One of Britain's greatest industrial heritage sites, showing how a complete industrial community lived

Quarry Bank overflows with the atmosphere of the Industrial Revolution. A visit to the cotton mill, built in 1784, and powered by Europe's most powerful working waterwheel, will certainly stimulate your senses. The clattering and whirring of our heritage machinery and steam engines make an astonishing noise. Explore the progression of the cotton industry from the mediaeval era through to the 19th century, speak to our knowledgeable demonstrators to find out more. Enjoy our changing programme of exhibitions - there's always something new to see. Take a guided tour of the Apprentice House, which housed the pauper children who worked in the mill and learn about their working and home lives. The National Trust was founded on 12 January 1895 by Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Hardwicke Rawnsley. Over the last 120 years we’ve become one of the UK’s largest charities, caring for historic properties and areas of beautiful countryside. Take a look below to learn about some of the key moments in our past, and the people who have supported us Dame Helen Ghosh has announced she will be leaving her role as Director General of the National Trust in March, next year. Helen, who has led the conservation charity since 2012, will take up a new position as the Master of Balliol College, at Oxford University.The Trust said it would begin the process of looking for a new Director General in the autumn.Paying tribute to Helen’s time in charge of the Trust, Tim Parker, the organisation’s chairman said: 'Helen has done an outstanding job as Director General. 'She will be leaving the organisation in great shape - one clear of its future direction with ever growing levels of investment in conservation.'We are indebted to Helen for all she has done and wish her well in her new role.'