Stockport is now a large town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies on elevated ground 7 miles (11 km) southeast of Manchester city centre, at the point where the rivers Goyt and Tame merge to create the River Mersey. Stockport is the largest settlement in the metropolitan borough of the same name. As of the 2001 Census the town had a population of 136,082 and the wider borough 284,528.
Stockport became a county borough in 1889 and was enlarged by gaining territory from Lancashire, including in 1906 Reddish and in 1913, the "Four Heatons". The Marple Urban District of Cheshire, formed in 1894, gained parts of Derbyshire in 1936 including Mellor and Ludworth from Chapel-en-le-Frith Rural District.
Stockport in the 16th century was a small town entirely on the south bank of the Mersey, and known for the cultivation of hemp and rope manufacture. In the 18th century the town had one of the first mechanised silk factories in the British Isles. However, Stockport's predominant industries of the 19th century were the cotton and allied industries. Stockport was also at the centre of the country's hatting industry, which by 1884 was exporting more than six million hats a year; the last hat works in Stockport closed in 1997.
Dominating the western approaches to the town is the Stockport Viaduct. Built in 1840, the viaduct's 27 brick arches carry the mainline railways from Manchester to Birmingham and London over the River Mersey. This structure featured as the background in many paintings by L. S. Lowry.
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Stockport.. Includes a long discussion of the hatting industry.