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Why was the site for Quarry Bank Mill chosen by Samuel Greg?

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Introduction

Q1. Why was the site for Quarry Bank Mill chosen by Samuel Greg? In the early 1700's, before cotton spinning factories were built cotton and spinning was done in the homes by hand. This system was known as the domestic system (or cottage industry). In the 1750's began the industrial revolution. This was when goods such as raw materials and cotton were no longer produced at home by hand but were mechanised machines were invented that massively speeded up production. These machines were very big and factories were built where cottages and houses were in close contact. At the same time that the industrial revolution was taking place, there was an agricultural revolution. New machines and new farming methods like land enclosure and the production of different crops meant that less farm workers were needed. These workers moved to the houses and attics to look for work in the new factories that were springing up. Anyone who had sufficient capital knew that cotton spinning factory was worth investing on because it made large amounts of profit. Richard Arkwright was one of the first businessmen to realise that large sums of profit could be obtained from developing a mechanised factory system and built one of the first purpose built factory at Cromford in Derbyshire. ...read more.

Middle

The horse was not reliable because it got tired and the wind was very unpredictable, however the water was very reliable mainly because it gave a constant flow of energy and this was indeed a massive benefit for the cotton spinning factory. In the 1800s water power remained the key factor in choosing a mill site. Mills were built at the turn of the century were concentrated around the district of Manchester where there was plenty of fast-flowing rivers. Styal was situated at the edge of a fast flowing river known as "The River Bollin." As you can see from the source booklet provided, source 10 clearly shows that at the edge of Styal there is a river running in to the Bridgewater Canal which was built in 1773 which links up to several other rivers. Water was also the cheapest form of transport and this meant that raw materials that were imported from the main ports (i.e. Manchester and Liverpool) could be transported to Styal in a boat. Also the only means of reliable power was wind and water. Arkwright's water frame was the only commercial machine. ...read more.

Conclusion

By the end of the eighteenth century nearly fifty percent of all cloth manufacture was being exported to Africa and the west Indies, so Liverpool was very useful to Greg and Styal was in close proximity about thirty miles away. The mill would need workers and cheap labour derived from the availability of children. Greg was aware that pauper children could be employed at the mill. He obtained a good many Newcastle people and from an area within the pottery industry where adults' mortality was high so this meant there was a lot of pauper children. As a successful businessman concerned with maximising his profits, economic factors was rated most highly with Greg. I think that he increased the demand of cotton as he had all the services needed to run his own factory which was very successful and made millions of turnover every year and increased revenue by selling cotton to the whole world. However, I think the need for a suitable water source to power the factory that made the belts run was Greg's most important priority and consideration and the existence of the River Bollin at Styal was probably the main deciding factor because without it he had no means of running his machines which created the cloth and therefore made vast amounts of profits. Q1 YASIN PATEL 10G2 ...read more.

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