The history of Quarry Bank Mill

Historical image of Quarry Bank

In 1783, Samuel Greg had a vision; by 1784 this vision had become the reality of Quarry Bank Mill. Find out more about how the Greg family shaped the future of the Mill.

Samuel and his wife Hannah built a community surrounding the Mill, including a village for the workers and the Apprentice House; they even built their family home next door to the Mill and developed the surrounding landscape into beautiful gardens. 

As Samuel's business enterprise grew he acquired several other mills, all of which were passed down to his sons. Robert Hyde Greg inherited Quarry Bank Mill, which was passed down to Alexander Carlton Greg, who donated it to the National Trust in 1939. 

Samuel Greg

Born in Ireland in 1758, Samuel went on to found Quarry Bank Mill in 1784 and built up an extensive cotton empire. He had a large family with his wife Hannah, and passed on his business to his sons when he died in 1834. 

Hannah Greg

Hannah Greg was Samuel's wife and was incredibly influential in providing a greater level of care for the workers and apprentices. Find out more about her work and pick up a copy of David Seker's new book A Lady of Letters in our shop.

Robert Hyde Greg

Robert Hyde Greg was Samuel's son and he took over Quarry Bank Mill in 1834 upon Samuel's death. He brought many technological innovations to the Mill, and was the figurehead of the family business for nearly 40 years.

Edward Hyde Greg

Edward was the third owner of Quarry Bank Mill and had a great many hobbies including collecting fossils and bird eggs, as well as hunting and shooting.

Robert Alexander Greg

Robert had a varied career as the owner of Quarry Bank Mill, as a soldier in the First World War and later as a magistrate.

Alexander Carlton Greg

Alec was never interested in running Quarry Bank Mill, preferring his life as a farmer. After the Mill became increasingly unprofitable he donated the Mill, Styal Village and a large part of Styal Estate to the National Trust in 1939.

Women of the Greg family

Whilst the Greg family (particularly the men) are largely associated with Quarry Bank Mill and the other mills in the Greg enterprise, several of the women of the Greg family led incredibly interesting and important lives, and some helped to shape society as we know it today.

Treasures of Quarry Bank

You can browse the collections of Quarry Bank on the collections website. Take a look at how the Greg family filled their home and Mill.

Help us with our archives

We are currently cataloguing the archive and we need your help to identify some of the people and places in the photographs. Take a look through our Flickr page and if you have spotted someone you know in a photograph and have information about their story then please feel free to comment on the pictures.