Paradise Mill

“Unique, fascinating and utterly absorbing. Brilliantly presented too. A visit to Paradise Mill is not to be missed.”

“A brilliant place to visit. The guide brought it to life. Excellent tour and wonderful old mill with original looms. We discovered a real treasure.”

Our expert Guides will give you a personal tour of Europe’s largest known collection of Jacquard silk handlooms in their original setting. See all stages of the Jacquard silk weaving process from cocoon to the finished fabric, including a demonstration on one of our restored looms. This is a technology that laid the foundations for our digital age.

 

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Park Lane, Macclesfield SK11 6TJ

Contact

01625 612045
[email protected]

Visiting times

Paradise Mill Guided Tours are 11.00am. 12.15pm and 2.00pm Monday-Saturday.
Purchase tickets from the Silk Museum or call to pre-book
Tours start at the adjacent Silk Museum
Open on Bank Holidays (except Xmas week)

Prices

£9.50 Adult, £8.50 Concession, Children are free. Silk Museum entry is by donation, ‘Give What You Can’.

Visit info


Public Tours

Public Tours

From Monday 7th October, the Paradise Mill Guided Tours are at 11.00am, 12.15pm & 2.00pm Monday to Saturday.

Explore the adjacent Silk Museum to purchase The Silk Museum is open 10 – 4pm, Monday – Saturday.

Please purchase your tickets from the Silk Museum shop. Your Guided Paradise Mill tour starts from the shop.

Please call our Booking team on 01625 612045 for further information and to book your tour.

Group Tours

Group Tours

We have a range of options for group visits to The Silk Museum and Paradise Mill, which we can tailor to fit your needs.

Visit our Group Visits page for more information. or call our Booking Department  on 01625 612045 Mon – Fri 10-4pm and speak to a member of our friendly team.

Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence

Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence

We’re very proud to have been awarded Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years – adding us to the elite Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Hall Of Fame.

This is only awarded to museums and attractions that provide consistently outstanding experiences and whose team offer first-class customer service to their visitors.

Click here to see our Trip Advisor Reviews 

 

Access to Paradise Mill

Access to Paradise Mill

Meet one of our expert guides at reception in the Silk Museum where you will to be taken to Paradise Mill, located a short walk next door to the Museum.

Access: Paradise Mill is accessed via three flights of stairs, and is currently unsuitable for wheelchair users. There is a lift up to the Mill – please speak to a member of staff when booking your ticket. The lift is available Monday to Friday. Stair access only on Saturdays and Bank Holidays

Due to the age of the Mill, please be aware of uneven floorboards. An accessible toilet is available at The Silk Museum.

Location: Paradise Mill is located off Mill Street on Park Lane. There is short stay on-street parking directly outside the building and public car parking on Park Green, close to the junction with Park Lane (the Old Library car park in front of The Society Rooms pub).

Paradise Mill - A Brief History

Paradise Mill - A Brief History

The present Upper Mill was built for silk manufacture around 1824. In 1862 during a slump in trade, the owner John Bagshaw, a cotton manufacturer, pulled down the neighbouring 18th century mill and built Lower Mill, which we know as Paradise Mill today.

During the second half of the 19th century, the mills were used by several silk and cotton manufacturers. In 1870, David Hooton and John Hockenhull, who already occupied the second floor for cotton weaving, bought the mills, and it was at this time that the term Paradise Mills was first used. By now the cotton industry in Macclesfield was declining, and from 1891 the mills were used exclusively for silk. One of the more notable tenants was James Kershaw, whose firm was well known for the richness of design and variety of fabrics; “He produced nothing but new style, and in less than six months had at least 100 looms in full work”, using new modern machinery. By 1891 the mills were exclusively used for silk manufacturing.

In 1912, Arthur Cartwright and Percy Sheldon, both designers and from families traditionally connected with silk, formed a partnership and rented rooms at Paradise Mills. By 1920 they bought both mills for £6,000. As well as having old looms repaired and new ones made, they bought six second-hand looms and Jacquard machines from J & F Jackson of Sutton Mills in Macclesfield. By the 1930s some 70 looms were in use on the top floor of Lower Paradise Mill, where there is sufficient headroom in the roof space. Cartwright and Sheldon remained owners and principal occupants until 1981 when the firm went into liquidation. In 1983 work began to restore the machinery to working order, with the idea of opening a working museum where silk could again be woven on the old handlooms.