A rare chance to re-live the days when steam ran the world! Whether you´re interested in local or social history, textiles and textile machinery or just looking for an afternoon out with a difference, the sights, sounds and smells of Queen Street help to bring history alive.
There´s something to delight and intrigue visitors of all ages, including the world’s only surviving 19th century steam powered weaving mill.
See our live demonstrations every day, including Peace, the 500 horse power tandem compound steam engine built to power the looms. At its peak, the engine would have provided enough energy to drive 1138 looms in the weaving shed, as well as other machinery around the mill. In turn it is powered by the Lancashire Boilers.
Our two Lancashire boilers are 30 feet long, 8 feet wide and hold 5000 gallons of water each. When Queen Street Mill was opened in 1895, the co-operative could only afford to put one boiler in. The second was added in 1901.
Today we use only one boiler and roughly 10 tonnes of coal per month. When the mill was operating commercially, around 6 tonnes of coal would have been used every day. That´s more than the weight of a fully grown African elephant!
There are currently 308 Lancashire looms housed here, although at the height of production there were 1138 looms running (including some which were kept at the neighbouring Primrose Mill).
We still weave cloth which we use to make a range of products called Simply Textiles.