Styal, Wilmslow, Cheshire
SK9 4LA. Telephone: 01625 445 896 (Infoline) .
This is a major Georgian mill, restored as a fully working
cotton mill and museum, which is situated close to Manchester
Airport, in Styal village alongside the River Bollin. This is a
highly recommended visit for those interested in the history of Manchester
and its industries. Tours available of the mill and its hospital, school
and the Apprentices' House.
Samuel Greg founded the mill in 1784, and it
is still producing calico which can be bought at the mill shop. Products
were never finished at Styal - they were and still are sent away for
bleaching and dyeing. Products can be bought at other National Trust
venues. The mill is operated by former mill workers, mechanical and
hand-spinning and weaving can be seen in progress on the mill factory
The original water wheel, built by Fairbairn, was 32ft high and 21ft
wide but had decayed so much it was useless and has been replaced by
a wheel from Pateley Bridge in Yorkshire. It is the most powerful water
wheel still in use in Britain and was visited by the Queen Mother in
1986. The mill tour takes well over an hour, but is well worth it.
Is a large detached house about 5 minute's walk from
the mill. It housed about 60 boys and girls. The children came from
local workhouses or from parents who could not afford to keep them.
The house is now turned into a museum which is open to the public and
guided tours are conducted by an originally costumed custodian. It can
be seen how the children lived, very basically and primitively by today's
standards, but compared to other mills their treatment would have been
regarded as decent and humane by the standards of the day. A doctor
and school was provided for them, where they learned to read and write
- though their main purpose was almost certainly to provide readily
available, trained and cheap millworkers.
Average length of visit: Mill: 1½ hours approx. Combined Mill
& Apprentice House: 2½ hours. Onboard coach welcome. General
guided tour, out of hours tours and special interest tours available
including specialist tour with the chief engineer.
Parking, 200yds, Coaches under 12ft high can drop off/collect from Mill
yard by arrangement. 200 yard walk downhill to the Mill.
Mill Restaurant (licensed), assisted service, 90 covers off Mill yard.
Children's menu during school holidays. Set menu, private room available.
01625 445 896 (info line); 01625 527468; Fax: 01625 539 267.
Please note - prices as of March 2010 - but prices may change over time
- enquire before setting out.
Gift Aid Admission (Standard Admission prices in brackets) Mill, Apprentice
House and garden: adult £14.20 (£12.89), child £7.05
(£6.40), family £35.40 (£32.16). Mill and Apprentice
House or garden: adult £10.50 (£9.54), child £5.25
(£4.77), family £25.20 (£22.90). Mill only: adult
£7.35 (£6.68), child £3.90 (£3.53), family £18.60
(£16.90). Garden only: adult £5 (£4.54), child £2.50
(£2.27), family £12.50 (£11.36). Garden upgarde: adult
£3.50 (£3.18), child £1.75 (£1.59), family £8.75
(£7.95). Estate: (Standard Admission) Cars £4, motorcycles
£2, coaches £15. Free upgrade when travelling by public
transport or cycle.
Please note times as of March 2010 - but times may change over time
- enquire before setting out.
Open Bank Holiday Mondays, Boxing Day, 1 January and 15 and 16 February.
Closed 24 and 25 December. Mill: last admission one hour before closing.
Apprentice House guided tours: limited availability timed tickets
only (available from Mill on early arrival. Popular school visit destination
during school term time. Restaurant, garden and shop open daily 26 to
31 December. The Garden closes at 3.pm.
Shop (gifts, souvenirs, cloth), licensed cafe, toilets, parking.
Wheelchair users please phone in advance - some access, though certain
areas of the mill inaccessible or difficult. Sympathetic Hearing Scheme
- audio tapes. Braille and large print guides available. Talking Map.
Snacks and light refreshments at the Mill Pantry. Dogs allowed under
close control on estate. On lead only in Mill yard. >
1½ miles north of Wilmslow off B5166. 2½ miles from M56
junction 5, 10 miles south of Manchester. Buses from Chesterfield-Airport.
Rail station nearby at Styal (not Sundays).
FACILITIES FOR THE DISABLED
Parking: in main car park. Buggy transfer
available most days. Transfer available.
Building: 61 steps to entrance. Ramped access from
car park down to Mill Yard. 2 wheelchairs. Lift to function rooms or
stairs with handrails. Mill: 3 floors accessible by ramps or chairlift.
Mill: Restricted access for wheelchairs to Mill, particularly battery
operated. Access to 3 floors by ramps and stair lifts for most wheelchairs.
Limited numbers of wheelchairs permitted at any one time for safety
reasons. 2 wheelchairs available for use. Function rooms: Lift to function
rooms or stairs with handrails. Apprentice House: level access to ground
Toilets: adapted WC off Mill yard also one in function
Grounds: accessible route.
Shop: 7 steps to entrance with handrail. Stairlift
Refreshments: level entrance .
Was built by Samuel Greg
for adult workers, and included a shop and a chapel. To maintain the
workers close to the mill, the Old Oak Cottages were built in 1820s,
with their very modern outside toilets, and a spacious two rooms per
floor. Even so, they were overcrowded with two families per house. Each
house had a vegetable plot, so that tenants could be virtually self-sufficient.
Close by are older farm houses such as Cruck Cottage, (pictured above
right), pretty enough for any post card. Considering it is only two
miles from Manchester Airport, the area is remarkably quiet and peaceful,
and the adjacent Styal Country Park facilitates pleasant walks in the
beautiful Cheshire countryside.
Bibliography - Books about Manchester