The mill at Quarry Bank

Visitors in the mill at Quarry Bank, watching the historic machinery in action

The huge cotton mill was the heart of working life at Quarry Bank. Visit the mill to watch the historic machinery thunder into action and feel the floors shake beneath your feet! Discover how Samuel Greg founded his cotton empire and the story of the cotton trade. You can also understand the hardships faced by the workers who toiled in the mill, and uncover engineering genius at work.

Just so you know...

This article was created before the coronavirus crisis, and may not reflect the current situation. Please check our homepage for the most up to date information about visiting.

Working historic looms in Quarry Bank mill

See working machinery in action

Experience heritage machinery at work in the mill. You can feel the floors shake with the power of the spinning machines or hear the clatter of the weaving looms at work. The machinery is demonstrated daily by members of our technical team, who can answer your questions and tell you more about working life in the mill.

A hand spinning and weaving demonstration in the mill

Samuel’s Industrial Enterprise

Find out about Samuel Greg, the founder of Quarry Bank, and his journey from being a young boy in Belfast to building his cotton business. In this gallery you can also see hand-spinning and weaving demonstrations, and discover more about the history of the cotton trade and the exploitation that was at the heart of Britain’s global expansion.

Historic machinery in the mill at Quarry Bank

The Workforce

See the mill through the eyes of its workforce. The sights and sounds of working in the mill are brought to life in an immersive audio visual experience. You can also find out about the different types of work done by men, women and children, and the accidents and injuries that happened to Quarry Bank’s workers. Please be aware that the audio visual experience contains loud noises and some flashing lights.

Steam engines at Quarry Bank

The story of power: Water Power, Steam Power, Brain Power

The ingenuity of engineers was essential to the early Industrial Revolution. In these galleries you can explore how the mill was powered and the brains behind the technology. Have a go at interactive engineering challenges in the Brain Power gallery, and see the historic steam engines and waterwheel in action.

Wheelchair user in the mill

Using the lift

There’s a passenger lift available for use in the mill. If you have access requirements, including being a wheelchair user, you can use the lift to reach the galleries and machine floors. The lift also offers unique views – with glass doors you can get a sneak peek of the galleries as they go by, and you can venture onto ‘W’ or ‘The Walkway’ for a panoramic view of the mill yard and mill meadow.