Place:Prestbury, Cheshire, England

Alt namesBradley Mountsource: hamlet in parish
Withinleesource: hamlet in parish
TypeAncient parish, Civil parish
Coordinates53.283°N 2.15°W
Located inCheshire, England
See alsoMacclesfield Hundred, Cheshire, Englandhundred in which it was located
Macclesfield Rural, Cheshire, Englandrural district in which it was located 1894-1974
Macclesfield District, Cheshire, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area 1974-2009
Cheshire East, Cheshire, Englanddistrict municipality and unitary authority covering the area since 2009

Prestbury was the largest ancient parish in Cheshire. In 1870 it was reckoned to cover 61,901 acres according to John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales. At the time of the Norman conquest, the parish was even larger and consisted of thirty-five townships. The following list from A Vision of Britain through Time shows 32 still remaining in the 19th century. Since then, as noted below, there have been a number of reorganizations.

Macclesfield became a municipal borough in 1894 and Bollington became an urban district. All the other townships became civil parishes within Macclesfield Rural District. See the rural district page or one of the parish pages for a map indicating the whereabouts of the indivividual parishes.

A discussion of Prestbury township and civil parish follows the table below.

Townships of the ancient parish

Birtlesto Henbury in 1936
Butleyto Prestbury and Bollington (near Macclesfield) in 1936
Capesthornechapelry, to Siddington in 1936
Fallibroometo Prestbury and Macclesfield in 1936
Henburyformed from Birtles and Henbury cum Pexall in 1936
Henbury cum Pexallto Henbury in 1936
Lower Withingtonjoined with Old Withington in 1936 as Withington; renamed Lower Withington in 1978
Lyme Handley
Macclesfield Forestchapelry, became part of Macclesfield Forest and Wildboarclough in 1981
Marton (near Congleton)
Mottram St. Andrew
Newton by Prestburyto Mottram St. Andrew in 1936
North Rode
Old Withingtonjoined with Lower Withington in 1936 as Withington
Pott Shrigleychapelry
Poyntonchapelry, renamed Poynton with Worth in 1881
Sutton Lane Ends
Tytheringtonsplit between Macclesfield and Bollington (near Macclesfield) in 1936
Upton (near Macclesfield)to Prestbury and Macclesfield in 1936
Wildboarcloughto Macclesfield Forest and Wildboarclough in 1981
Woodfordto Hazel Grove and Bramhall Urban District in 1939
Worthbecame part of Poynton with Worth in 1881

Prestbury as a township and village

Prestbury was also a township within the ancient parish and the township became a civil parish in 1866. It includes the hamlets of Bradley Mount and part of Withinlee. The population of the township was 466 in 1801, 373 in 1851, 291 in 1901, 1,693 in 1951, and 3,324 in 2001. (Source: GENUKI)

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Prestbury (#29 on map) is a village, civil parish and ecclesiastical or ancient parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. Prestbury is a long, narrow parish covering 1,165 hectares to the west of the Peak Park foothills and to the east of the sandstone ridge which is known as ‘the edge’ (as in Alderley Edge). The village is about 1.5 miles (3 km) north of Macclesfield.

At the time of the UK 2001 census, the civil parish had a population of 3,324. It is one of the most sought after and expensive places to live outside of London. Three of the original townships, Butley, Fallibroome and Prestbury, constitute the present civil parish of Prestbury.

The present ecclesiastical parish is almost the same as the former Prestbury local government ward and consists of the civil parishes of Prestbury, Adlington, and Mottram St. Andrew. The population of the former ward in 2001 was 5,034.

Image:Map Macclesfield RD revised frame.png


[This is a "pared-down" reproduction of the article in Wikipedia.]

The township of Prestbury (and the location of the ancient parish church dedicated to St. Peter) lies between Macclesfield and Wilmslow, for the most part on elevated ground above the flood-prone River Bollin. The ancient Forest of Macclesfield is to the east.

As a result of being initially settled by priests, an enclosure was chosen with a defensible location on the River Bollin where there was relatively high ground close to both sides of the river so that crossing was easy. From there they could travel to all parts of a parish which was extensive, though thinly populated. The countryside was wild and barren and the forest was reserved for hunting.

The school, smithies, the mill, inns and the stocks centre on a village street called "The Village", which was broad enough for cattle fairs and the like. Until the 19th century the village street was connected to Pearl Street, the main street of Butley, by a ford.

During the 19th century Prestbury became involved in the silk industry. Swanwick's factory operated and cottages were built for the workers ("Factory Cottages" or "Irish Row"). Weavers' cottages were built on both New Road and the Village with upper storeys with large windows to allow light for weaving.

In the 20th century, improved communications made it possible for Prestbury to develop into a residential community.

Research Tips


  • 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.


  • 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 Prestbury, Cheshire. 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.