Exhibitions and shows taking place in and around Macclesfield.

If you have an event you want publicised here then please email us via the contact form


  • Sat
    Macclesfield Silk Museum, Old Park Lane, Macclesfield

    Launch of New Display of Macclesfield’s Ancient Egyptian Treasures at The Silk Museum

    16 February 2019 - 2020

    A ring belonging to Tutankhamun, a statuette of Queen Tiye - one of the most important queens in Egyptian history, and the mummy case of a significant female temple worker called Shebmut, are just some of the stars in a new display that sheds new light on Macclesfield’s own Marianne Brocklehurst and her remarkable collections.

    This new display at The Silk Museum will be officially opened by Cllr Lesley Smetham, The Worshipful the Mayor of Cheshire East, at 11.30am on 16th February 2019 and runs until 2020.

    The new display explores the connection between Macclesfield’s silk industry and Marianne Brocklehurst’s Egyptian collections.   John Varney, Chair of The Silk Heritage Trust, said, ‘We are thrilled that the new research carried out by the museum’s curatorial team, has shown that many objects are even more significant than we thought; and this new display puts many more objects on show so that local people can enjoy more of this important heritage for the town’.

    Marianne was the daughter of silk manufacturer John Brocklehurst, Macclesfield’s first MP.  Her family’s wealth and social standing provided the resources for Marianne to travel extensively in Europe and the Middle East.  In 1873-74 Marianne, along with her companion Mary Booth, her nephew Alfred and servant George, made an epic voyage up the Nile.  Throughout this trip Marianne kept a personal diary illustrated with lively watercolours that captures life on the Nile through the eyes of this remarkable Victorian woman.

    Marianne Brocklehurst and Mary Booth were life-time companions and were generally referred to as The MBs.  They were unconventional women for their time – as a couple they seem to have been uncompromising and determined in their life and work. They collected various objects on their travels around Egypt, but they seem to have had a particular interest in items with a connection to Ancient Egyptian women.   On their first trip, they collected the mummy case of a female temple worker, a scarab commemorating the marriage of a non-royal woman to the king, and the scarab of a king’s daughter. Perhaps it was intentional that the MBs, two unusually independent Victorian women, collected so many objects that bear the names, titles and likenesses of unusually independent Ancient Egyptian women.

    A Family Open Day takes place at The Silk Museum on 16th February 2019

    11am Welcome & Speeches John Varney, Chair, Silk Heritage Trust and Cllr Lesley Smetham, The Worshipful the Mayor of Cheshire East 11.30am onwards: Come and see the unique diary and notebooks that Marianne Brocklehurst made of her incredible adventures

    Learn more about the Tutankhamun Ring and other amazing treasures in the collections

    Mummification and Mask-making: Free Family Activities in the School Room

    New Makers’ Place Meet the brilliant craftspeople making unique handmade gifts + demonstrations and craft activities All day: New Silk Shop Exquisite silk products – perfect for gifts for all occasions PLUS Egyptian inspired jewellery and souvenirs Coffee and Cake, The Jacquard Café generously supplied by the Friends of Macclesfield Silk Heritage with thanks to Bollington Co-op The Silk Museum admission is now Give What You Can. All donations welcome to support our work.

    Grateful thanks to Cheshire East Council for very generously supporting the new displays and the Friends of Macclesfield Silk Heritage

    To find out more about Macclesfield Museums visit


    To find out more about Marianne Brocklehurst visit


  • Sat
    11 am to 5 pmLittle Moreton Hall, nr Congleton

    Pottage, cucumber pickled in verjuice, salted fish and marchpane flowers will all feature on the ‘menu’ for the 2019 season at Little Moreton Hall.

    Tudor ‘gentlewomen’ at the stunning timber-framed mansion near Congleton will describe what was on the table when the Moreton family, their friends and servants sat down to eat in the sixteenth century.

    At various times during the year, you will be able to sample items such as those Tudor pickles, gingerbread and beerbread; all made according to recipes which have survived. You can have a go at making butter and discover how cheese and other foods were prepared. These products were the staples of a diet which the Tudors believed kept them healthy in body and mind.

    Anna Massey, from the Hall, said, ‘Food is fascinating. People are always asking us how different it was in Tudor times.’

    You will be able to investigate the basics: Pottage was a cheap stew made with grain and vegetables and eaten by servants and farm workers. Wealthier people added some meat, but that was turning it into a luxury dish.

    You can follow the trends: Verjuice, which adds some really sharp acidity to meat and vegetables, is becoming fashionable again today. Now, it is made from pressed grapes, but the Tudors were more likely to use pressed crab apples.

    Little Moreton Hall ⓒ Alan Ingram National Trust

    Beer was different too,because it was made without hops. Beer was very important. It was the everyday drink for everyone – including the children- because water was not always clean enough to be safe. Again, beer was definitely on the prescription for a healthy life.

    Brewing was a job for the women of the house, alongside butter and cheese-making. Anna said, ‘If you have never tried using a wooden or earthenware churn and a wooden plunger to make butter, you will find it a bit of a challenge. Queen Elizabeth was not the only tough lady in Tudor times!’

    She added, ‘Discovering about foods appeals to people of all ages. We’re sure our young visitors will have just as much fun as their parents and grandparents investigating it and, because food  is closely linked to health, we will also look at other Tudor ideas on healthy living, including the herbs and flowers they used in ‘remedies’ for all types of ailments.

    ‘You may also like to join one of our very popular free guided tours to learn about the history of this wonderful old house and the family who built it, or just explore this magnificent and extremely wonky building for yourself.’

    The 2019 season at Little Moreton Hall begins a few weeks later than in previous years.  During the winter the National Trust has completely re-wired the Hall, at a cost of more than £200,000.

    The work involved laying 9000 metres of cable and included installation of a state-of-the-art fire alarm and security system. The project will help to secure the future of this very special 500 years old building.

    Little Moreton Hall opens for the 2019 season on Saturday 30 March and is then open Wed-Sun, 11am – 5pm.

    For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/littlemoretonhallor call 01260 272018.

  • Sat
    Dunham Massey, Woodhouse Ln, Altrincham WA14 4SJ

    What small changes are local people doing to make a big difference to nature? A new photography exhibition at one of Greater Manchester’s largest green spaces, Dunham Massey, lets you get up close and personal with those who are doing their bit for nature every day.

    From Saturday 29 June – Sunday 3 November the walls inside the hall at the National Trust attraction will display the faces of people who are doing their bit to look after nature every day. The photographs in Local Lives: Small Change, Big Difference have been captured by Manchester based photographer Jan Chlebik. Inspiring stories include those of Justine Lord, Richard Pennington and Jean Caldwell amongst eighteen others, with visitors encouraged to join the conversation about what small changes they would make to look after something they care about.

    Justine Lord, by ⓒ Jan Chlebik

    Justine Lord has been a volunteer ranger at Dunham Massey for several years, and after spending lots of her time outdoor when younger, she takes pride in giving back to nature in her varied role – whether this is through monitoring the wild butterflies and bumblebees, or looking after the deadwood ecology in the deer park.

    Richard Pennington by ⓒ Jan Chlebik

    Richard Pennington, Farmer, has been influential in the redevelopment of Yew Tree Farm on the wider Dunham Massey estate. New hedgerows, trees and ghost ponds have been returned to the farm leading to an improved natural habitat and increased numbers of rare birds and mammals, including hares.

    Jean Caldwell by ⓒ Jan Chlebik

    Jean Caldwell is a resident of Sale and does her bit for nature by planting and maintaining flowers in an alleyway near her house. The daffodils, snowdrops, bluebells, ferns and even nettles create a home for insects and wildlife amongst urban life. As a community space, the alleyway evolves year on year as people come together to add their own plants into the mix. Jean says, ‘I hope the impact of creating a pleasant alleyway from a virtually impassable space has brought colour and a smile or two to the lives of those who walk through on a daily basis. The topiary Teddy Bear is certainly a hit with the children, even if some of them insist it’s Peppa Pig!’

    Fresh air is recognised as having medical benefits today, and medical professionals recognise the positive effects this can have on mental health and wellbeing. A 2016 study by Natural England showed that 1 in 9 children had not set foot in a natural environment over the past year. Jessica Webb, Visitor Experience Manager at Dunham Massey says, ‘During the First World War, when Dunham became the Stamford Military Hospital, Sister Bennett was an advocate of ‘the fresh air cure’ and soldiers often recuperated outdoors in the garden or on the moat. Today Dunham is one of Greater Manchester’s primary green spaces and provides an escape from city life to thousands of people a year. What better place to host an exhibition showing everyday people who are doing their small bit for nature. We hope visitors will be inspired to think about what they can do to make a big difference to nature both today and for future generations.

    The exhibition opens at a topical time, with looking after our environment being high on the agenda globally as well as locally. In 2019 Trafford Council is playing a leading role in the Great British Spring Clean, the UK’s biggest mass-action environmental campaign. Organised by Keep Britain Tidy, the campaign gives an opportunity for thousands of local residents to do a small part to make a positive difference, including removing tonnes of litter and rescuing thousands of plastic bottles and aluminium drinks cans for recycling. Sir David Attenborough, who featured in Dunham Massey’s Faces of Change portrait exhibition earlier in the year, has also been credited with raising awareness of the environmental impact of single use plastics and having a positive impact on changing people’s behaviour.

    Local Lives: Small Change, Big Difference can be seen in the house at Dunham Massey from Saturday 29 June – Sunday 3 November. (House open Saturday – Wednesday. Normal admission applies. See nationaltrust.org.uk/Dunham-Massey for full details).

    For more information on Local Lives: Small Change, Big Difference at Dunham Massey visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunham-massey/features/local-lives-small-change-big-difference-at-dunham-massey

  • Sat
    Little Moreton Hall, Newcastle Rd, Congleton CW12 4SD

    Contemporary art installation inspired by indoor Tudor tennis secrets

    A new contemporary art installation, by artist Hilary Jack, is set to launch on the weekend of the country’s most celebrated event for tennis lovers, Wimbledon. But visitors to Little Moreton Hall in Congleton will notice a lack of grass courts and an unfamiliar setting for the much-loved game.

    The newly commissioned art work titled Gathering takes its inspiration from the discovery of a handful of Tudor tennis balls found during restoration work in the historic Long Gallery at the 16th century property.

    For the installation, Hilary Jack has collected over a thousand used tennis balls, gathered from Wimbledon and other tennis clubs all over the country. Working with film, Hilary has highlighted the topography of the Long Gallery while revealing the historic use of the space. To accompany the audio-visual installation, the Tudor tennis balls will also be on display for the first time in years.

    The Long Gallery was built in the 17th century as a demonstration of wealth by the ambitious Moreton family.  Long galleries were popular in this era as spaces for sociability and exercise as well as reflecting the status of the family.  Since the 1970s, five Tudor tennis balls have been discovered behind the Tudor panelling in the gallery as conservation work and maintenance has been taken place in the room and revealed clues about how it was used. It was these unique finds from a time gone by that have inspired Gathering.

    Hilary says: “I’ve visited Little Moreton Hall many times and have always been interested in how the environment has affected the appearance and architecture of the building over time.  On a recent visit, I overheard one of the guides explaining that the discovery of some Tudor tennis balls behind wood panels had confirmed the suspicion that a form of tennis had been played in the Long Gallery. As an artist I’m interested in the politics of place and I often work with found objects, so this triggered the idea for Gathering.  I hope that when visitors encounter the artwork it will elicit a response and prompt further enquiry into the history of Little Moreton Hall and the people who lived there.”

    Hilary works across media in research-based projects, often working with found objects in sculptural installations and public interventions. Hilary has worked with many heritage galleries, and historic sites on large scale commissions and exhibitions. Her research-based practice has an activist element, focussing on the politics of place while drawing out social and historic elements of a specific site.  Hilary has exhibited across the UK and Internationally. Her work is in a number of private and public collections including recent acquisitions for Manchester Art Gallery and The Government Art Collection. Hilary is currently exhibiting No Borders, at Yorkshire Sculpture Park as part of Open Air 2019.

    Catherine Newbery, Contemporary Arts Programme Manager for the North at the National Trust says: “Hilary Jack is an interesting and established artist who has visited Little Moreton Hall many times, so when we received her proposal for the Long Gallery we were all really excited to find out more.  Little Moreton Hall is a beautiful building and art works and commissions like this help us bring the people who lived here to life and help our audiences make connections to their own lives.  As we are launching the commission around the Wimbledon tennis tournament I’m looking forward to the atmosphere the art work creates.”

    Gathering opens at Little Moreton Hall on 29 June, to coincide with Wimbledon, and ends on 3 November 2019.  For more information visit, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/little-moreton-hall

    Little Moreton Hall is a remarkable survivor from the Tudor era.  It is a timber-framed moated manor house that sits just south of Congleton.  Free guided tours are available for visitors to learn the history of the Hall and its inhabitants, and Tudor gentlewomen bring the Hall to life with demonstrations and activities.

    Gathering takes its inspiration from the discovery of a handful of Tudor tennis balls found at the 16th century property. Image © Steve Llse

  • Sat
    Lyme Hall, Disley, Stockport SK12 2NR, UK

    With the leaves in autumn colour, and the scent of bonfires in the air, October half-term is the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and have a family adventure at Lyme. The National Trust attraction in Disley is planning plenty of ways for families to get active and make the most of autumn nature.

    Visitors will be able to discover the myths and legends of Britain’s native trees and landscapes from Sunday 19 October to Sunday 10 November, with a children’s trail winding through Crow Wood Playscape.

    An autumnal view of the lake and south front of Lyme Park, Cheshire. The house was originally Elizabethan but was transformed in the Italianate style by architect Giacomo Leoni in the early eighteenth century.

    Little (and big) monsters can get creative with pumpkin carving on 24, 25, 28 and 29 October, with everything provided to make your pumpkins as spooky as possible.


    Lyme’s annual Fright Run returns on Friday 25 October for families brave enough to take on the 2km route with ghoulish monsters and wicked witches along the way - fancy dress is a must. Grown-ups looking for an extra spook can also take on the after-dark, adult-only Fright Run, with a challenging 6km trail run through the moorlands and woods.

    For a less spooky side of Lyme, families can join the ranger team for Ranger-in-Training sessions, where children aged 6-12 can take part in outdoor nature activities from identifying birds to creating wild art.

    While rainy days present plenty of fun opportunities for muddy walks and puddle-splashing, there’s also plenty of ways to stay dry on those wet days at Lyme. The historic house is open Friday-Tuesday during October and welcomes families with a trail following the globe-trotting adventures of Thomas Legh, through the treasures and antiques that he brought back to Lyme. Younger children can explore the collection of toys in the Nursery Suite, and booklovers of all ages can enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the library, where modern favourites from Horrible Histories to Harry Potter can be found amongst the collection.

    For families looking for a full day out, there are kids lunchboxes with colouring activities available at the Servants’ Hall Tearoom, and the garden or the millpond make for perfect picnicking spots.

    Pumpkin Carving, Ranger-in-Training and Fright Run are all available to book via https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lyme/whats-on

  • Sat
    Quarry Bank, Styal, nr Wilmslow

    One of Manchester’s greatest mills which stood at the very cusp of the Industrial Revolution is delving deeper into the working conditions of those who lived and worked at Quarry Bank in a new exhibition, ‘A Healthy Profit.’ Opening this month at the National Trust attraction, the exhibition delves into the realities of mill life and the physical, mental and emotional toil that kept the wheels of this industrial powerhouse turning.

    At Quarry Bank, mill owner Samuel Greg hired Peter Holland as the first known physician to work in a factory. This was partly motivated by genuine concern for the poor and partly by the mill owners’ religious beliefs as Unitarians. However, a healthy workforce was also a productive workforce, ensuring healthier profits.

    In this new exhibition, visitors can journey through different parts of the body, including the brain, eyes, ears, lungs, and skeleton to uncover how long, hard days in the mill affected the workers. Historical medical equipment including glass eyes and medical chests complete with powders and potions, as well as leech jars, inhalers and ear trumpets from the Thackray Medical Museum and Manchester Medical Museum will be on display. For the very first time, visitors can also see original documents from the mill archives accounting for accidents, injuries and even causes of death at Quarry Bank.

    Exploring the connections between people, place and health both past and present, the exhibition also considers how the body is impacted today. The effects of pollution, screen time, earphones and diet, as well as the significance of the environment and outdoor spaces feature in the exhibition.

    The mill in autumn at Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire

    Suzanne Kellett, Programming Manager at Quarry Bank says, ‘We’re excited to be launching this new exhibition exploring the historical pressures the human body was put through, whilst drawing parallels with our lives today. Our visitors will discover more about what working life was really like for the men, women and children of Quarry Bank and we’re encouraging them to reflect on their own wellbeing as well. There are lots of interactive elements for families which bring the subject to life and we’re looking forward to seeing what they learn along the way.”

    The National Trust has worked closely with the University of Manchester on new academic research looking into how the toil of mill work affected the body. The research has uncovered stories of what life was really like for those at Quarry Bank and how the mill’s healthy profit wasn’t necessarily driven by a healthy workforce. These findings have helped shape the new exhibition opening this autumn.

    Families visiting the exhibition will find plenty of interactive features including a giant brain revealing more about its different functions with a chance to put their concentration to the test and see how they compare to a mill worker. Visitors can also have a go at mee-mawing - a form of speech invented by the mill workers using exaggerated movements to allow lip reading over the clatter and bustle of the noisy machines.

    Throughout October half term there will be themed activities and science experiments getting families closer to what it was like to live and work at Quarry Bank.

    Inside the mill, visitors can see the historic machinery thunder into action and feel the floors shake beneath their feet. Guided tours of the Apprentice House and workers cottage also show where the men, women and children who worked at Quarry Bank lived, ate and slept after toiling for twelve hours a day in the mill.

    The new exhibition ‘A Healthy Profit’ opens on 19 October 2019 and runs until 19 April 2020. For more information visit nationaltrust.org.uk/quarry-bank or followhttps://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/quarry-bank/features/a-healthy-profit-exhibition

  • Sat
    Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 6SG

    Family fun and magical adventure will be casting a spell over the spookiest corner of Tatton Park this Halloween as interactive performance group ‘Rusticus’ present a unique,  all-new experience in the atmospheric grounds of Tatton’s  medieval Old Hall.

    The ‘Great Wizards Gathering’ follows Arch-wizard Fumblefoot on his mission to fight off the dragons that are trying to destroy this medieval village. Willing apprentices and their grown-ups are needed to help ward off the fearsome beasts!

    This fun, two-hour family-friendly adventure takes place in the oldest part of the Tatton estate, close to a disappeared medieval village, whose humps and hollows show where houses once stood.

    During your quest, follow Wizard Fumblefoot and his spooky friends to discover the history and folklore of the buildings and grounds.  Professor Sidebottom will teach all apprentices wicked wizardry skills such as wand-making, spell-casting and broomstick flying whilst Dr Cabbageleaf will take a Potions class on dragon bogey and frozen fire making to help defeat the mighty creatures!

    Do you dare to join them? 

    There are 4 gatherings each day from Saturday 26 to Thursday 31 October, and tickets cost £10 per person. Pre-book your tickets online and receive FREE car entry (which is usually £7).

    Limited Tickets for magical beings only available from the Tatton Park website at www.tattonpark.org.uk/halloween

    Watch our Halloween video teaser here!
    Follow the story online #oldhallhalloween

Anson Engine Museum
Every Friday,Saturday & Sunday from 13 May – 29 October 2006 Time: 10:00am – 5:00pm Details: In his book, Horst O Hardenberg describes how the Otto-Langen engine displayed at the 1867 Paris Universal Exposition was called a Rattling monster or Devil s machine. Despite this, the engine went on to take the prestigious gold medal, beating the French built Hugon and Lenoir engines. Later that same year, Crossley Brothers in Manchester became the licensed manufacturer for Otto-Langen engines in the UK & Colonies. It is hailed as the first commercially successful engine The ?Rattling Monsters? exhibition tells the history and development of these engines as well allowing you the chance to see many exhibits never before made public. This exhibition is a World First! Museum Entry Fees Adults £3.50 Children under 14 £2.50 Children under 5 s free Family Ticket (2 adults & 2 children) £10.00 No additional charge for Rattling Monsters Exhibition!
Date: 29/10/2005 Time:
To: 30/10/2005 Time:
Location: Anson Road
SK12 1TD
01625 874426  Telephonewww.enginemuseum.org  Web