Glorious Phantoms at Quarry Bank

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor
Unearthing passion and protest at Quarry Bank
©National Trust/Megan Taylor

Unearthing passion and protest at Quarry Bank at Quarry Bank, Cheshire 13 July — 29 September 2019 Tickets from £general admission charges apply

Samuel Greg, the owner of Quarry Bank at the time, and his son Robert witnessed the Peterloo Massacre 200 years ago. They opposed the subsequent ‘cover-up’ of the massacre and Robert later gave testimony criticising the establishment’s response. To commemorate the bicentenary of these tragic events the National Trust have commissioned a new artwork, Glorious Phantoms, in response to the themes of rights and freedoms.

From the 13th of July till the end of September Quarry Bank will be showing a film inspired by conversations about rights, social responsibilities and the power to create change. As of yet there isn’t any evidence to suggest that mill workers from Quarry Bank were there that day however, the workers would have been very representative of the general crowd.

The commission is being created by the artist family Grace Surman, Gary Winters and their two children Hope and Merrick. The films have been created so as to spark further thought and conversation around the topics involved. The family are known for approaching politically charged ideas with respect and a sense of playfulness.

The artwork is part of a UK wide National Trust programme called People’s Landscape. Through commissions, exhibitions and events, People’s Landscapes shines a spotlight on how National Trust properties and land has shaped our political climate as we know it. Turner-Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller is the artistic advisor on a programme of events and exhibitions across the country, working with artists to tell the stories of some very different places.

The films have been created so as to spark further thought and conversation

In addition to the artwork, new research has been carried out by academics from MMU as well as volunteers from both Quarry Bank and Dunham Massey, looking at the role played by Quarry Bank in the Peterloo Massacre. Key findings from this research and displays about the family’s artist processes can be seen on display in an exhibition at Manchester Central Library from 6 July – 29 September. The artist family have also created a film responding to Dunham Massey’s connections to Peterloo which will be shown simultaneously in the Orangery at Dunham Massey

This project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and with additional support from Art Fund, is part of the National Trust’s People’s Landscapes programme.

Unearthing passion and protest at Quarry Bank at Quarry Bank, Cheshire 13 July — 29 September 2019

Book Now

What's on: Visual Arts

life drawing
Life Drawing Manchester

Whether you have never put pencil to paper or have been honing your artistic skills for years, Bee Creative studio runs life drawing sessions for people of all abilities.

from £10
Whitworth Art Gallery Tours

Running daily from 2pm, take a closer look at some of the Whitworth Art Gallery’s collection while gaining a better understanding of the context in which the pieces were created.

free entry
(Un)Defining Queer at The Whitworth

Through a fantastic collection of classical and contemporary artists’ work, ‘(Un)Defining Queer’ examines the use of language, histories and narratives to explore what ‘queer’ really means today. free entry

Culture Guides


We go all in on festivals, with a round-up of everything from city-spanning giants to grassroots gems you may not know about.


There's no rest for the art lover - this month brings outdoor sculpture, musings on water, political drawings and Liverpool Biennial 2023!

Classical Music

Summer's classical music calendar is filling up nicely! Read our top picks of concerts happening in Manchester and the North.

Winnie the Pooh at Manchester Opera House

The sun has finally got his hat on! Enjoy our top picks of family-friendly events and activities, both indoors and outdoors.

Gerry Potter (credit Lee Baxter)

Books are big this summer, with festival readings, poetry slams, creative writing activities and famous faces all putting in an appearance.

Food and Drink

All signs point toward June being a scorcher of a month, so let’s take a look at all things summery food and drink.

Tours and Activities

From literary activities to brilliant independent shops, keep your minds and homes filled with the good stuff this month.

Theatre in Manchester

Check out our updated guide for lively theatre festivals, rip-roaring rooftop circus and dreamy outdoor shows.