The mill at Quarry Bank

Exterior view of Quarry Bank Mill

The cotton mill was the heart of working life at Quarry Bank. Visit the mill to 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. Find out more about the spaces that you can explore on your visit.

Technical demonstrator working on power looms in the 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.

Visitor looking at travelling chest in Samuel's Industrial Enterprise gallery

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.

Boy and parent looking at audio visual experience in The Workforce gallery

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.

Visitors looking at lightbox installation that tells the story of power 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.

Visitors walking towards 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.

Exhibitions in the mill