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Coordinates: 53°25′N 2°11′W / 53.42°N 2.18°W / 53.42; -2.18

Heaton Chapel
Heaton Chapel is located in Greater Manchester
Heaton Chapel

 Heaton Chapel shown within Greater Manchester
Population (2001 Census)
OS grid reference SJ880925
Metropolitan borough Stockport
Metropolitan county Greater Manchester
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district SK4
Dialling code 0161
Police Greater Manchester
Fire Greater Manchester
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Denton and Reddish
List of places: UK • England • Greater Manchester

Heaton Chapel is an area in the northern part of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. It borders the Manchester districts of Levenshulme to the north, the Stockport districts of Heaton Moor to the west, Reddish and Heaton Norris to the east and Heaton Mersey to the west and south. Heaton Chapel and its neighbouring areas are collectively known as the Four Heatons.



St Thomas' Church

Before 1758, Heaton Chapel did not exist but was part of Heaton Norris.[1] The need for a chapel was identified in Parliamentary Commission "Lancashire and Cheshire church surveys" (1649-1655) but it was a further hundred years before Mr A. Colier raised money by public subscription and Mr Sidebotham petitioned the bishop of Chester for a license to worship in 1758. It was dedicated 28 October 1758. It is speculated that the need for the chapel was stimulated by the preaching of Charles Wesley who visited Stockport in 1745. The Church was built on a field known as Yarn Croft of 1,712 square yards. The building was plain brick, with three rounded windows on the North side and three on the South side, and a small projecting chancel, which served as a place for the communion table, which was lit by means of a long round-headed window, with two long rectangular windows on each side.[2] The church is 'miswent'; that is not built on a true east west axis.

The principal road from Manchester to Stockport and the south ran through Heaton Chapel along the line of the present Manchester Road. It was turnpiked in 1724.[3] There was a toll gate opposite the church. It entered Stockport down Lancashire Hill. In 1826 a new turnpike was built.[4]

Heaton Chapel station with a with a EMU train

In 1837 Parliamentary approval was given for the railway to be built by the Manchester and Birmingham Railway, and the first section from Heaton Norris to Manchester Travis Street opened in 1841, but a viaduct needed to be built at Stockport. The London and North Western Railway completed the Crewe to Manchester Line from Manchester, London Road to Crewe, the rector, Mr Jackson used personal influence, to have a station built in 1851, close to the rectory in Heaton Moor Road. The Station was built in a cutting. There was already a Heaton Norris station(on Georges Road),so the new station was named Heaton Chapel. The subsequent growth of the Heaton Moor area led to a temporary change of the railway station name, Heaton Chapel for Heaton Moor, then Heaton Chapel AND Heaton Moor - but it has again returned to Heaton Chapel.[1] This line was electrified in 1959. A second line passes though Heaton Chapel but there is no station.

In the inter-war years there was a tram service along Wellington Road operated jointly by Manchester and Stockport corporation. Stockport used 460v DC and Manchester 400 volts so the Manchester trams would need another resistance in the circuit. The Stockport trams would probably have been able to manage without swapping, they would just be on a slightly lower voltage. The trams stopped at the Levenshulme/ Heaton Chapel border so the resistances could be changed and the collectors manually changed from one set of wires to the others.

Local economy

Heaton Chapel is largely residential, characterised by substantial well detailed early 20th century houses

A large biscuit works was opened in 1918, McVitie and Price, later McVitie's, part of United Biscuits. In this location chocolate covered biscuits such as Penguin biscuits and Jaffa Cakes were (and are 2009) manufactured.[1]

Crossley Bros. Ltd commenced motor car production in 1906 after already having had several years experience of building engines and by the end of 1916 had already supplied large numbers of tenders to the Royal Flying Corps. In addition, production of Beardmore & Bentley Aero engines was undertaken. Wartime expansion of production had led to the acquisition of premises at High Lane, Heaton Chapel. This subsequently was renamed Crossley Road, and marked the spot where Stockport became Manchester.

In 1917 the factory was adapted to produce De Havilland DH.9 single engined and DH.10 twin engined bombers. It was known as the National Aircraft Factory No. 2, employed 2,500 people and was managed by Crossley Motors Limited. About 450 DH9s and seven DH10s were completed before production ceased after the Armistice.[5]

In 1934 the factory was acquired by Mr Charles Richard Fairey (later Sir Richard Fairey) who wanted additional factory space to meet aircraft ordered under the UKs re-armament programme. Thus Fairey Aviation was based on Crossley Road next to the railway line.

The factory manufactured the Fairey Battle, Fairey Fulmar and Fairey Barracuda and reconditioned Swordfishes. Fairey's also built, under sub-contract, over 660 Handley Page Halifaxes and nearly 500 Bristol Beaufighters. Heaton Chapel had design staff and manufacturing capacity. Assembly was at Barton Aerodrome for a short period then at RAF Ringway from June 1937 onwards.[6]

In 1946 the company diversified into the Nuclear industry, forming Fairey Stainless.

From 1954, the Gannet was built here. In 1951 the FD1, Fairey Delta 1 was built here. On 10 March 1956, the FD2, with Heaton Chapel components broke the World Air Speed Record at 1820 km/h (1132 mph).[6]

In 1986 Fairey Engineering was taken over by Williams Holdings and became Williams Fairey Engineering Ltd.[6] It is now known as WFEL. Initial work on the Air Portable Ferry Bridge (APFB) commences, this is a lightweight 40 m bridge that can be transported to site in a C130 aircraft, and erected by 8 engineers in 90mins. It is in use in Iraq and Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Fairey Aviation sponsored the Fairey Brass Band, who hold rehearsals in Heaton Chapel.

Popular culture

Sir John Alcock, who with Arthur Whitten Brown, made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in 1919, was raised in Heaton Chapel.

Heaton Chapel was the home of the Poco-a-Poco Club, many a big name star performed here including David Bowie 27 April 1970.

Sited at the junction of Denby Lane and Manchester Road, and formerly, the Empress Cinema, this has now been demolished and has been home to The Hinds Head pub for a number of years.


  1. ^ a b c The History of St Thomas', Heaton Norris, pub privately by the church The British Library Copyright Receipt Office on 1st August 1979 under receipt 68519, and released on line
  2. ^ The Stockport Advertiser 1874
  3. ^ Levenshulme:Districts and suburbs of Manchester
  4. ^ Townships: Heaton Norris', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4 (1911), pp. 323–326.
  5. ^ R.A.Scholefield, "Manchester Airport", 1998, Sutton Publishing page 35, isbn 0-7509-1954-X
  6. ^ a b c History of Fairey Engineering

External links



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