Marple, Greater Manchester facts for kids

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Marple
Marple Wharf - geograph.org.uk - 1500307.jpg
Marple Wharf
Marple shown within Greater Manchester
Population 23,686 
OS grid reference SJ971893
• London 154.5 mi (248.6 km)
Metropolitan borough
  • Stockport
Metropolitan county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town STOCKPORT
Postcode district SK6
Dialling code 0161
Police Greater Manchester
Fire Greater Manchester
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament
  • Hazel Grove
List of places
UK
England
Greater ManchesterMissing latitude in Module:Coordinates.formatTest()

Marple /ˈmɑːpəl/ is a small town within the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, in Greater Manchester, England. It lies on the River Goyt 9 miles (14 km) southeast of Manchester, 9 miles (14 km) north of Macclesfield and 4 miles (6 km) southeast of Stockport. In 2011, it had a population of 23,686.

Historically in Cheshire, the town lies along the Peak Forest Canal, containing the Marple Lock Flight and Marple Aqueduct. The Roman Lakes to the southeast of the town centre attracts anglers and walkers. Marple is served by two railway stations, Marple and Rose Hill, providing access to the rail network in Greater Manchester and beyond. It is also close by the Middlewood Way, a cycle path following the former Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway line south from Rose Hill to Macclesfield.

History

Etymology

The first reference to Marple in written history was to Merpel, believed to be derived from the Old English maere pill, meaning "The stream at the boundary".

Early history

Scientists estimate that the earliest residents of the area settled several millennia ago. There are clues to their existence around the Ludworth area where there are standing stones and tumuli. This was confirmed around 1998 when an archaeological dig in Mellor revealed many clues about the existence of Marple's earliest residents.

All saints church, Marple
All Saints' Church, a grade II listed building from 1811

The area was predominantly within the Macclesfield Forest, and was omitted from the Domesday Book survey. The first mention of the area was in 1122 in a deed for the sale of land. In 1220 the land passed to the Vernon family where it remained for several generations. The pre-Industrial Revolution inhabitants of the village mostly worked on small farms and others specialised in linen weaving and hatting. After 1790, Samuel Oldknow transformed much of this lifestyle, with the construction of lime kilns and mills. This formed part of the Industrial Revolution. The population of the village began to rise with the construction of terraces to house mill workers and the formation of a village centre filled with private businesses.

Samuel Oldknow also played a large role in the development of the town in addition to his mills; there is still a street named Oldknow Road in Marple today. He built workers' cottages and churches, introduced aspen trees to the area, and assisted in the constructions of the Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals. Marple Aqueduct, which opened in 1800, carries the Peak Forest Canals over the River Goyt, was designed by Benjamin Outram, a pioneer in the building of canals and tramways. Seven men lost their lives during its construction. Samuel Oldknow died in 1828; his mill was destroyed by fire in 1892. These navigations accelerated Marple's growth, but eventually declined into disrepair when the railway arrived in 1865. They have since been restored for use by leisure narrowboats, now forming part of the Cheshire Ring.

Recent history

"Roman Bridge" - geograph.org.uk - 44734
Footbridge over the River Goyt

In the early 1900s the town prospered from the success of cotton in nearby Stockport and Manchester; the canals in the area served as a link with other industrial towns. In 1936, Marple Urban District, at the time part of Cheshire, annexed from Derbyshire the parish of Ludworth and Mellor. Marple grew as a residential suburb of Stockport after the arrival of frequent bus and rail services in the 1920s.

Geography

The area, close to Derbyshire, covers just over 11 square miles (28 km2) of countryside, ranging from heavily wooded valleys to hill-top moorland. It rises from around 262 feet (80 m) above sea level at the River Goyt to 1,073 feet (327 m) at Cobden Edge. On a clear day it is possible to view the Beetham Tower in Manchester as well as the city centre, the Winter Hill TV transmitter and the surrounding counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire and West Yorkshire and the mountains of North Wales from the top of these hills.

Culture and community

The Regent Cinema, Marple
Regent Cinema, Marple

Since 1932 Marple has had a cinema in a building designed in 1878 as a place of worship or refuge. The building was purchased in 1932 by the "Marple Cinema Company" and became the Regent Cinema. It remains open as one of the few independent cinemas in the UK.

The town has two brass bands, the Marple Band and the Hawk Green (Marple) Band.

Film appearances

In 2008, Marple was used as the setting for the BBC drama Sunshine.

Marple featured in a 2010 BBC documentary on Dr Beeching and the effect of axing the railway. The programme highlighted the transport issues and how getting the train from Marple to Stockport was impossible, and road traffic made the journey one of the most difficult in the UK.

Landmarks

Marple canal
Junction of Peak Forest Canal and the Macclesfield Canal in Marple

Marple is notable for its series of 16 canal locks, known as Marple Lock Flight, close to the village centre. The Peak Forest Canal skirts the village, north running alongside Marple Memorial Park and Brabyns Park until it reaches the Marple Aqueduct and on to Dukinfield Junction, and south towards Bugsworth Basin. Macclesfield Canal meets the Peak Forest Canal at Marple Junction, and heads towards Birmingham. The two canals form part of the Cheshire Ring canal system; the canals served as a vital link during the Industrial Revolution. Nowadays they provide an area of relaxation for walkers, anglers and boaters.

The Roman Lakes leisure complex is popular with walkers, anglers, nature lovers and horse riders. It is located in the valley bottom close to Strines. The area was named in the Victorian era as an attraction to tourists not because it had links with the Romans (also true of Roman Bridge, a packhorse bridge over the Goyt). In the area closest to the river there was a mill built by Samuel Oldknow; it is now ruined and overgrown. In 2011, volunteers uncovered the wheelpit and entrance footings to the mill and are currently seeking funds to continue the exploration. The wheelpit, which when built was the largest in the world, is now viewable.

The Middlewood Way is a 10-mile walking and cycling path between Marple and Macclesfield, following the line of the former Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway.

Marple Hall

Marple Hall is located close to where Marple Hall School now stands. The remains of the hall can be explored, though very little remains. The hall was the ancestral home of the Bradshaws and passed to the Isherwoods. It was demolished in 1959 after it was offered to the council in 1954 by the writer Christopher Isherwood, who had inherited it. By this time the hall had been ransacked by vandals and looters. Much of the estate is now residential housing or the school. The old hall foundations can be seen on the corner of Marple Hall Drive. There is a plaque on a piece of stone which is the only remaining lintel from the house. The shutters from its windows are restored and on display in Marple Library. The hall overlooked the River Goyt and it is still possible to walk from there to the river following a pathway which once led to the Dooley Lane entrance to the estate. Nearby Brabyn's Hall suffered a similar fate. Wyberslegh Hall, now in private ownership, stood ruined for a time.

Transport

Rose Hill Marple railway station 2007
Rose Hill Marple railway station
Bus in Stockport Road
Stagecoach's 384 service towards Stockport

The town lies along the A626, which runs between Glossop and Heaton Chapel. It has a junction in the centre of Marple with the B6101, which heads south to New Mills.

Public transport

The town falls within the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive area, with public transport provided by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

Marple is served by two railway stations: Marple railway station and Rose Hill Marple railway station (originally on the now-defunct Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway). Both railway stations are now located on the Hope Valley Line, with both providing services to Manchester Piccadilly. The Agatha Christie character Miss Marple was named after the railway station, at which Christie was once delayed.

The town has many bus services, most of which lead to Stockport via Offerton and Bredbury, and routes also provide links Glossop, Stepping Hill Hospital, Hayfield and New Mills. Most routes are operated by Stagecoach Manchester and High Peak.

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