers) who worked the site in the first half of the nineteenth century. The mill-owner Samuel Greg and his successors were enthusiastic social reformers; admirers saw their child-labour policy as providing a clean and healthy alternative to the typical workhouse through the innovation of dedicated medical care. To reformers of later generations, however, they summed up the routine exploitation and cruelty of their era. Costumed interpreters give regular guided tours exploring the working lives of the apprentices and others who worked the site.

This excursion is only available by prior reservation through the University’s conference services office: please reserve your place at the time of registration, or contact mcc.reg@manchester.ac.uk for further information. There is a charge for this excursion.

This is a half-day (afternoon) trip. Coaches will run from outside University Place directly to Quarry Bank Mill, returning in time for the evening reception. A packed lunch is provided and included in the reservation cost.

For more information, please see the website: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/quarry-bank-mill/