Key Stage 4 History Trip to Quarry Bank Mill

December 8th, 2011

As part of the course work module for History the Key Stage 4 group  went on a study visit to Quarry Bank Mill in Styal,Manchester. It was a very packed programme for our group with plenty of useful resources to use to support our study project. After meeting our wonderful guide Bernard, we went to the Apprentice house to find out how the young people lived and worked. Children as young as 9 worked a 14 hour day in the mill and then had to come back to the apprentice house to work in the house or garden before they attended night school. No wonder they slept well on their straw beds.

In the school room we all tried out sand tray and quill writing before going on a full tour of the house. We decided we wouldn’t have wanted to have to visit the doctor as an apprentice as the leeches they used for some treatments didn’t look too appealing.

Then it was off to the mill to discover what the working conditions were like. We visited the many different areas in the mill, the mill wheel and steam engine room, the pay masters house where we dressed up as characters from the 18th Century. Jamie looked the part as manager of the mill in his top hat.

The group were able to see and hear one of the carding machines working. The noise was over powering and that was just from one machine, we could not imagine what it would be like with all the machines working.  We learned a lot about the cotton trade from our visit and the group agreed that our lives are much easier than the lives of the apprentices who lived and worked at Quarry Bank during the Industrial Revolution.