Macclesfield Town Hall
|Macclesfield shown within Cheshire|
|Population||52,044 (2011 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|• London||148 mi (238 km) SE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||SK10 SK11|
|EU Parliament||North West England|
Macclesfield is a market town and civil parish in Cheshire, England. The population of Macclesfield at the 2011 census was 52,044. A person from Macclesfield is sometimes referred to as a "Maxonian". Macclesfield, like many other areas in Cheshire, is a relatively affluent town.
- 1 Toponymy
- 2 History
- 3 Governance
- 4 Geography
- 5 Landmarks
- 6 Economy
- 7 Transport
- 8 Culture
- 9 Education
- 10 Religion
- 11 Sport and Leisure
- 12 Notable people
- 13 Twin Towns
- 14 See also
- 15 Notes and references
Situated in the ancient Hundred of Hamestan, the town is recorded in the Domesday Book as "Maclesfeld" and in 1183 it was referred to as "Makeslesfeld". The English Place-Name Society gives its name as being derived from the Old English name, Maccel, and field, yielding the meaning "Maccel's open country".
Although "Silk Town" seems to be its preferred nickname, the traditional nickname of Macclesfield is "Treacle Town". This refers to an historical incident when a horse-drawn wagon overturned and split its load of treacle onto the street, after which the poor scooped the treacle off the road.
Macclesfield was granted a borough charter by Earl Ranulf III of Chester, in the early 13th century, and a second charter was granted by the future King Edward I, in 1261. The parish church of All Saints was built in 1278, an extension of a chapel built in approximately 1220.
Macclesfield was the administrative centre of the Hundred of Macclesfield, which occupied most of east Cheshire. The Earl of Chester's manor of Macclesfield was very large, and its boundary extended to Disley. The manor house was on the edge of the deer park, on the west of the town.
The Earls of Chester established the Forest of Macclesfield, which was much larger than its present-day namesake. It was used for hunting deer and pasturing sheep and cattle. By the end of the 13th century, large areas of the forest had been ploughed because of the pressure of population growth. In 1356, two trees from the forest were given to archer William Jauderell to repair his home.
Macclesfield Castle was a fortified town house built by the dukes of Buckingham in the later Middle Ages.
Macclesfield was once surrounded by walls and ramparts with three principal gates, the Chester Gate, the Jordan Gate and the Church Wall Gate (some sources give the name Well Gate for this gate). These names are preserved in the names of three streets in the town, Chestergate, Jordangate and Back Wallgate. During the Civil War, in 1642 the town was occupied for the King by Sir Thomas Aston, a Royalist. The walls and castle were damaged when the town was subsequently bombarded and taken by a parliamentarian force under Sir William Brereton. After the war the walls were completely destroyed on the orders of Cromwell and the Council of the Commonwealth.
In the Jacobite Rising of 1745, Charles Stuart and his army marched through Macclesfield as they attempted to reach London. The mayor was forced to welcome the prince, and the event is commemorated in one of the town's silk tapestries.
Macclesfield was once the world's biggest producer of finished silk. There were 71 silk mills operating in 1832. Paradise Mill is a working mill museum which demonstrates the art of silk throwing and Jacquard weaving to the public. The four Macclesfield Silk Museums display a range of information and products from that period.
Macclesfield is the original home of Hovis breadmakers, produced in Publicity Works Mill (commonly referred to as "the Hovis Mill") on the canal close to Buxton Road. It was founded by a Macclesfield businessman and a baker from Stoke-on-Trent. Hovis is said to derive from the Latin "homo-vitalis" (strength for man) as a way of providing a cheap and nutritious food for poor mill workers and was a very dry and dense wholemeal loaf completely different from the modern version.
Between 1826 and 1831 the Macclesfield Canal was constructed, linking Macclesfield to Marple to the north and Kidsgrove to the south. The canal was surveyed for its Act of Parliament by the canal and roads engineer Thomas Telford, and built by William Crosley (junior), the Macclesfield Canal Company's engineer. It was the last narrow canal to be completed and had only limited success because within ten years much of the coal and other potential cargo was increasingly being transported by rail.
Waters Green was once home to a nationally known horse market which features in the legend of the Wizard of Alderley Edge. Waters Green and an area opposite Arighi Bianchi, now hidden under the Silk Road, also held a sheep and cattle market until the 1980s.
Macclesfield was first represented in Parliament after the Reform Act of 1832, when it was granted two members of Parliament. This situation lasted until 1880, when after problems at the general election that year it was decided to declare the election void and suspend the writ of election (so no by-election could take place). In September 1880 a Royal Commission was appointed to investigate further. A report of March 1881 confirmed the allegations of corruption. As a result, the borough constituency was disenfranchised for corruption. The disenfranchisement took effect on 25 June 1885, when the town was transferred to the East Cheshire constituency. However under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 the Macclesfield constituency was recreated with extended boundaries, as a county division, later in 1885. From the 1885 general election it has elected one MP. Macclesfield has for some time been considered to be a safe seat for the Conservative Party, having been held by it since the 1918 general election.
Currently, Macclesfield is represented by Gravesend-born David Rutley, a Conservative and practising Mormon. He was selected for this seat in 2010, when Sir Nicholas Winterton, who had been the incumbent for 38 years, announced his retirement following unfavourable press coverage relating to the claiming of Parliamentary expenses. Sir Nicholas' wife, Anne Winterton, held the neighbouring seat of Congleton.
Macclesfield was governed locally by Macclesfield Municipal Borough (see Macclesfield (borough) until 1974 when Macclesfield Borough Council was established, a local government district with borough status. Following the establishment of Cheshire East Council in 2009 the borough was abolished and the Mayoralty transferred to charter trustees. Macclesfield Town Council was established in 2015 following a community governance review which established a civil parish.
Macclesfield is 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 38 miles (60 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.
||Prestbury||Poynton||Peak District – Whaley Bridge|
|Chelford||Peak District – Buxton|
Macclesfield is the manufacturing home to AstraZeneca, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. The furniture store Arighi Bianchi was founded in 1829. The Georgian Town Hall was designed by Francis Goodwin in 1823. Other industries include textiles, light engineering, paper and plastics.
Macclesfield station is on the Stafford to Manchester section of the West Coast Main Line and has frequent services to Manchester Piccadilly (25 minutes away), Stoke and London Euston (1 hour 47 minutes) by Virgin Trains, and to Birmingham New Street and beyond provided by CrossCountry. Northern's stopping service between Manchester and Stoke calls at Macclesfield.
A railway station was first opened at Beech Lane by the LNWR on 19 June 1849 and replaced a month later by Hibel Road Station. The current station dates from the modernisation of the West Coast Main Line in the 1960s, when the old station buildings were demolished to make way for new buildings.
On 26 July 1971, an electric multiple unit departed from Macclesfield station against signals and was derailed by trap points.
Macclesfield is served by good road links from the north, south and west, but has fewer roads going east due to the proximity of the Peak District. From the south, access from Congleton and the Potteries is from the A536, and via the A523 from Leek. From the north, the main access to the town is the A523 from Manchester, Hazel Grove and Poynton. The main west–east road is the A537 Knutsford to Buxton Road. At various points around the town centre, some of these roads combine, such as the A537 / A523 on the Silk Road section, giving rise to traffic congestion, especially at peak times. The A538 provides access to Prestbury, Wilmslow and Manchester Airport, with the B5470 being the only other eastbound route from the town, heading to Whaley Bridge and Chapel-en-le-Frith.
Macclesfield has been accused of having 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.
The town is the birthplace of wildlife painter Charles F. Tunnicliffe RA OBE (1901–1979).
The Silk Opera Company was created to perform 'The Monkey Run' at Barnaby.
Macclesfield is also home to a Silk Museum and a number of art galleries.
Local newspapers include the Macclesfield Express and the Community News. Macclesfield residents have access to Macclesfield Forum, an online message board, for informal discussion of local news and issues. The town is also served by two locally based radio stations: Canalside Community Radio based at the Clarence Mill in Bollington, just north of Macclesfield, and Silk FM, a commercial independent radio station with studios in the town. Local information websites include Visit Macclesfield and the local what's on guide, Canalside's The Thread.
The last remaining commercial cinema in Macclesfield closed in 1997. Discussions have taken place regarding the possibility of building a multiplex cinema, but 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 has since become well established; also based in the Heritage Centre is the Silk Screen arts cinema, which gives fortnightly screenings of art-house films.
Amateur dramatics is well represented in the town: the Macclesfield Amateur Dramatic Society has existed since 1947 and performs in its own theatre on Lord Street. The Macclesfield Majestic Theatre Group has been producing musicals since its inception in 1971, initially at the Majestic Theatre (hence the title), but latterly at various other locations after the theatre was converted into a public house by the new tenants. Most recently, shows have been produced at the Heritage Centre, the Evans Theatre in Wilmslow and MADS Theatre on Lord Street. Several members of this society have progressed to the professional stage, most notably Marshall Lancaster and Jonathan Morris.
Macclesfield has appeared in film: it was used as the location for Sir John Mills's film So Well Remembered in 1947. 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. It was also the location of Control (2007), a film about Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division.
Macclesfield was the home town of Ian Curtis and Stephen Morris of Joy Division, and Gillian Gilbert, who along with Stephen Morris was a member of New Order. A memorial to Curtis is located in Macclesfield Crematorium. Other Macclesfield acts to have gained recognition include The Macc Lads and Marion. Silk Brass Band, the Macclesfield-based brass band, won the National Champions of Great Britain title in 2003. The blues singer John Mayall was born here in 1933. More recently, local band the Virginmarys has achieved national and international success. Chart-topping UK band The 1975 come from Macclesfield.
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.
Macclesfield Academy is made up of pupils from the former school Henbury High School, and also took in the pupils left over when Ryles Park secondary school closed in 2004. Ryles Park had been in turn an amalgamation of Ryles Park girls school and the oldest state school in the town, Macclesfield Central boys school, which closed in 1975. It is on the site of Macclesfield College and Park Lane Special School as part of the Macclesfield 'Learning Zone', which was opened in 2007. Macclesfield High School was the name originally given to the girls grammar school on Fence Avenue now forming part of the King's School.
The church is approached from Water's Green by a flight of 108 steps, which themselves are a local landmark.
Macclesfield Sunday School started in 1796 as a non-denominational Sunday School in Pickford Street, which catered for 40 children. It was founded by John Whitaker whose objective was "to lessen the sum of human wretchedness by diffusing religious knowledge and useful learning among the lower classes of society". Though chapels set up their denominational schools, the Sunday School committee in 1812 elected to erect a purpose-built school on Roe Street. The Big Sunday School had 1,127 boys and 1,324 girls on its books when it opened.
St Alban's Church in Chester Road is an active Roman Catholic parish church. The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building. It was designed by A. W. N. Pugin.
Christ Church' is a brick-built redundant Anglican church in Great King Street. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building, and is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. The church was in use until 1981. It remains consecrated and is used occasionally for services.
Other churches or architectural merit include:
- King Edward Street Chapel, Macclesfield
- St George's Church, Macclesfield
- St Paul's Church, Macclesfield
- St Peter's Church, Macclesfield
- Holy Trinity Church, Hurdsfield
- Macclesfield United Reformed Church
Sport and Leisure
Macclesfield's professional football club, Macclesfield Town, first gained league status in 1997 as Football Conference Champions; they had won that title two years earlier but were denied promotion as their Moss Rose stadium in the south of the town failed to meet Football League stadium capacity requirements. As of the 2016–2017 season, the Silkmen play in the Football Conference after relegation in April 2012.
Macclesfield's cycling club Macclesfield Wheelers is a local club for all cycling activities, from pleasure riding to racing. World-famous cyclist Reg Harris produced "Reg Harris" bikes in Macclesfield for three years during the 1960s. The local cycling campaign group is known as MaccBUG (Macclesfield Borough Bicycle Users Group). Formed in 1999, it campaigns for better cycling provision for leisure and utility cyclists.
Macclesfield Harriers & Athletic Club is an active club with over 500 members. The club caters for all abilities and ages. There are sections for Road Running, Track & Field, Fell Running and Cross Country.
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 three times a week for 30 minutes.
- Blessed John Shert (c.1545 - 1582) English Catholic priest and martyr, who was executed during the reign of Elizabeth I. Beatified in 1889.
- Charles Roe (1715 – 1781) English industrialist. Helped in establishing the silk industry in Macclesfield and later involved in the mining and metal industries.
- Rev David Simpson, M.A. (1745 – 1799) Anglican priest who spent most of his career in Macclesfield
- Hester Rogers (1756 – 1794) British Methodist writer and role model for women Methodists
- William Buckley, (1780–1856) escaped convict, survived among Australian aborigines between 1803 and 1835, raised here.
- James Pigot (1769 – 1843) British publisher of directories, and a pioneering publisher of trade directories.
- Thomas Thornycroft (1815 – 1885) English sculptor and engineer
- John Charles Ryle (1816 – 1900) was the first Anglican Bishop of Liverpool
- Alfred Gatley (1816–1863) was an English sculptor.
- William Coare Brocklehurst (1818 – 1900) English Liberal Party politician and head of a family of silk producers in Macclesfield. One of two local MP's in 1880 but unseated for bribery. Mayor of Macclesfield from 1883 to 1885
1820 to 1870
- David Chadwick (1821 – 1895) English accountant and Liberal Party politician. One of two MP's for Macclesfield from 1868 to 1880 when unseated and then convicted of bribery and of making a false return of election expenses
- Alderman John Birchenough JP (1825 - 1895) prominent local politician and silk manufacturer in the town
- Thomas Mottershead (c.1825 – 1884) British trade unionist and socialist activist.
- William Ryle II (1834–1881) silk manufacturer. Went to Paterson, New Jersey, USA where he owned and operated the largest silk importing firm in the United States, made a $25,000,000 fortune.
- Lieutenant-Colonel William Brocklehurst Brocklehurst (1851 – 1929) businessman and Liberal Party politician. MP for Macclesfield from 1906 to 1918
- Sir John Henry Birchenough, 1st Baronet, GCMG (1853 – 1937) English businessman and public servant.
- Arthur Smith Woodward, (1864–1944) palaeontologist specialising in fossil fish, was born and educated here
- Sui Sin Far (born Edith Maude Eaton, 1865 – 1914) author known for her writing about Chinese people in North America and the Chinese American experience
- Joseph McCabe, (1867 - 1955) rationalist writer and critic of religion, was born here
1870 to 1920
- Frederick W. Birchenough (c.1875 - 1951) British trade unionist
- John Wadsworth, (1879–1955), ceramics designer for Mintons, born in Macclesfield. With L. Solon he designed Minton's Secessionist ware 1901–02 and later the large vase to commemorate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
- The Very Reverend Godwin Birchenough (1880, Macclesfield – 1953) only son of a prominent Macclesfield silk manufacturer and Canon of Chelmsford Cathedral in 1933 and became Dean of Ripon Cathedral in 1941
- Mabel Frances Layng (1881 – 1937) English landscape and figure painter
- Charles Gordon Hewitt (1885 – 1920) Canadian economic entomologist and pioneer of conservation biology
- Lieutenant Colonel Richard Crosse DSO & Bar (1888–1970) British Army officer who commanded the 2nd Battalion The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (The 52nd) on the Western Front
- Vera Brittain (1893 – 1970) writer, lived in Macclesfield as a child.
- Charles Frederick Tunnicliffe OBE, RA (1901 – 1979) renowned naturalistic painter of British birds and other wildlife
- Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Walter Henry Bromley-Davenport TD DL, Kt. (1903 – 1989) Conservative MP for Knutsford from 1945 until 1970
- Percy Wragg Brian FRS FRSE CBE (1910 - 1979) British botanist and mycologist, developed natural antibiotics such as Gibberellin and Griseofulvin
- Alec Stokes, (1919–2003) scientist who worked on X-ray crystallography and DNA was born here.
- Brian Redhead, (1929–1993) former Manchester Guardian journalist and BBC Radio 4 Today anchorman, lived in the town
- Sir Andreas Whittam Smith, CBE (born Macclesfield 1937) English financial journalist, founded and editor of The Independent newspaper in October 1986
- Sir Nicholas Raymond Winterton (born 1938) retired British Conservative Party politician. He was MP for Macclesfield from 1971 until 2010
- Erika S.L. "Kika" Markham (born 1940) English actress, widow of Corin Redgrave
- Christine Mary Tacon CBE (born 1959) the United Kingdom's Groceries Code Adjudicator
- Peter James Stanford (born 1961) British writer, editor, journalist and presenter, known for his biographies and writings on religion and ethics
- Nick Robinson, (born 1963) political editor for the BBC, was born in Macclesfield and attended nearby Cheadle Hulme School.
- Sarah Jane Burton OBE (born 1974) an English fashion designer, currently creative director of fashion brand Alexander McQueen
- Helen Marten, (born 1985) sculptor who won the Turner Prize and the inaugural Hepworth Prize
- Peter Forbes Robinson (1926 – 1987) British bass, born in Macclesfield, best known for his performances in works by Mozart, Verdi, and Britten.
- John Mayall OBE (born 1933) a world-famous blues musician and bandleader who was greatly influential in the British blues movement born in Macclesfield 
- Noddy Holder (born 1946) lead singer of Slade, lives in the town.
- Ian Curtis (1956 – 1980) lead singer of Joy Division, lived and died there. He is buried in the Macclesfield cemetery.
- Stephen Morris (born 1957) drummer in the bands Joy Division, New Order, The Other Two & Bad Lieutenant
- Gillian Lesley Gilbert (born 1961) is an English musician, keyboardist, guitarist and singer, best known as a member of New Order and a founding member of The Other Two
- David Shrigley (born in the town 1968) visual artist,
- Mr Scruff, (Andrew "Andy" Carthy) (born 1972) Stockport-based DJ, was born in Macclesfield.
- Philip "Phil" Cunningham (born 1974 in Macclesfield) guitarist, member of the bands Marion, New Order and Bad Lieutenant
- The Macc Lads (active 1981 - 1995) infamous local punk rock band
- Jim Moray (born 1981) folk musician, born in Macclesfield
- The Other Two (active 1990 - 2011) an English dance act consisting of Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert of New Order
- Jaime Harding, lead vocalist of Brit-Pop band Marion formed in 1993
- Hatty Keane (born 1994) r&b and pop singer
- The 1975 (formed 2002) pop band, formed in and around Macclesfield
- The Virginmarys (formed in 2009) rock band.
- MC Newwy, famous local grime MC and crime boss.
- Bradley Carson, professional maraca player and munging extraordinaire.
- John Joseph "Joe" Hawcridge (1863 in Macclesfield - 1905) a rugby union footballer of the 1880s,
- Linton Chorley Hope, FRAes (1863 – 1920) sailor, represented his country at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Meulan, France
- John Ewart Beswick (1897 – 1978) English footballer who played for Stoke City F.C. and Congleton Town F.C.
- Reg Harris OBE (1920 – 1992) track cyclist, active in the 1940s, 1950s and 1970s.
- Robert "Bobbie" van de Graaf (born 1944 in Macclesfield) retired Dutch rower who won a bronze medal in the coxed fours at the 1964 Summer Olympics
- Jonathan Agnew MBE (born 1960) cricketer and cricket commentator
- Peter Moores (born 1962) former England Cricket Coach, was born and went to school in Macclesfield.
- Stuart Brown (born 1972) thirteen-time British National Sidecarcross Champion.
- Steven Mellor (born 1973) Macclesfield's first Olympian. Olympic swimmer. Born and raised in Macclesfield. competed in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona
- Jamie Donaldson (born 1975) golfer, born in and plays for Wales, was raised and currently lives in the town
- Ben Ainslie CBE (born 1977) Olympic gold-medal-winning yachtsman, born in the town 
- Peter Crouch (born 1981) Stoke City and England international football player.
- Ben Amos (born 1990) footballer with Manchester United and later Bolton Wanderers
- Liam Hanrahan (born 1989) former professional boxer 9 fight 8win (5ko) 2012-2016. boxed on seven coldwell events and two matchroom undercards too Anthony Crolla.
- David Dickinson (born 1941) antiques expert and television presenter.
- Michael Richard Jackson (born 1958) is a British television producer and executive
- Mr Methane (born 1963 in Macclesfield) as Paul Oldfield, the world's only currently performing flatulist
- Greg Scott (born 1969) "Greggles" TV/Radio Presenter, best known as presenter of ITV's Quizmania
- Deborah Corrigan (born 1970) former glamour model and Page Three girl
- Dominic Adam Brunt (born in the town 1970) British actor best known for his part in ITV's Emmerdale as vet Paddy Kirk
- Geoff Lloyd (born 1973) radio DJ, also known as the Geoff half of Pete And Geoff; Hometime show on Absolute Radio.
- Marshall Lancaster (born 1974) actor, best known for playing DC Chris Skelton in the BBC dramas Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, was born in Macclesfield
- Rik Barnett (born 1990) actor and the 2010 winner of the best supporting actor award from Ibiza International Film Festival
- Eckernförde, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The official status has existed since 1953, although was submitted to review in 2011 after the formation of Cheshire East Council.
- Listed buildings in Macclesfield
- Cat and Fiddle Road
- Macclesfield Castle
- Barracks Square and Armoury Towers
- List of textile mills in Cheshire
Notes and references
- The apparently 15th-century St Michael's Church sandstone tower has carved panels with coats of arms:
- 1. Two chevrons and a canton (possibly Fitton);
- 2. A cross engrailed;
- 3. A cross engrailed charged with a mullet; :
- 4. A pale fusilly (possibly Nigel or Norton Augustinian Abbey, Cheshire, founded by Fitz-Nigel);
- 5. A cross ermine;
- 6. Quarterly, 1st and 4th a stag lodged, 2nd and 3rd a human leg couped at the thigh.
- Macclesfield is made up of seven wards; Central, Tytherington, West and Ivy, South, North, Broken Cross and Hurdsfield http://ukcensusdata.com/cheshire-east-e06000049#sthash.72PtJMkS.qlxyQqWN.dpbs
- "Coordinate Distance Calculator". boulter.com. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
- New Society, 9, New Society Limited, 1967, p. 933 "Maxonian" was originally coined to identify a group of alumni of King's School, Macclesfield at Oxford University as a portmanteau of Macclesfield and Oxonian, which was then applied to residents of the town in general.
- macclesfield express town_flying_high
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