• Fully physically accessible
  • Coach Parking
  • Coach drop off
  • Lunch facilities
  • Toilets
  • Gift Shop

Helmshore Mills Textile Museum

Pupils will be immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of mill life as they witness original machinery at work.

Discover how raw wool and cotton were transformed into yarn ready to be woven into cloth, and learn how the ideas of the famous local inventors revolutionised the world in which we live today.

Learning Sessions

CORE SESSION - The Wool Story

(Half day) KS1/2

Before cotton came to Britain, people spun and wove wool at home. This session will teach pupils about the cottage industry and allow them to try carding and spinning wool by hand. Visit Higher Mill, built in 1789 and discover how woollen cloth was made and finished. Watch the waterwheel turn and power sets of fulling stocks and visit the lodge to see how the mill was supplied with water.

CORE SESSION - The Cotton Story

(Half day) KS1/2

What was it like to work in a mill? Discover a range of jobs and examine working conditions as you learn how cotton is turned into yearn in a cotton condenser spinning mill.  Your journey will begin in the intriguingly named ‘Devil Hole’ and end with a machinery demonstration on the spinning floor.

Note: this session incurs additional costs to cover technical staff. Please enquire using the contact details on this page. 


(Half day) KS2

Take a guided walk beyond the mill gates to explore how the Industrial Revolution and the arrival of the mills changed the landscape. Then build an interactive 2D map to examine the impact of the Turner family on the local area. Pupils will also investigate the events of the power-loom riots of 1826 and the sad, sad tale of Mary Hindle.


We advise that teachers and pupils take part in at least one core session.

Additional Activities

Felt Making

(1hr) KS1/2/3 

A practical and creative session for pupils. Using merino wool tops they will create a colourful piece of felt to take back to school.  Please note there is an extra charge of 75p per pupil for this session.

Object Handling

(1hr) KS1/2/3 

An opportunity for your pupils to handle real objects from Victorian domestic and working life.


(1hr) KS1/2  

Take a journey through the Industrial Revolution, from the domestic woollen industry to the time when cotton was king. Follow the inventions that made it happen, and the lives of the people it affected.

Extra Information

  • Free site visits to teachers planning a visit
  • STEM session coming soon