Hat Works Museum

Felt hats of many different styles were worn by most Europeans in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In Britain, Stockport near Manchester was the main centre where felt hat making was industrialised. The Hat Works at Stockport is the only collection in the United Kingdom devoted to hat making. It opened in 2000, three years after the last local factory closed. It is in Wellington Mill, which was a seven-storey cotton mill built in 1828 with fire-proof technology of solid floors on brick arches and iron columns and roof trusses. Part of the building was a hat factory from the 1890s to the 1930s. The museum is on two floors. It shows 20 working machines and has a collection of over 400 hats from around the world. The displays begin with fur-felt hat-making, which began to concentrate here from the seventeenth century. It then shows aspects of mechanisation and a workshop for making wooden hat-blocks from William Plant and Company of Manchester. The museum also has a Tangye steam engine.

Hat Works Museum
Wellington Road South
SK3 0EU Stockport
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 161 - 4742399