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The Silk Museum Macclesfield


Silk Museum
Park Lane
SK11 6TJ
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Tel01625 612045

Add The Silk Museum Macclesfield to your Itinerary

Bobbins in Paradise Mill at the Silk Museum


Print : A Passion for Pattern - delve into the history of silk in Macclesfield with our latest exhibition, "Print, A Passion For Pattern". The Silk Museum's unique and vast collection of textiles, pattern books and artefacts associated with creating print for silk is brought together for the first time so visitors can see how textiles were designed and find out all about block printing. 

In the Silk Museum and Paradise Mill, see Macclesfield’s silk story brought to life through textiles, costumes, photographs and more. Discover why silk first came to Macclesfield and how it ultimately shaped the town we know today. Find out about the lives of the children, women and men who worked in the silk mills and discover how central a role the mills played in their lives in both work and leisure. Learn about Jacquard weaving and screen printing through the work of textile designers who trained at Macclesfield School of Art, the building which houses the Silk Museum today.

With over four hundred years of Macclesfield’s silk history to explore, there is something for everyone.

Marianne Brocklehurst’s Egyptian collection - come and find out about the lives of these fascinating people through the artefacts and inscriptions they left behind as you explore the oldest objects in our museums. Learn about the connection between silk and Egypt through the lives of Marianne Brocklehurst and Mary Booth, the two Victorian explorers who gave their collection of Ancient Egyptian artefacts to Macclesfield. 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.

Macclesfield At War - find out about the crucial role that Macclesfield’s silk industry played in the Second World War, maintaining the vital supply of parachute silk. See our collection of silk ‘escape and evade’ maps used by the RAF. Maps were printed on silk during the war because of the durability and ease of concealing in soldiers’ clothing. At the end of the war when fabric was still rationed, soldiers returned home with maps and they were used to make clothing. Silk map dresses used 12 maps and are considered very rare. Macclesfield Museum is proud to display our silk dress along with maps, war memorials, parachutes and other artefacts.

Textile Machinery - we hold a variety of machines. At Paradise Mill, 26 iconic Jacquard Hand Weaving Looms are uniquely housed in their original positions, while the Silk Museum houses the more modern mechanised Smith Loom, Rapier Loom and Ribbon Loom, which made tags for Dr Martens boots. The collection also includes various other machines connected with weaving such as a card duplicator, used to make copies of Jacquard cards, and a silk throwing machine. You can see some of the machines demonstrated during tours of Paradise Mill or on Thursdays when our Machine Volunteers are conducting conservation work at the Silk Museum.


Guide Prices

Tickets for each tour to Paradise Mill can be prebooked through the website and we welcome walk-ins. Tickets are £11.00 adult (£9.50 concession), under 16s are free.



  • Disabled access
  • Disabled toilets


  • On-site light refreshments


  • Children welcome


  • Facilities for educational visits
  • Guided tours for groups

Property Facilities

  • Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)
  • Gift shop
  • Guided tours for individuals
  • Onsite Catering

Site Features

  • Regional Tourist Board Member

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted

Opening Times

* The Silk Museum is open Wednesday – Saturday 10-4pm Park Lane, Macclesfield SK11 6TJ. We are also open on Treacle Market Sundays (last calendar Sunday each month) for Lookaround Tours.

Tours of Paradise Mill are offered at 11.30am and 1.00pm with an additional tour at 2.15pm each Saturday.

Entry to the Silk Museum is free however we welcome donations and suggest £3.00 per person. Paradise Mill tours are £11.00 per person (concessions £9.50) and under 16s are free. Group rates are available and we welcome school and educational groups.

The Silk Museum Shop is open Wednesday – Saturday 10-4pm – walk straight in, no need to visit the museum if you don’t want to.

The Tea Room is open Wednesday – Saturday 10-4pm – walk straight into our family friendly Tea Room serving home-made cake and biscuits. Choose from a variety of teas and top quality filter coffee served in vintage china. Treat yourself after a tour of Paradise Mill or exploring the museum collection.

Access: The Silk Museum is all on the ground floor and is suitable for baby buggy/ pram, wheelchair, mobility scooter, crutches and zimmer frame users.

Paradise Mill is open Wednesday – Saturday with guided tour time slots : 11.30am and 1.00pm (also 2.30pm on Saturdays). Tours are one hour long.
Entry is £9.50 per adult by guided tour, Concessions £8.50. Children under 16 years are free.


Map & Directions

Road Directions

Follow brown signs, the nearest primary road is A523, and is situated in Cheshire's Peak District. The nearest motorways are the M56 and M6, both a half hour drive away from the Museum.

Public Transport Directions

Just a short walk from the Bus Station and Macclesfield's mainline Train Station - trains travelling from Manchester and London stop here

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