The Mill – Series 2 – behind the scenes – exploring the set

Back in April, myself and other staff members, who helped out with the filming of The Mill, were invited to the studio set in Media City. Darlow Smithson Productions have been kind enough to allow me to share the photos I took of the fantastically detailed sets. I apologise in advance if the photos look a bit dark – smartphones still have their limits.

Below is the interior of Daniel and Susannah’s cottage. The exterior of the cottage was constructed on Styal Green and tricked a view visitors into believing it was truly part of the village!


Bate downstairs

Daniel's office in his home

IMG_2229 cottage panel (3)

IMG_2229 cottage panel (1)

This is the set that doubled as both Peter’s and Esther’s cellar. Below is as it appears when it is being used for Peter’s cellar.

Peter's cellar

This next photo was very surreal to take, being the replica of the exterior of 8 Oak Cottage; a little slice of Styal in the middle of Media City. In the series this is the home of the Howlett family, with Esther’s cellar located beneath their cottage. When I walked through the front door I felt as though I had really stepped back into 8 Oak Cottage in the 1830s. What I was most impressed with was the resourcefulness of Production Designer, Martyn John, who found the Howlett’s range on eBay (as well as the stairs which lead out of Daniel’s Engine Room in the Mill)!

Howletts exterior

Howletts living room

We then visited  Talbot Mill nearer the centre of Manchester, which housed the sets for the Mule Room and the Engine Room. The mules are the same as those used in Series 1, which were constructed using the expertise of our Premises and Engineering team here at Quarry Bank. The replica of the beam engine, I was told, is made entirely of MDF!

Fake mule room

Fake mule

The beam engine
The beam engine
Fake engine room
Daniel’s office

It was fascinating to visit the sets and see first hand the level of detail the set designers put into every part of their work. If you come and visit Quarry Bank, you can see our exhibition dedicated to series 2 of The Mill, which includes props, costumes, set designs, drawings, scripts from the show, as well as furniture used in Esther’s cellar, which Production Designer Martyn John has arranged to form Esther’s bedroom.

Of course, if you visit us you can also see the very real sets of the Mill, Apprentice House, Gardens and Styal Village!

The dormitory at the Apprentice House
The girls dormitory at the Apprentice House was filmed in The Mill


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