Paradise Mill

Paradise Mill tours will resume  when we re-open both the Silk Museum and Paradise Mill on Thursday 20th May.

Initially, opening on Thursdays and Saturdays only – more days will be added to co-incide with school Summer holidays in July.

As we’re open for fewer days, we’re increasing the number of tours on Thursdays and Saturdays at Paradise Mill: 10.15-11.15am | 11.30-12.30pm | 1-2pm | 2.15-3.15pm.

Don’t forget your mask and socially distance! Hand sanitiser stations are available throughout. Staff will be wearing face-coverings or masks and we expect visitors to wear a face covering too. However, we realise it’s not possible for everyone.

Book your tickets here

“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.


Park Lane, Macclesfield SK11 6TJ


01625 612045
[email protected]

Visiting times

Guided Tours will resume from 20th May 2021
Advance booking only
Tours start at the adjacent Silk Museum Reception
Thursday and Saturday Morning Tours: 10.15-11.15am | 11.30-12.30pm
Thursday and Saturday Afternoon Tours: 1-2pm | 2.15-3.15pm


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

Visit info

Are you cut out to be a card cutter?

Dan (one of our Paradise Mill museum guides) tells the story of Jack, the hapless Jacquard card cutter.

How we became the Silk Town

Discover our unique story of Macclesfield silk, the importance of the Jacquard mechanism and the loom restoration project that is currently taking place at Paradise Mill.


Access at Paradise Mill

Access at 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 a listed industrial building accessed via three flights of stairs, totalling 49 steps and is unsuitable for wheelchair users.

Due to the age of the Mill, please be aware of uneven floorboards.

A unisex disabled access toilet, with baby changing facilities is available at the Silk Museum.

Public Tours

Public Tours

Paradise Mill tours will resume  when we re-open both the Silk Museum and Paradise Mill on Thursday 20th May. Initially, we will open on Thursdays and Saturdays – more days will be added at the start of the school Summer holidays in July.

We are running four, hour-long tours a day: 10.15-11.15am | 11.30-12.30pm | 1-2pm | 2.15-3.15pm

Your Guided Paradise Mill tour starts from the Silk Museum Reception.


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.

Directions & Parking

Directions & Parking

Paradise Mill is located adjacent to the Silk Museum on Park Lane Macclesfield SK11 6TJ. Call us on 01625 612045.


By Car

Less than 2 minutes walk is council run The Old Library car park, with 28 spaces, with 1 disabled space. Located on the corner of Park Green SK11 7NA.

Around the corner, less than 2 minutes walk, is Duke Street car park with 261 spaces, with 5 disabled spaces and coach bays.

There is free 1 hour on-street parking available directly outside the museum. Also suitable for coach drop off and collection.

By Bus
There is a stop 3 minutes walk away on Lord Street. Macclesfield’s Bus Station on Queen Victoria Street SK11 6LP is a 5 minute walk.

By Train
Macclesfield station, Waters Green SK11 6JP is an 8 minute walk away.

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 


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.