Macclesfield facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsMacclesfield
Skyline of Macclesfield with the railway station in the foreground, the spire of St Paul's Church in the background and townscape.
|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 the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England, on the River Bollin in the east of the county on the edge of the Cheshire Plain, with Macclesfield Forest to its east, 16 miles (26 km) south of Manchester and 38 miles (61 km) east of Chester.
Before the Norman Conquest, Macclesfield was held by Edwin, Earl of Mercia and was assessed at £8. The manor is recorded in the Domesday Book as "Maclesfeld", meaning "Maccel's open country". The medieval town grew up on the hilltop around what is now St Michael's Church. It was granted a charter by Edward I in 1261, before he became king. Macclesfield Grammar School was founded in 1502. The town had a silk-button industry from at least the middle of the 17th century, and became a major silk-manufacturing centre from the mid-18th century. The Macclesfield Canal was constructed in 1826–31. Hovis breadmakers were another Victorian employer. Modern industries include pharmaceuticals. Multiple mill buildings are still standing, and several of the town's museums explore the local silk industry. Other landmarks include Georgian buildings such as the Town Hall and former Sunday School; St Alban's Church, designed by Augustus Pugin; and the Arighi Bianchi furniture shop.
The population of Macclesfield at the 2011 census was 51,482. A person from Macclesfield is sometimes referred to as a "Maxonian". Macclesfield, like many other areas in Cheshire, is a relatively affluent town.
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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 is said to be the only mill town left unbombed in World War II.
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|
The town is famous for its once thriving silk industry, commemorated in the Silk Museum.
Barracks Square was the home of the Cheshire Militia from 1859. It is now a Grade 2 listed residential area.
Macclesfield is also home to an Augustus Pugin church, St Alban's on Chester Road.
Macclesfield station is on the Stafford to Manchester section of the West Coast Main Line and has frequent services to Manchester Piccadilly (20 minutes away), Stoke-on-Trent and London Euston (1 hour 47 minutes) by Avanti West Coast, and to Birmingham New Street and beyond provided by CrossCountry. Northern's stopping service between Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent calls at Macclesfield.
A railway station was first opened at Beech Lane by the LNWR on 19 June 1849, which was 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 has a bus station located within the town centre. The original bus station building opened on Sunderland Street, just outside Macclesfield railway station. In 2004, a new bus station opened on Queen Victoria Street, which is the town's current bus station.
There are around 15 bus routes in Macclesfield that run within the town or surrounding towns such as Congleton, Wilmslow & Knutsford. Other locations include Stockport, Crewe, Buxton, Altrincham, Wythenshawe & Chatsworth House. Buses in Macclesfield run Monday to Saturday. The only bus service on a Sunday is Centrebus Route 58 to Chatsworth.
The two main bus companies in Macclesfield are Arriva North West & Centrebus along with other local operators.
Macclesfield is served by good road links from the north, south and west, but has fewer roads going east due to the terrain 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.
The hilltop church of St Michael and All Angels has views of nearby Kerridge Hill.
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. At the end of the 2019–20 season, the Silkmen were relegated from EFL League Two. In September 2020, Macclesfield Town Football Club was wound up in the High Court over debts totalling more than £500,000.
On 13 October 2020, the Official Receiver confirmed that the assets of Macclesfield Town had been sold to Macc Football Club Limited. Local businessman (and owner of 10th tier Stockport Town) Robert Smethurst had purchased the assets, intending to rebrand the club as Macclesfield F.C. and enter the North West Counties Football League in the 2021–22 campaign. Former Wales international Robbie Savage, now a Stockport Town player, is to join the club's board, and former Town manager Danny Whittaker is to be team manager.
Other football clubs
Youth football teams include Macclesfield Juniors FC, Macclesfield Saints JFC, Moss Rose Juniors FC and Tytherington Juniors.
Macclesfield RUFC, the town's rugby union club, plays in National League 1, following promotion from National League 2 North in the 2013–14 season.
Macclesfield Chess Club is one of the oldest chess clubs in the country having been founded in 1886.
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.
Macclesfield Hockey Club is a community club with 8 senior teams and a thriving junior section. They cater for players of all abilities from the age of 5 upwards. At the first team level, the Ladies play in the Regional North Leagues and the men in the North West Hockey Premier League.
In December 2006, Sport England published a survey which revealed that residents of Macclesfield were the third-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.
Macclesfield parkrun, a free weekly timed 5k run, takes place in South Park every Saturday morning at 9.00am.
- 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.
Macclesfield is the manufacturing home to AstraZeneca, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. The furniture store Arighi Bianchi was founded in 1829. Other industries include textiles, light engineering, paper and plastics.
Macclesfield is served by four state-funded academies (previously state high schools); Tytherington School, The Macclesfield Academy, Fallibroome Academy and All Hallows Catholic College.
There are also two independent schools, The King's School which dates from the 16th century and Beech Hall School.
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.
- John Brocklehurst DL, MP (1788–1870) Head of a family of silk producers, banker and MP for Macclesfield for 36 years from 1832 to 1868.
- William Coare Brocklehurst (1818–1900) English Liberal Party politician. Son of John and his successor as MP (1868–80). Unseated after a complaint of bribery during the 1880 election which caused the borough to lose its representation in Westminster; son William (1851–1933)
- 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
- William Brocklehurst Brocklehurst (1851–1929) businessman and Liberal Party MP for Macclesfield from 1906 to 1918
- Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport TD DL, Kt. (1903–1989) Conservative MP for Knutsford from 1945 until 1970
- Sir Nicholas Winterton (born 1938) retired Conservative politician, MP for Macclesfield from 1971 until 2010
- Rev David Simpson, M.A. (1745–1799) Anglican priest who spent most of his career in Macclesfield
- William Buckley, (1780–1856) escaped convict, survived among Australian aborigines between 1803 and 1835, raised here.
- John Charles Ryle (1816–1900) was the first Anglican Bishop of Liverpool
- Thomas Mottershead (c.1825 – 1884) British trade unionist and socialist activist
- Herbert Philips (c.1835–1905) philanthropist and justice of the peace
- Sir Samuel Rowe KCMG (1835–1888) doctor and colonial administrator of Sierra Leone, the Gambia and Gold Coast
- Arthur Smith Woodward, (1864–1944) palaeontologist specialising in fossil fish, was born and educated here
- Richard Crosse DSO & Bar (1888–1970) distinguished British Army officer
- Vera Brittain (1893–1970) nurse, writer, feminist and pacifist, lived in Macclesfield as a child
- Edward Brittain MC (1895 in Macclesfield – 1918) British Army officer, fought and died in WW1 and was immortalised by his sister Vera Brittain in Testament of Youth
- Percy Wragg Brian FRS FRSE CBE (1910–1979) British botanist and mycologist, developed natural antibiotics
- Alec Stokes, (1919–2003) scientist worked on X-ray crystallography and DNA was born here.
- Christine Mary Tacon CBE (born 1959) the United Kingdom's Groceries Code Adjudicator
- Tony Pollard (born 1965) archaeologist, specialising in the archaeology of conflict
- Charles Roe (1715–1781) industrialist, helped establish the silk industry in Macclesfield
- James Pigot (1769–1843) British publisher of directories, and a pioneering publisher of trade directories
- John Birchenough JP (1825–1895) silk manufacturer in the town and local politiciand
- Sir Thomas Wardle (1831–1909) businessman, known for his innovations in silk dyeing and printing on silk
- William Ryle II (1834–1881) silk manufacturer
- Sir John Henry Birchenough, 1st Baronet, GCMG (1853–1937) English businessman and public servant.
- Peter Gaddum (1902–1986) was the sole provider of raw silk to the UK during much of World War II
- Alfred Gatley (1816–1863) was an English sculptor
- John William Wadsworth (1879–1955), ceramics designer for Mintons, born in Macclesfield
- Mabel Frances Layng (1881–1937) English landscape and figure painter
- Charles Tunnicliffe OBE, RA (1901–1979) naturalistic painter of British birds and other wildlife; born in the village of Langley
- Kika Markham (born 1940) English actress, widow of Corin Redgrave
- Sarah Burton OBE (born 1974) fashion designer, creative director of fashion brand Alexander McQueen
- Helen Marten, (born 1985) sculptor who won the Turner Prize and the inaugural Hepworth Prize
Journalists and writers
- Hester Rogers (1756–1794) British Methodist writer and role model for women Methodists
- Sui Sin Far (born Edith Maude Eaton; 1865–1914) author, wrote about Chinese people in North America
- Joseph McCabe, (1867–1955) rationalist writer and critic of religion, was born here
- Brian Redhead, (1929–1993) Manchester Guardian journalist and BBC Radio 4 Today anchorman, lived in the town
- Sir Andreas Whittam Smith, CBE (born 1937) financial journalist, founded and edited The Independent newspaper in 1986
- Michael Jackson (born 1958) television producer and executive, was Controller of both BBC One and BBC Two and Chief Executive of Channel 4, between 1997 and 2001
- Peter Stanford (born 1961) writer, editor, journalist, presenter, known for biographies and writings on religion and ethics
- Nick Robinson, (born 1963) was political editor for the BBC, now presenter of the Today programme
- Stuart Evers (born 1976) novelist, short story writer and critic.
- Forbes Robinson (1926–1987) bass, known for his performances in works by Mozart, Verdi, and Britten.
- John Mayall OBE (born 1933) blues musician and bandleader, influential in the British blues movement
- 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 Gilbert (born 1961) musician, keyboardist, guitarist, singer, member of New Order, founding member of The Other Two
- Andy Carthy (born 1972) known by his stage name Mr. Scruff, record producer and DJ
- Phil Cunningham (born 1974 in Macclesfield) guitarist, member of the bands Marion, New Order and Bad Lieutenant
- Jim Moray (born 1981) folk musician, born in Macclesfield
- The Macc Lads (active 1981 – present) rock band
- The Other Two (active 1990–2011) an English dance act consisting of Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert of New Order
- Marion (formed in 1993) Brit-Pop band
- Hatty Keane (born 1994) r&b and pop singer
- The Virginmarys (formed in 2009) rock band.
- David Dickinson (born 1941) antiques expert and television presenter.
- Robert Longden (born 1951) composer, librettist, director, film, stage and television actor
- Michael 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
- Dominic Brunt (born 1970) actor, played vet Paddy Kirk in ITV's Emmerdale
- 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, played DC Chris Skelton in the BBC dramas Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes
- Joseph Hawcridge (1863 in Macclesfield – 1905) a rugby union footballer
- Linton Hope (1863–1920) sailor, competed at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Meulan, France
- Reg Harris OBE (1920–1992) track cyclist, active in the 1940s, 1950s and 1970s.
- Bobbie van de Graaf (born 1944 in Macclesfield) retired Dutch rower, bronze medalist in the 1964 Summer Olympics
- Chris Nicholl (born 1946) former Northern Ireland international footballer, over 600 pro appearances, coach and manager
- Jonathan Agnew MBE (born 1960) cricketer and cricket commentator
- Peter Moores (born 1962) former England Cricket Coach, born and schooled in Macclesfield.
- Stuart Brown (born 1972) thirteen-time British National Sidecarcross Champion.
- Steven Mellor (born 1973) swimmer, 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
- Sir Ben Ainslie CBE (born 1977) Olympic gold medal-winning yachtsman, born in the town
- Peter Crouch (born 1981) Burnley F.C. and England international football player.
- Vicky Jepson, association football manager
- Izzy Christiansen (born 1991) English women footballer
- Matthew Nottingham (born 1992) badminton player
- Emily Whitlock (born 1994) a professional squash player, world No. 12 in 2017.
Images for kids
In Spanish: Macclesfield para niños
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