National Trust launches £1.4 million appeal to bring Britain's cotton industry heritage to life

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The National Trust has announced the launch of a £1.4 million fundraising appeal to complete the restoration of Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire.

Britain’s cotton industry heritage is the focus of a new £1.4 million fundraising appeal to complete the restoration of an entire industrial landscape, and bring its stories to life for thousands of visitors.

Cared for by the National Trust, Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire was, from the 1780s to the 1920s, at the heart of cotton production in the region and is the most complete survival of an industrial revolution community.

It marks a period of British history of immense change and prosperity, but also grinding poverty. Its restoration will enable these stories to be shared with thousands of schoolchildren, families and other visitors.

Built by the Greg family, the estate offered housing for adult workers and a village complete with chapels, a village school, a shop, allotments and a farm to provide food for the mill community.

Today, the Mill, with its working machinery, the Apprentice House that was occupied by the pauper children who worked there, along with gardens and walks, are among the features that are already enjoyed by over 130,000 visitors a year.

But many other original features of the Quarry Bank estate remain unrestored and unseen, along with fascinating archives and records of the family, workers and the pauper children which are not yet available to the public.

The £1.4 million appeal by The National Trust has been launched to enable the full Quarry Bank estate to be restored and revealed and to ensure its long-term conservation, including:

- restoration of a worker’s cottage and shop in the estate village, offering a vivid time capsule of life at the time;
- repair of unique Victorian glasshouses that were at the forefront of technology at the time, and which produced exotic and out-of-season fruit for the Greg family, and bring them back into production;
- restoration of the original woodland Pleasure Grounds and opening up of the Northern Woods with its bridges, pathways and vistas.
- opening of the Greg family’s house to showcase the archive material, letters and documents from the 1790s to the 20th century  –  of the family, estate workers and apprentice children.

Quarry Bank’s General Manager, Eleanor Underhill, explained: "Quarry Bank Mill is an extraordinary place that captures a precious time in this country's history. Through this appeal we want to be able to share its deep history and personal stories with millions.

"As part of the project, we will be inviting volunteers and local communities to help restore key parts of Quarry Bank and develop their own restoration and conservation skills that can be passed on to future generations.

"Quarry Bank is both a unique site and very magical place, enjoyed by many visitors, but we have so much more to do to complete the jigsaw and enable everyone to experience the history of the whole estate. We can’t do this without funds so we hope that the public will be able to help us realise this dream and play their own part in Quarry Bank's story."

The total cost of the project is £6million and is expected to take five years to complete. The National Trust is appealing to the public and to various funding bodies and organisations.

To make a donation to the Quarry Bank appeal, for special online fundraising games and for the Mill's opening times visit or call 01625 527468.

About National Trust:
The National Trust looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside and gardens, 720 miles of coastline and hundreds of historic places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For more information and ideas for great value family days, visit

PR Contact:
Mike Collins
The National Trust
Kemble Drive
01793 817709

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