Quarry Bank sets the scene for Channel 4 costume drama

A local historic landmarks has provided the stories and setting for a new Channel 4 costume drama.

The Mill (working title) has been filmed at Quarry Bank in Styal and will bring to life some of the property's history when it airs later this year.

Julia Harrington, Channel 4 Commissioning Editor for History, said: "It's an incredibly exciting project. The Mill is the perfect prism for this moment in British history but we'll access it all through characters who are recognisable today – rebellious teenagers, upwardly mobile working people, management class riven between profit and conscience.

"It's the story of an emerging community, full of friendship, humour, rivalries and secrets."

'The Mill' finds its main characters amongst the multitude of workers who were once employed at Quarry Bank. The drama will bring to life what it was really like to be at the coalface of the industrial revolution.

Visitors to Quarry Bank will have seen in recent weeks how the memorable building has been transformed into a TV set with mill workers, extra cobbles on the paths and even fake horse dung to create the most authentic of settings.

Amongst the cast is Kevin McNally, who appeared in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and Game of Thrones actor Donald Sumpter.

McNally said it had been a unique experience filming scenes in the exact locations where they took place 250 years ago.

"Filming this in the real place is quite extraordinary," he said. "It takes away the question of 'would it really have been like this?' That helps us to avoid any of the missteps that might be involved in making a show like this."

At a time of immense social and industrial change, Quarry Bank Mill represented the shining light of modern thinking; the brain child of the financially driven but philanthropic Greg family.

Rooted firmly in the real history of the mill, the characters and storylines in the drama will be based on the extraordinary Quarry Bank archive which comprises over 20,000 letters, wage books, contracts, diaries, rent books and interview transcripts.

Each year thousands of people visit the National Trust property to get a sense of its unique place in history and many more are expected to hear its stories when the programme airs on Channel 4.

"Everyone has been so excited to see the characters we know from the mill's past brought to life in this way," said Eleanor Underhill, General Manager at Quarry Bank.

"It is going to be a great moment when Quarry Bank's stories are shared with millions of television viewers."

Quarry Bank Mill