The Silk Museum

The Silk Museum is housed in the former Art School, which trained up artists and designers for the silk industry. It is now home to a fabulous introduction to Macclesfield’s silk story. Discover the mechanical processes of the Jacquard loom. Be inspired by the creative approach of the textile designers – including students’ work, block printing and our design archive. See the finished textiles in our costume collection, and our unique silk printed map and parachutes from World War II.

Rediscover our Egyptian story as Marianne Brocklehurst’s Egyptian collection is currently on display at the Silk Museum, whilst essential work is carried out at West Park Museum.

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Park Lane, Macclesfield SK11 6TJ

Contact

01625 612045
[email protected]

Visiting times

Monday-Saturday, 10am-4pm
Open on Bank Holidays (except Xmas week), 12noon-4pm
Optional Guided Tours of the Silk Museum 11.45am 1pm and 2.15pm (May & June)

Prices

Silk Museum entry is by donation, a ‘Give What You Can’ optional scheme.


Museum Guided Tours

Museum Guided Tours

During the months of May and June we are offering Guided Tours of the Silk Museum.

Telling the fascinating history of silk in Macclesfield, our industrial heritage and the different processes involved in making a piece of silk fabric.

Learn about the invention of the Jacquard mechanism and it’s importance in today’s technology.

Suitable for all ages.

Guided Tours:

11.45am, 1pm and 2.15pm Monday – Saturday.

Tour price £5 per person, children under 16 are free.

Marianne Brocklehurst’s Egyptian collection

Marianne Brocklehurst’s Egyptian collection

Rediscover our unique Marianne Brocklehurst Egyptian collection in our new exhibition. With more objects on display than ever before –  including Tutankhamun’s ring, our well preserved Shebmut Mummy case, a collection of over forty Shabti and other fascinating artifacts.

Our museum tells the unique story of Marianne Brocklehurst, the daughter of a wealthy silk merchant. She was an intrepid Victorian female explorer from Macclesfield, who along with Mary Booth travelled and collected artifacts of predominantly female Pharoahs and Gods. She gifted her finds along with West Park Museum to Macclesfield.

The exhibition is a must for visitors both young and old – exploring the  everyday life, customs and beliefs of an ancient Egyptian civilisation.

 

Macclesfield at War

Macclesfield at War

An important group of War Memorials, formerly housed in Christ Church, now have 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.

Charles Tunnicliffe: A Cheshire Countryman

Charles Tunnicliffe: A Cheshire Countryman

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

Charles Frederick Tunnicliffe (1901-1979) was Britain’s foremost 20th century wildlife artist, renowned for his decorative watercolours of birds.  He is less well-known as a printmaker, but it is often in these pictures that the influence of his early life in Cheshire is revealed.

Born in Langley, Macclesfield, he lived and worked on the family farm at Sutton Lane Ends until he was 19 years old.  He studied at the Macclesfield School of Art (the building which now houses The Silk Museum) before receiving a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London.

The exhibition explores both his well-observed images of rural Macclesfield in the early 20th century and his later commercial successes.  He readily found work illustrating books and in advertising, most famously for Henry Williamson’s 1932 edition of Tarka the Otter.

This exhibition highlights a number of unseen and early works, including watercolours of Macclesfield and a self-portrait print.  His wife Winifred, whom he met whilst studying at the Royal College of Art, was also an artist and amongst the exhibits there is an example of one of her carved bookcases and a ceramic polar bear.

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.