Transforming the mill

View across mill and Quarry Bank House

As part of the Quarry Bank Project, we’re transforming your experience of the mill. We’re installing a passenger lift, which will mean that for the first time the whole mill will be accessible to everyone. To allow this work to take place the mill is closed from Monday 20 November 2017, re-opening in summer 2018. The rest of Quarry Bank will remain open throughout the closure of the mill, with lots of new experiences and exciting things for you and your family to get involved in.

Your visit 


There’ll still be lots to see and do at Quarry Bank throughout the mill closure. You can experience the domestic lives of Quarry Bank’s owners and workers in Quarry Bank House, the Apprentice House and Styal village. In the gardens you can explore an array of colour along the riverbank and discover the kitchen garden and glasshouse. Pop into the garden café and shop to indulge in a piece of cake or a treat to take home with you, and venture onto the estate to see a part of Quarry Bank that you might not have been to before. 

View of goods lift shaft outside mill

Taking your visit to new heights

We want all of our visitors to be able to experience the sights and sounds of the mill, from the clatter of the machines to the hiss of the steam engines. However, the layout of the mill meant that only three floors were accessible to those with low mobility or to wheelchair users. The Quarry Bank Project has enabled us to change this by installing a passenger lift where we currently have a goods lift. Work to install the lift means that the mill is closed from 20 November 2017 until summer 2018.

Events and exhibitions


Throughout 2018 there'll be exhibitions, family trails and events for you to get stuck into. Go on a journey of the imagination on the summer family trail and discover the stories of six incredible journeys to and from Quarry Bank.


We’ll also be marking the centenary of the Representation of the People Act that granted some women the right to vote. Despite the significance of this momentous change, the majority of women at Quarry Bank were denied a legal voice as they didn’t meet the age and property qualifications of the Act. Through outdoor installations and events, we’ll be exploring the experiences of women whose voices were not heard then, that have not been recorded for posterity and which are often lost to us today because of their age, status or means.

Demonstrator explaining cotton production to visitors in the mill

Retelling the mill’s story

While the passenger lift is being installed, we’re taking the opportunity to refresh the stories that we tell in the mill. When you come back in summer 2018 you’ll find a new experience, with updated galleries and interactive installations. Once the lift is installed, you’ll also have the choice of where to start and finish your visit. So if you really love the steam engines, then you can head straight to the power gallery and you won’t need to follow a set route around the mill.

Take a piece of Quarry Bank home with you


Throughout the closure of the mill, you’ll still be able to experience the mill’s story in different ways. You can join a guided tour from Visitor Reception to explore the story of the mill. Or take a piece of Quarry Bank home with you, as glass cloths produced on the heritage machinery in the mill will be available to buy from the mill and garden shops. 

Children playing in front of mill

Thank you for your support

Throughout 2017 we’ve raised money through the National Trust raffle to make the installation of the lift possible, alongside other vital conservation work. Thank you to everyone who bought a raffle ticket, and to all of our other donors and funders including the Heritage Lottery Fund. Your support is helping us to transform Quarry Bank.

Upcoming events

Baby and Toddler meet Father Christmas

Fri 13 Dec 2019
10:00-10:30
Join us for a special Christmas baby and toddler story-telling and play session which includes a private family visit to Father Christmas and gift just for your little one.

Mill Trail: Become a Factory Inspector

Fri 13 Dec 2019
10:30-16:00
Become a factory inspector and have a go at our family trail around the mill created by children’s author Philip Ardagh.

Reindeer Winter Walk

Fri 13 Dec 2019
10:30-17:00
Take a walk at Quarry Bank this winter and see if you can spot the reindeer hidden around the gardens. How many can you find?

Exhibition: A Healthy Profit

Fri 13 Dec 2019
10:30-17:00
In a new exhibition we explore the physical, mental and emotional toil of working in a mill.

Christmas at Quarry Bank

Fri 13 Dec 2019
10:30-17:00
Explore Quarry Bank this Christmas with a variety of festive activities for all ages.

Meet Father Christmas at Quarry Bank

Sat 14 Dec 2019
09:30-10:00
Wish lists at the ready! Join us for a special half-hour session of festive storytelling and games, including a private family visit to Father Christmas and a gift.