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

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

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

Half day session for KS1 and 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.

Half day session for KS2.

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

1 hour session for KS1, KS2 and KS3.

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.

1 hour session for KS1 and KS2.

Cost from 1 April 2024

  • Half day (10am – 12noon) £3 Lancashire County Council (LCC) pupil; £4 Academy / Non-LCC pupil
  • Full day (10am – approx. 2.30pm) £6 LCC pupil; £8 Academy / Non LCC pupil
  • Plus additional cost for technical staff for 'Cotton Story'
  • Accompanying adults free


  • Lunch facilities 
  • Coach drop off 
  • Coach parking
  • Fully physically accessible 
  • Toilets 
  • Gift shop


Helmshore Mills Textile Museum, Holcombe Road, Helmshore, Rossendale, BB4 4NP

For further information and the site’s accessibility statement visit Helmshore Mills Textile Museum website.

To book

For enquiries please complete the Enquire about a museum visit or an outreach session.

Contact the Heritage Learning Team on 01772 530382 or email heritagelearning@lancashire.gov.uk to discuss your requirements and make a provisional booking for the proposed date of your visit.

Your booking will be confirmed upon receipt of a completed booking form.