The Styal Estate and Mill was given to the National Trust by Alec Greg (1901–1990) in 1939 before it ceased to be a working mill in 1959. It was the Trust’s first experience in industrial archaeology. By 1860 Quarry Bank Mill had become the headquarters of one of the largest cotton manufacturing businesses in Britain, numbering, by then, no less than five mills. Not only did much of the old machinery at Quarry Bank survive a century later, as did the model village that the Greg family had created for its workers, but so did an exceptional business and social archive that went with these. Its founder was Samuel Greg (1758–1834), the third son of Thomas Greg (1718–1796), a Belfast merchant. He is believed to be the boy in the blue, fourth from the right in the exceptionally interesting portrait, attributed to Strickland Lowry, who worked in Ireland from around 1762 to around 1780. It is a very large family group portrait of Thomas Greg, his wife Elizabeth Hyde (1721–1780) and 12 of their 13 children and is on loan from the donor’s great nephew.
National Trust, Quarry Bank Mill and the Styal Estate
Styal, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 4LA England
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