England

Family album returned to historic Quarry Bank Mill

Ally Tsilika with the family album Image copyright Quarry Bank Mill
Image caption Archivist Ally Tsilika said it is a mystery how the book ended up in the United States

A family album which belonged to the owners of a Cheshire cotton mill that was at the centre of the Industrial Revolution has been returned to the UK.

The book - Family Album (Mrs S. Greg's) 1800-1815, Quarry Bank and Ireland - was spotted for sale online by James Cummins Bookseller in New York in 2012.

A member of the Greg family has helped return it to the National Trust-run Quarry Bank Mill museum in Styal.

How it ended up in the United States is not known, said archivist Ally Tsilika.

Image copyright Quarry Bank Mill
Image caption Visitors to Quarry Bank House entered poems, watercolours, sketches and pressed flowers in the book
Image copyright Quarry Bank Mill
Image caption Mary Lyle left a piece of music about the River Bollin

Described as one of the best preserved textile mills of the Industrial Revolution, the Grade II-listed Quarry Bank Mill, which is near Manchester Airport, was at the centre of the North West's cotton production between the 1780s and 1920s.

Ms Tsilika said: "As soon as we opened its gilded pages we knew we had to have it back and we hope one day it will be on display for the visitors to Quarry Bank."

Visitor's book

A researcher spotted the book on sale but was unable to pay the $4,000 (£2,725) asking price.

Ms Tsilika said months later Andrew Greg, a descendent of the family which built and ran Quarry Bank Mill, came across it and managed to buy it for $3,200 (£2,180).

Image copyright David Dixon/Geograph
Image caption Grade II-listed Quarry Bank Mill was at the centre of cotton production between the 1780s and 1920s

"Andrew very kindly offered us first refusal of the album as he felt it belonged in our archive and in its original home at Quarry Bank," she said.

The National Trust describes the album as a kind of visitors' book which was kept by Hannah Greg at Quarry Bank House. Guests were asked to enter either a poem, watercolour, sketch, pressed flowers and even musical scores.

Hannah's niece Mary Lyle left a piece of music about the River Bollin, which runs through nearby Wilmslow.

Related Topics

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites