Saturday, 27 May 2017

Quarry Bank Mill

On our way to the Lake District we stopped off at Quarry Bank Mill. This fitted in with adventure 31 - travel back in time (from our Amazing Family Adventures book), enabling the girls to find out about victorian working conditions!

Quarry Bank Mill in Styal, Cheshire, England, is one of the best preserved textile mills of the Industrial Revolution and is now a museum of the cotton industry. The mill was started in 1784 and over the following one hundred years, harnessed water power to drive the machinery which prepared the yarn for spinning, but later moved on to steam power in order to power the actual looms. We went inside the restored industrial building into which much of the original machinery has been replaced.

You can trace the whole process through from the arrival of the sacks of cotton bolls through to the cotton being prepared as yarn, to it being loaded onto the looms and made into different fabrics
The clattering noise from just one machine is pretty deafening: multiply it to reflect the fact that in the 1830’s there were over three hundred looms operating, and the cacophony must have been terrifying!
We then visited the The Apprentice House where young apprentices who arrived at Styal Mill in the 19th century  were housed. The guided tour talked about life these children had - who were very lucky compared with their friends who were not chosen to go with them but who were left in the Liverpool workhouse.The girls had a taste of the life of an apprentice, trying bed making, emptying chamber pots, writing with a slate pencil copying copperplate handwriting and seeing real live leeches in the medicine cabinet!
 We then had a quick wonder round the very beautiful gardens!

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