Macclesfield: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Macclesfield

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 53°15′29″N 2°07′39″W / 53.2581°N 2.1274°W / 53.2581; -2.1274

Macc TH.jpg
Macclesfield Town Hall
Macclesfield is located in Cheshire

 Macclesfield shown within Cheshire
Population 50,688 
OS grid reference SJ9173
Unitary authority Cheshire East
Ceremonial county Cheshire
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district SK10 SK11
Dialling code 01625
Police Cheshire
Fire Cheshire
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Macclesfield
List of places: UK • England • Cheshire

Macclesfield is a market town within the unitary authority of Cheshire East and the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, with a population of about 50,688 (2001 census for Macclesfield urban sub-area). A person from Macclesfield is sometimes referred to as a "Maxonian".



St. Michael's Church, Macclesfield

Situated in the ancient Domesday Hundred of Hamestan,[1] the Domesday Book lists Macclesfield as "Maclesfeld", whilst in 1183 it was referred to as "Makeslesfeld".[2] It is thought that Macclesfield got its name from "Michael's field" - referring to St. Michael, as in St. Michael's church. . The English Place-Name Society gives it name as being derived from the Old English for Maccels' open country.[3]

Later, Macclesfield was granted a borough charter by the Lord Edward, the future King Edward I, in 1261. There is evidence that the borough had originally been founded by Ranulf III, Earl of Chester, early in the thirteenth century. The parish church of St Michael was built in 1278, an extension of a chapel built in approximately 1220.[4]

The borough had a weekly market, and two annual fairs: the Barnaby fair, was on St Barnabas day (11 June), the other on the feast of All Saints (1 November).

Macclesfield was the administrative centre of the later Hundred of Macclesfield, which occupied most of east Cheshire.[1][5] The Earl of Chester's manor of Macclesfield was very large, and its boundary went as far as Disley. The manor house was situated on the edge of the deer-park, on the west of the town.

Macclesfield as viewed from the railway station

In addition, the Earls of Chester had established the forest of Macclesfield, which was much larger than its present-day namesake. It was used for hunting deer, as well as pasturing sheep and cattle. By the end of the thirteenth century, large areas of the forest had been ploughed up because of the pressure of population growth. In 1356, two trees from the forest were gifted to archer William Jauderell to repair his home.

The so-called 'Macclesfield Castle' was a fortified town house built by the dukes of Buckingham in the later Middle Ages.

In the uprising of 1745, Charles Stuart and his army marched through Macclesfield as they attempted to reach London. The Mayor was forced, reluctantly, to officially welcome the Prince, and this welcome is commemorated in one of the town's famous silk tapestries.[6] At one point, Macclesfield was the world's biggest producer of finished silk; now, the four Macclesfield Silk Museums display a huge range of information and products from that period. At one time the silk manufacture was home-based but as machinery was introduced large sheds were built to accommodate it and the workers were expected to move into them. Paradise Mill is a working mill museum which demonstrates the art of silk weaving to the public.[7]

Between 1826 and 1831 the Macclesfield Canal was constructed,[8] linking Macclesfield to Marple to the north and Kidsgrove to the south.

Waters Green was once home to a nationally known horse market which features in the legend of the Wizard of Alderley Edge.

Macclesfield railway station opened on 1 July 1873.

Macclesfield is said to be the only Mill Town left unbombed in the Second World War.[9]


Thornton Square

Thornton Square is situated in a mainly residential area of Macclesfield. In 2002, the square came to national media prominence in the UK as a result of ‘The Thornton Square Affair’ – an eighteen month police operation leading to the issuing of some of the earliest multiple ASBO (anti-social behaviour orders) in respect of five youths accused of being verbally abusive and threatening, stealing from shops, behaving drunkenly and public micturition. The case was subsequently used by a number of UK police forces, including Cumbria and London Metropolitan, as a training case-study and an example of how to run similar operations.[10]


Achievement of Arms of the Borough of Macclesfield

Macclesfield gives its name to a parliamentary constituency which covers the town and the surrounding area. The current MP is Sir Nicholas Winterton, who was first elected in 1971. The Conservatives have held the parliamentary seat since the 1918 general election[11]

On a local government level, from 1974 to 2009 Macclesfield town hall was the headquarters of Macclesfield Borough Council, which administered the Macclesfield parliamentary constituency and the neighbouring constituency of Tatton. Since 1 April 2009 Macclesfield has been part of the Cheshire East unitary authority, which replaced the boroughs of Macclesfield, Congleton and Crewe and Nantwich. The authority is controlled by a Conservative majority;[12] the Borough Council which preceded it had also been under Conservative control from 1976 until it was abolished in 2009[13] In the European Parliament, Macclesfield is part of the North West England region.


Macclesfield Canal flows through the town.

Macclesfield is located in the east of Cheshire, on the River Bollin, a tributary of the River Mersey. It is close to the county borders of Greater Manchester, (to the north), Derbyshire, (to the east) and Staffordshire, (to the south). It is near the towns of Stockport, (to the north), Buxton, (to the east), and Congleton, (to the south). It is 30 miles, (45 km), to the east of Chester, the county town of Cheshire. To the west of the town lies the Cheshire Plain and to the east lie the hills of the Peak District. The town is most famous for its once thriving silk industry, commemorated in the local Silk Museum. Although "Silk Town" seems to be the preferred nickname these days, Macclesfield's traditional local nickname is "Treacle Town"—supposedly from an incident where a merchant spilt a load of treacle on Hibel Road, and the poor rushed out to scoop it off the cobbles. Another, less picturesque, reason has it that the mill-owners used to provide barrels of treacle to the unemployed weavers.

Landmarks and tourist attractions

It is the home to furniture store Arighi Bianchi, a local football club Macclesfield Town, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca, and The King's School, Macclesfield which dates from the 16th century. The fine Georgian Town Hall was designed by Francis Goodwin in 1823. Present day industries include: pharmaceuticals, textiles, light engineering, paper and plastics.

Culture and sport

The Macclesfield Amateur Dramatic Society was founded in 1947. MADS performed their first play at the Little Theatre on Lord Street in 1954

Macclesfield has few cultural amenities; in 2004, research was published in The Times naming Macclesfield and its borough the most uncultured town in Britain, based on its lack of theatres, cinemas and other cultural facilities.[14] However, Macclesfield does have a museum which concentrates on the history of the silk industry in the town.[15] The town now boasts an Art gallery in York Chambers, Duke's Court.

Local newspapers include the Macclesfield Express[16] and the Community News.[17] Macclesfield residents have access to Macclesfield Forum, an online message board, for informal discussion of local news and issues.[18] The town is also served by two locally-based radio stations: Canalside Community Radio based at the Clarence Mill in Bollington,[19] just north of Macclesfield, and Silk FM, a commercial independent radio station with studios in the town.[20]

The last remaining commercial cinema in Macclesfield closed in 1997. Discussions have taken place regarding the possibility of building a multiplex cinema,[21] but similar attempts to build a cinema have thus far been unsuccessful. In 2005 a small scale cinema was set up in the Heritage Centre, and Cinemac[22] has since become well established; also based in the Heritage Centre is the Silk Screen arts cinema,[23] which gives fortnightly screenings of art house films. Amateur dramatics is well represented in the town by Macclesfield Amateur Dramatic Society which has run since 1947 and has its own theatre in town; there are three art galleries in Macclesfield;[24] Gawsworth Hall hosts an annual Shakespeare festival as well as many arts and music events throughout the year.However, during the recent outlining of plans for the new Macclesfield town centre, a large cinema has been given the go-ahead after many years of pressure from the residents.

Macclesfield has appeared in film: it was used as the location for Sir John Mills' film "So Well Remembered" in 1947.[25] Some of the locations are still recognisable, such as Hibel Road. A fictionalised version of Macclesfield's railway station appeared in the 2005 football hooliganism film Green Street.[26] It was also the location of the 1997 film Control, a biopic film about Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division who grew up in Macclesfield.

Musically, Macclesfield is best known as the home town of bluesman John Mayall as well as Ian Curtis and Stephen Morris of Joy Division; a memorial to Curtis is located in Macclesfield Crematorium.[27] Other Macclesfield acts to have gained recognition include The Macc Lads and Marion. The Macclesfield band Silk Brass have also gone on to receive a National Champion title in the brass band movement in 2003.

In literature, Macclesfield is the second principal location of the fantasy novels The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath by Alan Garner.

Macclesfield's professional football club, Macclesfield Town, first gained league status in 1997, and currently play in League Two. The club play their home games at the Moss Rose in the south of the town. Youth football teams include Macclesfield Juniors FC, Macclesfield Saints JFC and Tytherington Juniors. Macclesfield RUFC, the town's rugby union club, play in National Division Three (North), the fourth tier of rugby union in England.

Macclesfield's cycling club Macclesfield Wheelers[28] is a local club specialising in all forms of cycling activities - from pleasure riding to racing. World famous cyclist Reg Harris produced "Reg Harris" bikes in Macclesfield for 3 years during the 1960s. The local cycling campaign group is known as MaccBUG (Macclesfield Borough Bicycle Users Group).[29] Formed in 1999 they campaign for better cycling provision for leisure and utility cyclists.

Macclesfield Chess Club is one of the oldest chess clubs in the country having been founded in 1886.[30]

In December 2006, Sport England published a survey which revealed that residents of Macclesfield were the 3rd most active in England in sports and other fitness activities. 29.3% of the population participate at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes.[31]

In 2008, the borough was named as the fifth happiest of 273 districts in Britain by researchers from the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester, who used information on self-reported personal well-being from the British Household Panel Survey.[32][33]


Macclesfield is served by four state high schools; Macclesfield High School, Fallibroome High School, Tytherington High School and All Hallows' Catholic College.

There are also two independent schools, The King's School and Beech Hall School.

Macclesfield High School is made up of students from the former school Henbury High School, and also took in the students left over when the secondary school Ryles Park closed 2004. It is on the site as Macclesfield College and Park Lane Special School as part of the Macclesfield 'Learning Zone', which was opened in 2007.

Rail services

Macclesfield railway station has a frequent service to Manchester Piccadilly (just 25 minutes away) and Stoke and regular links to London Euston (1 hour 47 minutes) courtesy of Virgin Trains and to Birmingham New Street and beyond provided by CrossCountry. Northern Rail's stopping service between Manchester and Stoke also calls here.

Notable people

See also

Notes and references


  1. ^ a b Finney, Isaac. "Macklesfelde in ye olden time". Retrieved 2007-01-12.  
  2. ^ Scholes (2000). page 104.
  3. ^ English Place Name Society database at Nottingham University
  4. ^ "A History of the Church". St. Michael's Macclesfield. Retrieved 28 November 2006.  
  5. ^ Clayton, D. J. (1990). pages 32, 33.
  6. ^ Silk Tapestries of Macclesfield. Retrieval Date: 15 October 2007.
  7. ^ Paradise Mill website. Retrieval Date: 15 October 2007.
  8. ^ Tim Boddington. "The Macclesfield Canal". Retrieved 28 November 2006.  
  9. ^ Missing movie classic unearthed by Macc Lad - News - Macclesfield Express
  10. ^ Thornton Square News Report. Macclesfield Express. Retrieval Date: 19 March 2008.
  11. ^ "Safe seats". Electoral Reform Society. Retrieved 29 November 2006.  
  12. ^ "Current Composition Cheshire East Shadow Authority, 2008". Cheshire East Council. Retrieved 7 July 2009.  
  13. ^ "Local elections: Macclesfield". BBC News. Retrieved 29 November 2006.  
  14. ^ "Is charming Macclesfield really such a cultural cul-de-sac?". The Times.,,2-1349485,00.html. Retrieved 29 November 2006.  
  15. ^ Macclesfield Silk Museums. Retrieval Date: 16 February 2008.
  16. ^ Macclesfield Express. Retrieval Date: 16 February 2008
  17. ^ Community News Group. Retrieval Date: 16 February 2008
  18. ^ Macclesfield Forum. Retrieval Date: 16 February 2008
  19. ^ Canalside Community Radio. Retrieval Date: 16 February 2008
  20. ^ Silk FM. Retrieval Date: 16 February 2008
  21. ^ "Cinema may replace Tesco and Hughes stores as new star in town". Macclesfield Express. Retrieved 29 November 2006.  
  22. ^ Cinemac. Retrieval Date: 16 February 2008.
  23. ^ Silk Screen Cinema. Retrieval Date: 16 February 2008.
  24. ^ Art galleries of Macclesfield. Cheshire County Website. Retrieval Date: 15 October 2007.
  25. ^ So Well Remembered. International Movie database website. Retrieval Date: 15 October 2007.
  26. ^ Green Street (US title: Hooligans) International Movie Database website. Retrieval Date: 15 October 2007.
  27. ^ "Getting to know Dad". Macclesfield Express. Retrieved 29 November 2006.  
  28. ^ Macclesfield Wheelers Cycling Club. Official website. Retrieval Date: 16 December 2007
  29. ^ Macclesfield Borough Bicycle Users Group (MaccBUG). Official website. Retrieval Date: 1 October 2007.
  30. ^ Furness (1988). page 126.
  31. ^ Active People Survey. Sport England website. Retrieval Date: 16 February 2008.
  32. ^ "Britain's happiest places mapped". Retrieved 2008-09-02.  
  33. ^ "A step-by-step ESDS Longitudinal guide: Guide to British Household Panel Survey". Retrieved 2008-09-02.  
  34. ^ Biography about David Shrigley. Retrieval Date: 18 February 2008.
  35. ^ Peter Moores. Cricket England website. Retrieval Date: 16 February 2008.
  36. ^ (Olympic) Brits to Watch: Ben Ainslie. Retrieval Date: 9 December 2008.
  37. ^ World Cup Scouting - Peter Crouch. Retrieval Date: 9 December 2008.
  38. ^ About Nick Robinson. Retrieval Date: 9 January 2009.
  39. ^ "Biography for Ian Curtis". Retrieved 18 January 2009.  
  40. ^ [1] Retrieval Date:2 March 2009.
  41. ^ [2] Retrieval Date:2 March 2009.
  42. ^ [3] Retrieval Date:2 March 2009.
  43. ^ [4] Retrieval Date:2 March 2009.


  • Clayton, D. J. (1990). The administration of the county palatine of Chester, 1442—85. Manchester, United Kingdom: The Chetham Society. ISBN 0719013437.  
  • Furness, R. A. (1988). The Cheshire Hundred (1888-1988): The centenary history of the Cheshire & North Wales Chess Association. Cheshire and North Wales Chess Association.  
  • Scholes, R (2000). Towns and villages of Britain: Cheshire. Wilmslow, Cheshire: Sigma Press. ISBN 1850586373.  

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Macclesfield is a market town in Cheshire.

  • The 108 Steps, stairs running from east of St. Michael's down to Waters Green.
  • The Swan with Two Necks, 65 Chestergate. 12:00 - 01:00. A warm and welcoming pub with drinks at decent prices (cheaper than the other pubs in Macclesfield but have a much wider range of drinks). Live bands play nearly every weekend and the music ranges from Indie to Metal to Tribute bands.  edit
This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MACCLESFIELD, a market town and municipal borough in the Macclesfield parliamentary division of Cheshire, England, 166 m. N.W. by N. of London, on the London & North-Western, North Staffordshire and Great Central railways. Pop. (1901), 34,624. It lies on and above the small river Bollin, the valley of which is flanked by high ground to east and west, the eastern hills rising sharply to heights above l000 ft. The bleak upland country retains its ancient name of Macclesfield Forest. The church of St Michael, standing high, was founded by Eleanor, queen of Edward I., in 1278, and in 1740 was partly rebuilt and greatly enlarged. The lofty steeple by which its massive tower was formerly surmounted was battered down by the Parliamentary forces during the Civil War. Connected with the church there are two chapels, one of which, Rivers Chapel, belonged to a college of secular priests founded in 1501 by Thomas Savage, afterwards archbishop of York. Both the church and chapels contain several ancient monuments. The free grammar school, originally founded in 1502 by Sir John Percival, was refounded in 1552 by Edward VI., and a commercial school was erected in 1840 out of its funds. The county lunatic asylum is situated here. The town-hall is a handsome modern building with a Grecian frontage on two sides. Originally the trade of Macclesfield was principally in twist and silk buttons, but this has developed into the manufacture of all kinds of silk. Besides this staple trade, there are various textile manufactures and extensive breweries; while stone and slate quarries, as well as coal-mines, are worked in the neighbourhood. Recreation grounds include Victoria Park and Peel Park, in which are preserved the old market cross and stocks. Water communication is provided by the Macclesfield canal. The borough is under a mayor, 12 aldermen and 36 councillors. Area, 3214 acres. The populous suburb of Sutton, extending S.S.E. of the town, is partly included in the borough.

Previous to the Conquest, Macclesfield (Makesfeld, Mackerfeld, Macclesfeld, Meulefeld, Maxfield) was held by Edwin, earl of Mercia; and at the time of the Domesday Survey it formed a part of the lands of the earl of Chester. The entry speaks of seven hedged enclosures, and there is evidence of fortification in the 13th century, to which the names Jordangate, Chestergate and Wallgate still bear witness. In the 15th century Henry Stafford, duke of Buckingham, had a fortified manor-house here, traces of which remain. There is a tradition, supported by a reference on a plea roll, that Randle, earl of Chester (1181-1232) made Macclesfield a free borough, but the earliest charter extant is that granted by Edward, prince of Wales and earl of Chester, in 1261, constituting Macclesfield a free borough with a merchant gild, and according certain privileges in the royal forest of Macclesfield to the burgesses. This charter was confirmed by Edward III. in 1334, by Richard II. in 1389, by Edward IV. in 1466 and by Elizabeth in 1564. In 1595 Elizabeth issued a new charter to the town, confirmed by James I. in 1605 and Charles II. in 1666, laying down a formal borough constitution under a mayor, 2 aldermen, 24 capital burgesses and a high steward. In 1684 Charles II. issued a new charter, under which the borough was governed until the Municipal Reform Act 1835. The earliest mention of a market is in a grant by James I. to Charles, prince of Wales and earl of Chester, in 1617. In the charter of 1666 a market is included among the privileges confirmed to the borough as those which had been granted in 1605, or by any previous kings and queens of England. The charter of Elizabeth in 1595 granted an annual fair in June, and this was supplemented by Charles II. in 1684 by a grant of fairs in April and September. Except during the three winter months fairs are now held monthly, the chief being "Barnaby" in June, when the town keeps a week's holiday. Macclesfield borough sent two members to parliament in 1832 for the first time. In 1880 it was disfranchised for bribery, and in 1885 the borough was merged in the county division of Macclesfield. The manufacture of silkcovered buttons began in the 16th century, and flourished until the early 18th. The first silk mill was erected about 1755, and silk manufacture on a large scale was introduced about 1790. The manufacture of cotton began in Macclesfield about 1785.

See J. Corry, History of Macclesfield (1817).

<< Charles Gerard, 1st earl of Macclesfield

Sir Francis Leopold M'Clintock >>


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address