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

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Why was the site for Quarry Bank Mill chosen by Samuel Greg? Samuel Greg, originally from Ireland, lived with his two wealthy uncles in King Street, Manchester. He inherited �30,000 on their deaths in 1784. Greg being a budding entrepreneur; chose to invest his money into the building and founding of a cotton spinning mill rather than living off his new found wealth. There were many factors involved whilst choosing a site and this would determine the success of his business venture. Greg was always going to locate his mill in The North West of England. At the time the North West was the centre of the cotton industry and the industrial centre of the world. Therefore there was expertise to be found there. The climate of warm, damp conditions enabled cotton to be produced efficiently. The North West region was home to the biggest cotton importing port in the world, Liverpool, vital for the transport of raw materials and the large town of Manchester for distribution. ...read more.


An extensive turnpike system therefore was essential when Greg chose his site. This system easily connected Styal with Broadheath. At Broadheath, seven miles away, was the nearest junction to the Bridgewater Canal. The Bridgewater was the first canal in the modern world and provided an all water route from Liverpool to Manchester. This route meant raw cotton could be imported from the southern states of America, shipped to Liverpool, down the Bridgewater and delivered directly to Styal. The processed cotton could then be taken to Manchester for distribution. The advantage of this is that it was simple, easy and cheap to transport materials and products in an effective and efficient way, through an extensive transport network. At Styal itself there wasn't a workforce. We can therefore infer that the workforce wasn't high on Greg's priorities. But there was an experienced workforce two miles away at Wilmslow, which Greg needed, used, and took full advantage of. Two miles away was not a problem for transporting a workforce and Wilmslow was a sufficient source of labour for a factory at Styal: Greg had to rely on Wilmslow. ...read more.


He could enhance the water power to power the machines his factory operated. Secondly, Styal had easy access to the Bridgewater Canal at Broadheath. The Bridgewater Canal was the first canal of the modern world and linked the two industrial towns of the north, Liverpool and Manchester. Due to this Greg had access to a transport system which he could use to import his goods from Liverpool and to distribute at Manchester. Greg needed this proximity to these key towns and port. Fourthly, at Styal Greg had access to a large experienced workforce which was close-by at Wilmslow. He needed this workforce to work in his factory and make the products which would go on to make him his fortune. Styal also had the cheap land and water rights and the bonus of a local quarry. Without the power source, north-west location and transport links, Greg would never have chosen to site his mill at Styal. At Styal, Samuel Greg had the power to regulate living and working conditions, the health of his workers, set wages and effectively compete with the Manchester Mills. ...read more.

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