National Trust

Quarry Bank Mill: A glimpse of working life

As part of its wider refurbishment, Quarry Bank Mill invited us to breathe new life into the daily grind of cotton workers at the historic site in Styal, Cheshire.

Alongside Workhaus, Mather & Co, and Fusion, we created a number of illuminating pieces for the mill’s new exhibition. Our immersive audio visual experience shows the mill from the point of view of its workers – the film capturing the sights as they would have been seen, and the sounds creating the atmosphere.

We also created a series of illustrations for large-scale panels throughout the exhibition. As well as detailed silhouettes of people working in the mill, we provided technically accurate representations of all its inner workings – from the engineers, to the worker's cottages and the river as a vital power source for the mill.

For one particular illustrative piece, we used a lightbox to display different parts of the story as though they were pages from a book. We used six backlit illustrative panels and two animated panels backlit by large screens to achieve this look – with the display giving visitors a sense of the location, scale of production at its peak, and then quieter times after the mill went into ruin before being restored by the National Trust.


Sound Design
Exhibition Design

Natalie Wood / Ellie Durkin
Nigel Moore
Lili Blot
Natalie Wood / Andy Wheeldon
Kyle Martyn-Clark
Mather & Co