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Why was Quarry Bank mill built in Styal? At the time when Greg was anxious to find a suitable site for his mill, it is evident that the cotton industry was rapidly growing.

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Introduction

Samuel Greg inherited almost thirty thousand pounds as a result of his uncle's death; this meant that he was in a good financial position to take a risk. If the mill he built was unsuccessful he would still have another business, also inherited from his uncle, and a lot of money to fall back on. He regularly went to the country where he felt he could erect a mill; he also wanted to forge a career in the cotton industry somewhere other than Manchester city centre, presumably owing to the high cost of land there. At the time when Greg was anxious to find a suitable site for his mill, it is evident that the cotton industry was rapidly growing. We know that the astronomical growth of the industry in the second half of the eighteenth century was remarkable. One of the main reasons for this increase in the industry was the dissolution of Arkwright's Spinning patent. This led to many mills being erected and set to work speedily. ...read more.

Middle

The area near to Styal mill is used for farming; however, the mill itself is sited on land unsuitable for farming. It is very steep and would not be appropriate for grazing animals nor growing crops. When I visited the site, it was clear to see that there was a lot of forestry and it was very remote so when Greg's mill was started, it very much would have been in the middle of nowhere so Greg was able to rent it cheaply from the Earl of Stamford. Technological advances in cotton spinning were being developed in and around Manchester. James Hargreaves produced the Spinning Jenny, Samuel Crompton invented the Spinning Mule and Richard Arkwright developed the Water Frame. Being only twelve miles from the technological advancements and the factories of Manchester gave Samuel Greg a competitive edge. He could easily compete with the mills in the town centre as he had a lot of good transportation methods. The side of the Bridgewater canal was home to the warehouse that was used by the Gregs to store their cotton. ...read more.

Conclusion

This would supply him with his apprentices but he still needed adult workers and supervisors. The village of Styal was a farming village so there were people willing to make more money by working in the mill, and since the agricultural industry was depressed it meant many people may be grateful of a job. If cotton fibre is allowed to dry out, the whole process of spinning becomes impossible because the thread weakens and snaps. As Styal is situated in a valley, it meant that the Cheshire climate was ideal to handle raw cotton fibre. I think that the most important factor that Samuel Greg would consider when deciding where to build a new mill would be the power supply. Without a good power supply he would not be able to power his mill. There would be no point in starting a mill anywhere where power was not readily available. The site at Styal is in The Bollin valley and would have a very strong water force to power the mill. I think all of the other factors are of equal importance to each other but need for power supply would definitely be the most important. ...read more.

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