The Silk Museum

The Silk Museum tells a unique story of the relationship between the people and communities of Macclesfield and its famous silk industry. Highlights include remarkable surviving Jacquard looms and stunning Pattern Books that capture the creative ideas and processes of many of the town’s major silk firms. Find out about the Brocklehursts and other families who played a leading role in so many aspects of the town’s development; and about Paterson, New Jersey where many men and women from the town emigrated, with the town becoming known as the ‘Macclesfield of America’.

The Silk Museum is housed in the former Art School, which trained up artists and designers for the silk industry. We now welcome back contemporary creatives to the Museum, with the Makers’ Place on the first floor. Visit our eight outstanding makers, learn about their creative processes and buy or commission original gifts. Why not visit our new Silk Shop too, with a beautiful selection of scarves, ties, waistcoats, woven pictures and lots more for sale.

We have an exciting programme of new displays coming up at the Silk Museum. These include…

Macclesfield at War – an important group of War Memorials, formerly housed in Christ Church, find a permanent home in the Silk Museum. This is the first step in a display that will develop over the next 12 months to explore the impact of two World Wars on Macclesfield people and on the silk industry. From Saturday 10th November.

Macclesfield and the World – Marianne Brocklehurst’s Egyptian collections will start to be presented at the Silk Museum, telling a story that links Macclesfield and Egypt.  Marianne’s financial independence came from her family’ silk business, and combined with her indomitable spirit, enabled her to explore Europe and the Middle East with her partner Mary Booth. Over the next six months her outstanding collection will be redisplayed at the Silk Museum, whilst essential work is carried out at West Park Museum. From 21st January 2019.

The Between Floors Gallery features Charles Tunnicliffe: A Cheshire Countryman, works by the acclaimed artist.


Park Lane, Macclesfield SK11 6TJ


01625 612045
[email protected]

Visiting times

Monday-Saturday, 10am-4pm
Open on Bank Holidays (except Xmas week), 12noon-4pm


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

Visit info

Thanks to Chris Spargo and James Ridley for making this film.

Silk Shop

Silk Shop

Visit our Silk Shop and take home a memento of Macclesfield Silk from our range of  beautiful scarves, ties, waistcoats and famous Jaquard woven pictures.

With a nod to the adjacent Paradise Mill, we stock a range of greeting cards and bobbins; the latter creatively up-cycled into practical homeware gifts. You can also purchase items from our ‘Paradise’ range of silk buttons, brooches and cufflinks – all made with hand-woven silk from the Paradise Mill jacquard looms.

We also stock a large selection of raw ‘Crafting Silk’ – ideal for a wide use of textile projects and silk paper making.

For art lovers, we sell a range of Charles Tunnicliffe books, cards and prints featured in our Museum collection. And for local historians, a variety of books about Macclesfield and it’s silk heritage.


Jacquard Tea Room

Jacquard Tea Room

The Jacquard Tea Room serves a range of teas, fresh coffee, soft drinks and a selection of cakes and snacks.

Group Visits

Group Visits

Admission charges per person for group visits:
Silk Museum entry is by donation, ‘Give What You Can’. Guided Tours of Paradise Mill are £5 Adult, £4.50 Concession. From 1 March 2019 our offer will be changing and our admission charges will reflect this.

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.

Pattern Books

Pattern Books

The Silk Museum has a pattern book collection of around 1000 volumes from local textile factories, each with hundreds of examples of different woven and printed designs and colourways.

The pattern books date from the mid-19th century through to the 1950s.

Location and access

Location and access

Location: The Silk Museum is located off Mill Street on the old Park Lane.  There is no on-site parking, but there is short stay on-street parking directly outside the building and a public car park on the junction of Park Lane and Park Green (the Old Library car park in front of The Society Rooms pub).

Access: There are steps at the main entrance to the museum, however step-free access is available on request. Just call 01625 612045. There’s step-free access around the ground floor and a lift to the Makers’ Place on the first floor. We also have an accessible toilet.