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Not to be confused with Little Bollington (formerly Bollington) near Bowdon.
A view over Bollington from White Nancy, looking north
Bollington is located in Cheshire
 Bollington shown within Cheshire
Population 7,095 [1]
OS grid reference SJ9377
Civil parish Bollington
Unitary authority Cheshire East
Ceremonial county Cheshire
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district SK10
Dialling code 01625
Police Cheshire
Fire Cheshire
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Macclesfield
List of places

Coordinates: 53°17′53″N 2°05′35″W / 53.298°N 2.093°W / 53.298; -2.093

Bollington is a small town and civil parish in Cheshire, England, to the east of Prestbury. In the Middle Ages it was part of the Earl of Chester's manor of Macclesfield, and the ancient parish of Prestbury. In 2001, Bollington had a population of 7,095.[1] (7593 in 2011 census)

Bollington, locally nicknamed "Happy Valley",[2] is on the River Dean and the Macclesfield Canal, on the south-western edge of the Peak District. Rising above the town is Kerridge Hill that is surmounted by White Nancy, a monument built to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo in the Napoleonic Wars.

Bollington is twinned with Thurles in County Tipperary, Ireland.


Clarence Mill, and the Macclesfield Canal
Clarence Mill, and the Macclesfield Canal

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Bollington was a major centre for cotton spinning. The Waterhouse Mill, now demolished, off Wellington Road, once spun the finest cotton in the world, and was sought after by lace makers in Nottingham and Brussels.[3]

Clarence Mill still stands and has since been converted into luxury apartments. One of the oldest surviving mills in Bollington is the very small Defiance Mill, built in Queen Street about 1800 and also now restored for residential occupation.

There is a large paper coating mill on the site of Lower Mills. The original mill was built by George Antrobus in 1792 but very little of those buildings remain.

A stone-built traditional mill still survives amongst the more recent brick developments. In the 1830s and 1840s this mill was rented to Thomas Oliver and Martin Swindells for the production of fine cotton thread for the lace-making industry.


The town falls within the Westminster constituency of Macclesfield, which is currently represented by the Conservative MP David Rutley.[4]

Bollington is represented by two councillors on the Cheshire East Unitary Council, with the two seats both currently occupied by the Conservatives.[5]

Services and provisions[edit]

Cheshire Fire Brigade have a retained fire station in Bollington. The town has a medical practice on Wellington Road, and a dental surgery on Bollington Road. The town does not have its own police station; policing is provided from local stations in neighbouring Poynton and Wilmslow by the Cheshire Constabulary. The town has a small yet thriving local retail community, with two bakers, three butchers, a delicatessen, and a small Cooperative convenience store. The town has several restaurants, wine bars, and coffee shops, along with a dozen or so traditional public houses.[6]


Bollington is served by four primary schools. The Roman Catholic school of St Gregory is on Albert Road, along with the secular Dean Valley Community Primary School. The Church of England has two schools in the town, St John the Baptist Church of England on Grimshaw Lane, and Bollington Cross Church of England on Bollington Road. St John's School is part of a federation with Pott Shrigley Church of England School. Secondary aged students travel to Tytherington School, The Fallibroome Academy, The Kings School, Macclesfield, All Hallows Catholic College and Poynton High School.


The Recreation Ground, across the road from the library, provides a football pitch, bowling green and cricket pitch, all of which are in regular use by Bollington Cricket Club,[7] Bollington Athletics Club, and the Bollington Bowling Club. Another cricket pitch located between South West Avenue and Clarke Lane, by the Lord Clyde pub, is home to Kerridge Cricket Club. Bollington has a hockey club, which plays on the King's School astro pitches.


The town has several churches. The parish Church of St John the Baptist closed several years ago, leaving St Oswald's Church in Bollington Cross as the only Anglican church. St Gregory's church on Wellington Road is the Roman Catholic place of worship in the town, and the Grade-II listed Methodist church is opposite the council offices.

Bollington Festival 2005

Every five or six years since 1964, the town has played host to the Bollington Festival which runs for two and a half weeks and involves various community activities, from concerts, theatrical, opera, art exhibitions, to local history events, science events and competitions.[8]

In 2005 Canalside Community Radio was launched to provide community news and entertainment for the duration of the festival. Cousins John and Terry Waite opened the Festival.[9] In December 2008 Canalside Community Radio began broadcasting to northeast Cheshire having obtained a full-time licence after five years of trying.

Hiking, cycling and riding through the hills and along the canalside around Bollington are popular activities. Boats can be hired for day-trips and holidays at Grimshaw Lane canal wharf.

The town has many traditional public houses, most of which have not been modernised.[6]

Societies and organisations[edit]

Bollington has a branch of the Women's Institute, which meets regularly while retired professional gentlemen may meet at the weekly Probus.

The Guiding and Scouting movements are all represented. Bollington United Junior Football Club (JFC) has three clubs for children ranging from under-10s to under-17s.[10] Bollington is home to a squadron (236) of the Royal Air Force's Air Training Corps, which has recently opened a new headquarters on Shrigley Road. The Squadron had close links with 42(R) (formerly 236 OCU) of the Royal Air Force before the latter was disbanded in the government defence review in 2010. The Sea Cadet Corps is for 10–18 year olds. The Bollington and Macclesfield Sea Cadets also have a unit website.[11]


Bollington is 2 miles (3.2 km) from the A523 road that runs from Hazel Grove, though Macclesfield to Leek in Staffordshire. The nearest motorway junctions are Junctions 17 and 19 (Congleton and Knutsford) on the M6, and junction 1 and 27 (Cheadle and Wilmslow) on the M60.[12]

Bollington no longer has its own railway station, the nearest one being in Prestbury. Regular bus services connect Bollington with Macclesfield, Hazel Grove and Stockport.

Bollington Station in 1960

Bollington used to be served by the Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway, a former railway between Marple Rose Hill and Macclesfield. The railway was built in 1869 by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR) and the North Staffordshire Railway (NSR), as a part of a quest to provide an alternative link between Manchester and the south, that was independent of the London and North Western Railway (L&NWR). Thomas Oliver[disambiguation needed] had suggested this route hoping to revive the cotton mills of Bollington, the Kerridge stone quarries as well as the coal fields at Poynton. The line was closed in 1970 because British Rail stated it was not profitable. The trackbed is used for walking, cycling and horseriding; It is known as the Middlewood Way.[13]

The Macclesfield Canal that passes through the centre of the town is now part of the Cheshire Ring. The stretch from Marple Junction on the Peak Forest Canal to Bosley is without locks and is carried on an embankment through Kerridge. This was the scene of a spectacular breach on 29 February 1912, where the water from Bosley to Bugsworth basin emptied through the town.[14] Today the canal is used for leisure purposes.


Bollington Live! is a publication produced three times a year by a team of volunteer writers, editor and distributors. It is funded by local businesses who sponsor and advertise. It covers a wide range of issues of local interest, from historical articles, to matters of current concern. The magazine is delivered free to every household and business in Bollington, plus others in Pott Shrigley and Whiteley Green by almost fifty volunteers. The magazine was started in 1994 by a group of residents who felt that whilst Bollington was served by the neighbouring Macclesfield newspapers, it was in need of a Bollington-centred publication. All copies are available online[15] on the town's extensive Happy Valley web site.[16]

Notable people[edit]

  • John Ryle, Born and died in Bollington. Emigrated to the United States and became known as the Father of the United States silk industry.
  • Sir James Chadwick, the Nobel prize-winning scientist who proved the existence of neutrons, was born in Bollington, and educated at Bollington Cross School.
  • James Bailey, schooled, brought up, and lives in Bollington. A professional footballer for Derby County.
  • Libby Clegg, blind athlete, born and lived in Bollington until moving to Scotland at the age of 11. Silver Medal winner at both the 2008 Summer Paralympics and the 2012 London Paralympics.
  • David Dickinson, of TV's Bargain Hunt and Real Deal fame, lives in the town.
  • Angie Lewin, designer of prints and screens, was born and brought up in Bollington.
  • Terry Waite, best known for having been held hostage for four years in Lebanon, but who has devoted his life to humanitarian causes, was born and lived for a short time in Bollington; his father was the town's policeman.
  • Ben Amos, professional footballer, lived for some years in Bollington and played for local team Bollington United; now plays for Manchester United.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Official 2001 UK census figures". Retrieved 14 June 2007. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Bollington". Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b "Happy Valley pubs". Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  7. ^ "Bollington Cricket Club". Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Bollington Festival". Retrieved 25 October 2008. 
  9. ^ "Canalside Community Radio". Retrieved 25 October 2008. 
  10. ^ "Bollington United JFC". Retrieved 25 October 2008. 
  11. ^ "Bollington and Macclesfield Sea Cadets". Retrieved 25 October 2008. 
  12. ^ Philip's Street Atlas Cheshire page VII, ISBN 978-1-84907-126-0
  13. ^ Middlewood Way
  14. ^ Kerridge Breach
  15. ^ "Past editions of "Bollington Live!"". Retrieved 14 June 2007. 
  16. ^ "Happy Valley web site". Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  17. ^ Stone, Simon (30 November 2010). "Manchester United's Ben Amos became goalkeeper by chance". The Independent. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 

External links[edit]