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.”

  • Discover Europe’s largest known collection of Jacquard silk handlooms in their original setting on our award winning Five Star tour
  • Immerse yourself in our unique silk textile collection
  • Celebrating five consecutive years of Certificate of Excellence in TripAdvisor Hall of Fame…

A guided tour of the Grade II listed Paradise Mill takes you back in time to early 20th-century Macclesfield. The Mill houses a unique collection of 26 Jacquard handlooms – the largest known collection of Jacquard silk handlooms in their original setting. Our knowledgeable mill guide will demonstrate the machinery through all stages of the silk process, including an explanation of the Jacquard mechanism complete with a weaving demonstration on a restored loom.

From Saturday 24th November
Paradise Mill will be home to A 1940s’ Christmaswhere groups can enjoy the sights, sounds and stories of the wartime Mill. Call or email us for more information or to book 01625 612045, [email protected]

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Park Lane, Macclesfield SK11 6TJ

Contact

01625 612045
[email protected]

Visiting times

Tours Monday-Saturday at 11.45am, 1pm & 2.15pm
Paradise Mill is open on Bank Holiday Monday (except Xmas week) - Tours at 1pm & 2.15pm
Monday 24th Dec Guided Tours 11.45am, 1pm
Tues 25th Dec CLOSED
Wed 26th Dec CLOSED
Thur 27th Dec Guided Tours 11.45am, 1pm, 2.15pm
Fri 28th Dec Guided Tours 1pm, 2.15pm
Sat 29th Dec Guided Tours 11.45am, 1pm, 2.15pm
Sun 30th Dec CLOSED
Monday 31st Dec Guided Tours 11.45am, 1pm
Tues 1st Jan CLOSED
Wed 2nd Jan Paradise Mill Guided Tours 11.45am, 1pm, 2.15pm
*Please scroll down to Latest Tour Information to check availability*

Prices

£5 Adult, £4.50 Concession, children free. Silk Museum entry is by donation, ‘Give What You Can’.   From 1 March 2019 our offer will be changing and our admission charges will reflect this.

Visit info


Group visits to Paradise & Silk Museum

Group visits to Paradise & Silk Museum

Our award winning Silk Museum and Paradise Mill offers a unique experience for your next group outing, and we can tailor a combined visit to both venues to suit your needs. We are situated at the heart of the North West, close to the borders with Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Greater Manchester. The fascinating displays and unique heritage cover a diverse range of interests – social history, engineering and technology, fashion and design.

Group Combined Ticket to Paradise Mill & The Silk Museum: £7

Click here for further information, or speak with one of our Booking Team on 01625 612045 or email [email protected] or Download a Group Booking Form

Latest Tour Information

Latest Tour Information

We regularly have large groups visiting, so it’s best to check which tours are available before planning a visit: Call us on 01625 612045.

Paradise Mill Tours run Monday-Saturday at 11.45am, 1pm & 2.15pm.

The following tours are currently fully booked:

Friday 28th December 11.45am

 

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).

The History of Paradise Mill

The History of Paradise Mill

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.

Paradise Mill in the 20th Century

Paradise Mill in the 20th Century

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.