Place:Macclesfield, Cheshire, England

Watchers
NameMacclesfield
Alt namesBroken Crosssource: hamlet in original parish
Longmosssource: hamlet in original parish
Moss Side (Macclesfield)source: hamlet in original parish
Sycamore Hillsource: hamlet in original parish
Whirley Greensource: hamlet in original parish
TypeBorough
Coordinates53.258°N 2.127°W
Located inCheshire, England
See alsoPrestbury, Cheshire, Englandancient parish of which it was a township
Macclesfield Hundred, Cheshire, Englandhundred in which it was located
Macclesfield District, Cheshire, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area 1974-2009
Cheshire East, Cheshire, Englandunitary authority in which it has been located since 2009
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

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.

GENUKI provides the following information:

Macclesfield was a township and borough in Prestbury ancient parish in the Macclesfield Hundred of Cheshire, England. It became a civil parish in 1866.

Since 1974 and the introduction of the Macclesfield District which includes many more communities, it ceased to be a municipal borough and became an unparished area. The original township included the hamlets of Broken Cross, Longmoss, Moss Side (Macclesfield), Sycamore Hill and Whirley Green. The population was 8,743 in 1801, 29,648 in 1851, 34,624 in 1901, 35,999 in 1951, and 49,531 in 2001.

(NOTE: There is also a suburb of Manchester named Moss Side.)

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

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.

The borough had a weekly market and two annual fairs: the Barnaby fair, was on St Barnabas day (11 June), the other on the feast of All Saints (1 November). In recent years the Barnaby fair has been reinvented as the Barnaby Festival, a cultural festival in mid-June. The weekly market no longer happens but on the last Sunday of each month the Treacle Market is held, a large market selling locally produced food and handmade items such as clothing, handmade goods and pottery.

Macclesfield was the administrative centre of the Hundred of Macclesfield, which occupied most of east Cheshire.[1] 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.

Contrary to what some believe, no proof exists of Macclesfield ever being a walled town. When the settlement was first established and for some centuries afterwards there would have certainly been some sort of ditch and palisade round the western side of the town which was not naturally defended. This was necessary in order to keep out undesirable people and stray animals. No physical trace of a ditch remains though measurements and the shape of certain streets suggest where such a ditch could have been and most of the medieval building were within this area. It is unlikely that the ditch and palisade were succeeded by a wall for no record has been found of a murage tax, which would certainly have been levied to keep the wall in repair. The suffix "Gate" in the names of several Macclesfield streets has been taken to indicate the former presence of a gate in the sense of a guarded opening in a wall, however, this is very unlikely as the term 'gate' is derived from 'gata', Scandinavian for road, which became gate in Middle English. Therefore, Chester Gate, the Jordan Gate and the Church Wall Gate (some sources give the name Well Gate for this gate), are simply referring to the road to/from Chester or the road leading from the church to the well. 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.

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. Armoury Towers was completed in 1858 and the Bridge Street drill hall was completed in 1871.

Industry

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 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),[2] 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.

Macclesfield is said to be the only mill town left unbombed in World War II.

Research Tips

Definitions

  • See the Wikipedia articles on parishes and civil parishes for descriptions of this lowest rung of local administration. The original parishes (known as ancient parishes) were ecclesiastical, under the jurisdiction of the local priest and his bishop. A parish covered a specific geographical area and was sometimes equivalent to that of a manor. Sometimes, in the case of very large rural parishes, there were chapelries where a "chapel of ease" allowed parishioners to worship closer to their homes. In the 19th century the term civil parish was adopted to define parishes with a secular form of local government. In WeRelate both civil and ecclesiastical parishes are included in the type of place called a "parish". Smaller places within parishes, such as chapelries and hamlets that never became independent civil parishes, have been redirected into the parish in which they are located. The names of these smaller places are italicized within the text.
  • Rural districts were groups of geographically close civil parishes in existence between 1894 and 1974. They were formed as a middle layer of administration between the county and the civil parish. Inspecting the archives of a rural district will not be of much help to the genealogist or family historian, unless there is need to study land records in depth.
  • Registration districts were responsible for civil registration or vital statistics and census records. The boundaries of these districts were revised from time to time depending on population density and local government organization. To ascertain the registration district to which a parish belonged in the timeframe in question, see Registration Districts in Cheshire, part of the UK_BMD website.

Helpful Sources

  • Cheshire Archives and Local Studies are the local keepers of historical material for the county. But archives for places that were absorbed into Greater Manchester and Merseyside in 1974 may have been moved to the archive centres for the metropolitan county concerned.
  • FamilySearch Cheshire Research Wiki provides a good overview of the county and also articles on most of the individual parishes (very small or short-lived ones may have been missed).
  • The GENUKI pages on Cheshire and its parishes point to many other sources of information on places within the county. The many small parishes and townships that existed before 1866 are treated individually as well as the larger towns and conurbations. The GENUKI pages for individual parishes now include a map of the parish and its surrounding area.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time also has summaries and lists of statistics for each parish, but its organization is not for the beginning family historian in a hurry.
  • The pay websites Ancestry and FindMyPast have a number of county-wide collections of censuses, Church of England baptisms, marriages and burials (some from the 1500s), and some providing microfilm copies of the manuscript entries. An international subscription is necessary to access Ancestry's UK holdings.
  • A book entitled The history of the county palatine and city of Chester with the subtitle "compiled from original evidences in public offices, the Harleian and Cottonian mss., parochial registers, private muniments, unpublished ms. collections of successive Cheshire antiquaries, and a personal survey of every township in the county, incorporated with a re-publication of King's Vale royal and Leycester's Cheshire antiquities" by George Ormerod and others was published in 1819. It has been quoted by WR users interested in families traced before 1600. It is available online as images of the original pages at the Open Library (Google Books) as Vol I, Vol II and Vol III.
  • Unfortunately, the Institute of Historical Research only includes two volumes of the Victoria County History for Cheshire on their website and these only cover the City of Chester. There may be other volumes to this series in print, but a Google Search does not indicate any further volumes online.

Maps

  • Cheshire Archives and Local Studies have organized a facility to compare tithe maps circa 1830 and 19th century Ordnance Survey maps with the modern Ordnance Survey. These are available for every civil parish. A knob in the centre of the screen allows the user to move back and forth between the old and the new view. Use the key on the left to show other possibilities including land ownership.
  • The diagrammatical map of Sanitary Districts in Cheshire showing Civil Parishes 1888 produced by the Ordnance Survey and provided by A Vision of Britain through Time is helpful. "Sanitary Districts" were the predecessors of rural districts and usually followed the same boundaries.
  • The Ordnance Survey map of Cheshire circa 1900 supplied by A Vision of Britain through Time shows invidual settlements as well as parishes. There were significant administrative changes in the decade 1890-1900 that have led to some civil parishes absorbed into adjacent urban districts being omitted from this map.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time provides a series of maps from the Ordnance Survey illustrating the towns and villages of Cheshire and also the borders between parishes. The following group of maps provide views of the county at various dates, illustrating the changes in administrative structure.
  • For a close-up view of an area as it looked in the 19th century, try the National Library of Scotland provision. The maps include the Ordnance Survey (OS) 25-inch to the mile series for England and Wales for the period 1841-1952. Country estates and factory buildings on the edge of towns are labelled; roads, railways, rivers and canals are shown.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Macclesfield. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.