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

The Tiger Who Came to Tea Exhibition

Fri 19 Oct 2018
10:30-16:30
Meet the iconic children's character, the Tiger Who Came to Tea, in a special pop-up exhibition celebrating 50 years since the publication of Judith Kerr's classic. In association with Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books.

Journeys of the Imagination

Fri 19 Oct 2018
10:30-16:30
Pack your bags for an adventure as we discover the incredible journeys made by the people of Quarry Bank. Based on newly written stories by Berlie Doherty with beautiful illustrations by Emma Baldwin.

Behind the scenes - Machines

Sat 20 Oct 2018
14:00-15:00
One Saturday a month we invite you join us as we look at the Mill and its machinery in more depth. Led by our expert team, this is a real opportunity to find out more about this fascinating place.

October Half Term - Been Through the Mill

Mon 22 Oct 2018
11:00-16:00
Find out about the gory accidents that happened to Quarry Bank’s mill workers. Discover what it was like to work with a disability in the past, meet a mill physician and compare historical treatments with today’s medical advances.

Spooky Tours

Fri 26 Oct 2018
18:30-19:15
An outbreak of plague has forced the mill to shut its doors. A quarantine is in place, but volunteers are needed to go inside and look for the victims. Are you brave enough to go in the mill and face what lies within the walls?

Halloween - Ghostly Goings-on at Quarry Bank

Sat 27 Oct 2018
11:00-16:00
Join us for a week of Halloween fun. Scare yourself on a spooky tour of the Apprentice House and toast a ghostly marshmallow over a campfire.