Spinners Mill

Education Programme

Welcome to Spinners Mill

Our education programme 

Leigh Spinners Mill is a grade II* listed building under careful restoration by Leigh Building Preservation Trust and its volunteers. Find out when the mill was built and about the original owners, The  Horrocks family. As you explore the mill you will investigate the social history of the Leigh area. A visit to the mill will highlight the entrepreneurial and manufacturing skills of the inhabitants and the impact they were to have on modern society. We offer learning opportunities that cover a broad range of the national curriculum subjects including history, technology, science, engineering, maths  and art and design. 

Why not come dressed up for the visit to add to the atmosphere? 
We can provide costumes if needed, to wear over your clothes.


Eductaion Aims

All our activities promote equality and can be tailored to each age group and ability.

Learning at the Mill will give the students opportunities to be engaged in active learning i.e. hands on activities and learning from experience. Due regard will be paid to students’ different learning  styles (Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic) so that they are immersed in a meaningful and purposeful experience. 

Students will discover that Leigh was once a thriving community and that the building is unique in its design. The role of precision engineering in the development of the Mill Engine will be celebrated.  

The students will be offered opportunities to engage in STEM activities, which will develop their creative and problem-solving skills. 

The Mill building is a learning resource. Pupils will have the opportunity to handle primary historical resources and learn from the building itself. 

The essential skills of communication, teamwork, resilience and creativity will enhance all learning experiences at the Mill. 

Our volunteers

Volunteers, in costume, will guide students through life in the mill in the early 20th Centuury

National Curriclum

Our links to the National Curriculum include:

Understanding the world

Students will learn about past and present, use senses,  ask why things happen and how things work, build and construct and adapt work. • KS1 -Students should be taught about significant historical events, people and places in their  own locality. 
• Students should be taught about the lives of significant individuals in the past who have  contributed to national and international achievements. 

Pupils should be  taught about a local history study

A study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066 that is significant in the locality. 
• Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history. 
• They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources. 

Pupils should about challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day.

Pupils should complete a study over time, testing how far sites in their locality reflect  aspects of national history (some sites may predate 1066) 
• Also a study of an aspect or site in local history dating from a period before 1066


GCSE specifications in history should build on the national curriculum programmes of  study for history at key stage 3. 

Feedback from a visiting student.

Learning Opportunities

How the mill started

The students will visit the heart of the mill, the engine room, to learn how the engine powered the whole mill, they will meet a volunteer dressed as Mr. Horrocks to explain when the mill was built and how life was then, over 100 years ago.


Activity 1
The Story of Cotton

What is cotton and where does it come from? Find out about the journey of cotton and how it arrived and left the mill. Who worked here and what was it like? Find out why clogs were worn in mill times

Activity 2
Time Detectives - The Millworker's Parlour

Explore a replica Millworker’s parlour from the 1940’s. There are lots of objects used then that have changed over time to what we have today. Can you be time detectives and find the old -fashioned versions of things we use now?

Activity 3
The Doffing Game and Name Game

Find out what ‘Doffing’ means and the part it played in the spinning process.
Could you be as fast as a real mill worker?
Take the challenge and find out!

In the Name Game, students must use the artefacts and pictures around the heritage area to find the names on the list and what each person did.


Activity 4
Victorian Classroom Experience and Old Toys

Although Leigh Spinners Mill is an Edwardian mill, we do have a Victorian experience in the school room. Find out about school and work life for children in Victorian times and practise writing on slates. Make sure you listen or you could get in trouble with the teacher! 


Activity 5
Mill linked art with a local artist or crafter

Activities vary but may include Weaving, Sketching in the engine room, rug making or linking with how the raw cotton arrived at the mill, explore an age old tradition of decorated ‘Canalware or Bargeware’ through a practical

hands on task of painting a plant pot, tile or wooden spoon.

Activity 6
Spinning Wheel demonstration and talk

Find out how cotton is spun on a traditional spinning wheel with a talk from a local craftsperson. Try your hand at it!

Activity 7
STEM Edwardian Rollercoaster Marble Run

Millworkers might visit the seaside for a day out. Blackpool was a popular place to visit. Could you recreate an Edwardian Rollercoaster marble run using modern materials and no electricity? For our older students- can you create a team and business plan?

Consider the STEM involvement. Teams can compete

against each other. Who can create the most interesting

twists and turns? Which rollercoaster would you visit?

Activity 8
The Suffragettes and Leigh Connection

Examine the history of the Suffragette movement.
Why did it begin and who was involved? Explore
the Leigh connection.

Make banners and sashes and participate in a live
demonstration! Create sketches and collages of
well known suffragettes

Spinners Mill Educational Facilities

We welcome your communication and look forward in supporting our local
educational service providers.


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