Explain why Quarry Bank Mill was built on this site.

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Q2. Explain why Quarry Bank Mill was built on this site. Samuel Greg is the son of a Belfast merchant and ship owner. Greg had been a partner in a firm with his uncle dealing in fustian, a cloth produced using both linen and cotton. When Robert Hyde, his uncle, died in 1782 he had left nearly £30,000 to Samuel Greg. Since Greg had a background in textile manufacturing he would know what was involved in the job and what the trade was like. Although he was in an exceptional financial position he would still have to find the cheapest way possible of running a mill. When deciding where the mill was to be built, he would have to consider the cost, together with other factors, such as where a power source suitable, would always be available to him. The most minor factors of where to build the mill, which were probably just preferred, was the climate and local connections. The climate would help if it was wet, to help keep the mill damp and Greg might want to stay local to his family and stay in Manchester.


Greg would have needed somewhere to store their cotton, maybe in a warehouse. He had built apprentice houses for pauper apprentices to live, who were mainly orphans and poor people. Apprentices are only there to work, eat and live, not to be taught by a master. Their skills would progress with time anyway. The apprentices mainly came from Newcastle and had a large house, which they would share. Greg may have got them from other places as well, for example, the Vicar of Biddulph sent a letter to Samuel Greg offering parish children as apprentices. Greg did not pay these children, as he would provide them with somewhere to live, clothing, education and religious instruction in return for them working. This was part of his work force, another important factor to consider. The wages in Styal were lower than the wages in the city, which lowered the expense for Greg a little further. The wages were lower because the city is the centre of trade and the manufactures had not so long been extensively established in somewhere like Styal where there was not as much of a demand for workers.


There was the cost of the work force, the machines, the land, the materials and transportation of goods. Another important factor that would have made Greg choose to build his mill in Styal, is transportation. The mill can not be too far away from the city as it needs to import and export materials to and from there. The mill was positioned in a good place because Bridgewater canal runs just along there and could be used to transport cotton to and from Broadheath by passage boats which was the cheapest at 3s and 6d per ton shown from Manchester and Salford directory, 1800. On the canal one way was to Liverpool where Greg could get the raw materials from, and the other way was to Manchester where he could sell his cotton in the market. Being situated close to Liverpool was good because it was the largest place, in terms of cotton trade, with 29,500 bags held in each market. I think the mill was built where it was mainly because of the cost being as cheap as possible and the combination of factors that made the site very convenient for the needs of a mill. ?? ?? ?? ?? Tara Bahia 10B 1 1

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