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The Silk Museum Maccesfield

Type:Museum

The Old Sunday School
Roe Street
Macclesfield
Cheshire
SK11 6UT
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Tel01625 612045

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The Silk Museum Maccesfield

About

The Rise and Fall of Silk in Macclesfield

Delve into the history of silk in Macclesfield with our latest exhibition, ‘The Rise and Fall of Silk in Macclesfield’ where Macclesfield’s silk story is 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

Macclesfield Museums 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.

 

Book Tickets

Facilities

Accessibility

  • Disabled access
  • Disabled toilets

Catering

  • On-site light refreshments

Children

  • Children welcome

Groups

  • 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
Pre-booking no longer required – visitors can walk straight in. We are monitoring visitor numbers, doing regular cleaning and there are hand sanitizers throughout the museum. We respectfully ask visitors to wear masks, but realise it is personal choice.
Entry is Give What you can donation.

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 Jacquard 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.


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Map & Directions

Road Directions

Follow brown signs, the nearest primary road is A523.Accessible by Public Transport: Macclesfield station is 1 mile away.

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