Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Menu Search our siteSearch
Search type


Grant Collier

Thesis: A Social History of the Styal Estate

Quarry Bank Mill, Styal is a site of major historical importance. An early, rural cotton-spinning mill, the mill was owned and operated by the Greg family until 1939, when it was donated to the National Trust and became a museum of the cotton industry. The estate that the Gregs created was unusually encompassing in terms of those who worked there, involving as it did not just work locations but also the housing of all its workers. The village of Styal was developed and maintained throughout the working life of the mill to provide decent living conditions for its workers and promote appropriate ways of living. It therefore provides us with a unique view of employee-employer relations, and of working life and leisure during the industrial revolution. This project will draw upon the extensive but underused archives of the Styal Estate to explore the lives of its workers – including those in the mill and their managers as well as agricultural workers and shop workers – through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.


Expected submission date

September 2019

Funding body

For my postgraduate Masters I held a part-scholarship for promising potential researchers from the Faculty of Life Sciences. My doctoral research is funded by the Economic Social Research Council via the North West Doctoral Training Centre.

Research interests

Social and cultural history of technology, social history, gender studies, North West industrial history and heritage, 18th and 19th century British history.

Additional information

I studied an undergraduate MA in History at the University of Aberdeen from 2009-2013, gaining a first class grade with honours and winning the Forbes Medal in History for best performance in mandatory examinations. From 2014-2016, I studied a part-time postgraduate Masters in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University of Manchester, balancing postgraduate study with part time work and obtaining a distinction. I have given lectures and seminars on the history of science and technology at the Wilmslow Guild’s adult education classes and at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine’s weekly postgraduate seminar series.