“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.