Sale is now a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford, in Greater Manchester, England. Until 1974 Sale was in the county of Cheshire. The town lies on flat ground on the south bank of the River Mersey, 1.9 miles (3.1 km) south of Stretford, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) northeast of Altrincham, and 5.2 miles (8.4 km) southwest of the city of Manchester. As of the 2001 United Kingdom census, it had a population of 55,000.
Throughout the Middle Ages, Sale was a rural township, linked ecclesiastically with neighbouring Ashton upon Mersey. In this period, its fertile fields and meadows were used for crops and cattle farming. By the 17th century, Sale had developed a thriving cottage industry, manufacturing garthweb, the woven material from which horses' saddle girths were made.
The Bridgewater Canal reached the town in 1765, providing transport for goods and people, stimulating Sale's urbanisation. The arrival of the railway in 1849 triggered Sale's growth as a commuter town for Manchester and beyond, leading to an influx of middle class residents; by the end of the 19th century the town's population had more than tripled. Agriculture subsequently declined as service industries boomed.
Sale's urban growth resulted in a merger with neighbouring Ashton upon Mersey, following the Local Government Act 1929. The increase in population led to the granting of a charter in 1935, giving Sale honorific borough status. Since then, Sale has continued to thrive as a commuter town, supported by its proximity to the M60 motorway and the Manchester Metrolink network.
Historically, Sale was a township in the ancient parish of Ashton upon Mersey in the hundred of Bucklow and county of Cheshire. Throughout the Middle Ages it was governed by the Lord of the Manor. Following the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, Sale became part of the Altrincham Poor Law Union, an inter-parish unit established to provide social security. The unit changed its name to Bucklow Poor Law Union in 1895.
Sale adopted the Local Government Act 1858 in November 1866, and Sale Local Board was formed to govern the township at the beginning of 1867. Members were elected to the local board by the town's ratepayers or property tax payers. A household had one vote for every £10 (equivalent to £800 in 2014) of rateable (or assessed) value. Under the Local Government Act 1888 Sale became an urban district of the administrative county of Cheshire. The local board was replaced by Sale Urban District Council in 1894. The parish of Ashton upon Mersey became an urban district in 1895. In 1930, the Ashton upon Mersey UD was merged into Sale UD under a county review order.
Sale Urban District became the Municipal Borough of Sale in 1935. Following the Local Government Act 1972, on 1 April 1974 the Municipal Borough of Sale was abolished and Sale became an unparished area of the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford, a local government district of the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester. The town's education, town planning, waste collection, health, social care and other services are administered by Trafford Council.
According to John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72 Sale included the villages of Sale Moor, Sale Green, and Brooklands. Sale Moor and Sale Green have been redirected here. There is, however, a paragraph about Sale Moor in the History section of the Wikipedia article on Sale. For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Sale, Greater Manchester.