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.”

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.

 

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Park Lane, Macclesfield SK11 6TJ

Contact

01625 612045
[email protected]

Visiting times

Paradise Mill Guided Tours are 11.00am. 12.15pm and 2.00pm Monday-Saturday.
Purchase tickets from the Silk Museum or call to pre-book
Tours start at the adjacent Silk Museum
Open on Bank Holidays (except Xmas week)

Prices

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

Visit info


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 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.

The access to the lift at Paradise Mill is currently prohibitive for wheelchair users or those with mobility issues while the building works continue. Please telephone the museum and ask for daily updates.

Due to the age of the Mill, please be aware of uneven floorboards. An accessible toilet is available at The Silk Museum.

Public Tours

Public Tours

From Monday 7th October, the Paradise Mill Guided Tours are at 11.00am, 12.15pm & 2.00pm Monday to Saturday.

Explore the adjacent Silk Museum and to purchase your ticket. The Silk Museum is open 10 – 4pm, Monday – Saturday.

Please purchase your tickets from the Silk Museum shop. Your Guided Paradise Mill tour starts from here.

Please call our Booking team on 01625 612045 for further information and to book your tour.

Dates and times public tours are fully booked:

Tuesday 19th November: 11am and 12.15pm

Monday 25th November: 11am

Tuesday 24th December: 2pm

Wednesday 25th December: CLOSED

Thursday 26th December: CLOSED

Tuesday 31st December: 2pm

January 1st: CLOSED

 

Wartime Christmas at Paradise Mill Mon 4th November - Sat 4th January

Wartime Christmas at Paradise Mill Mon 4th November - Sat 4th January

Come and experience life in wartime Macclesfield and find out about the crucial role that our silk industry played in the Second World War.

Paradise Mill will be decorated to evoke the Christmas atmosphere the silk workers created in such challenging times.

Your guided tour of the mill will be complimented with a display of festive inspired artefacts from our archive.

After your tour, visit the Silk Museum to see more of our collection including escape & evade silk maps, wartime artefacts and war memorials.

Treat yourself to a cuppa and mince pie and enjoy some Christmas shopping from local artisans in our Silk Shop and Makers’ Place.

DATE & TIME

Tours will be running three times a day:

11am, 12.15pm and 2pm Mon-Sat

Mon 4th Nov until Sat 4th Jan*.

LOCATION

Paradise Mill and Silk Museum, Park Lane Macclesfield SK11 6TJ

PRICE & BOOKING

Adults £9.50, Concessions £8.50, Children free.

Email [email protected] or call 01625 612045 to check tour availability and pre-book.

*Subject to availability

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.

TRANSPORT

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.