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.

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.

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Park Lane, Macclesfield SK11 6TJ

Contact

01625 612045
[email protected]

Visiting times

Public Paradise Mill Tours Monday-Saturday at 11.45am, 1pm & 2.15pm.
Please contact us about our Saturday Silk Museum tours. Details above
Open Bank Holiday Mondays. Guided Tours 1pm & 2.15pm

Prices

£8 Adult, £7 Concession, children free. Silk Museum entry is by donation, ‘Give What You Can’.

Visit info


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.

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).