Borough of Tameside
Tameside is, as
its title suggests, named after the River Tame and the Tame Valley which
diagonally cuts through the Metropolitan Borough.
miles due east of Manchester, in the North West region of England, it
is a compact borough set in an area of great scenic beauty, with significant
industrial heritage and easy communication with the rest of the country.
about eight miles across - with just under a quarter of a million people
living in its 50 square miles. It is bordered on the north by the River
Medlock, in the south by the River Etherow and the scenically beautiful
Werneth Low, to the east by the Pennines, and to the west by the City
of Manchester itself.
Ashton Town Hall,
the River Tame at Stalybridge, Hyde Town Hall and Market Square
Unlike most of the
other Metropolitan Boroughs, it is not named after a town or a city
(such as are Rochdale, Oldham, Wigan, Bolton, Bury, Stockport, Manchester
and Salford), but came into being as a newly created authority in the
early 1970s after boundary changes were instigated by central government,
(as did the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford).
The Borough has
its administrative centre in the town of Ashton-under-Lyne.
Ashton-under-Lyne. Aerial Photograph Courtesy of www.webbaviation.co.uk
47 AD, when the Romans reached the Fosse line, the kingdom of Brigantia
came under Roman rule, and suffered strict and oppressive measures
after the Brigantian revolt of 68 AD. Tameside featured on the road
which the Romans built from Manchester to Leeds and a branch to the
fort at Melandra ran through the northern part of Mossley, within
the present Borough.
After Roman withdrawal from Britain in 410 AD, various petty invasions
and squabbles between local warlords took place, and by the 7th century
Anglian immigrants had moved into the region and occupied the land.
Most of the place names of Tameside reflect this influence. The River
Tame itself (probably Norse meaning "dark river"), and other places
such as Werneth Low ("a place growing alder trees") as well as Ashton
and Denton (the Scandinavian word "ton" indicates a town or settlement)
- all show clear Anglian-Continental sources. Oddly, there seems to
be little evidence of native British place naming within the borough,
suggesting that the Anglian invaders were its first inhabitants and
it had been hitherto unoccupied woodlands.
By the time of the Norman Conquest of Britain in 1066, town and village
names had begun to be formalised and to appear in documents of the
time. In an entry from the Cheshire Domesday of 1086 the land was
in the possession of Hugh d'Avranches, earl of Chester - his possessions
were listed as also including Romily, Tintwistle and Werneth.
Though Ashton is now the main town of Tameside, it hardly existed
as an entity in medieval times, though in 1413 a Market Charter was
granted to Sir John Assheton (after whom the town would be named)
to be held close to the church of St Mary and the church of St Michael
(the latter being St Michael's in Ashton). The market was held every
Monday at the junction of Old Street and Cricket's Lane, where the
town cross stood. The Charter also granted a twice annual fair to
be held in July and November. The markets were busy affairs as by
the second half of the 16th century Tameside had established a profitable
local industry in the production of mixtures of cotton and flax cloth.
Later it was to turn over entirely to woven cottons.
During the Tudor period there is extensive evidence of a thriving
textile industry, which including woollens, due, no doubt, to the
excellent sheep grazing pastures on the moorlands to the east towards
Saddleworth. Huge flocks of sheep were imported from Ireland to develop
the industry - at that time it would still have been a cottage industry
with production solely dependant upon hand looms.
Civil Wars, local Puritanism was very strong, and not surprisingly,
most of the towns of Tameside had Parliamentarian sympathies.
(1619-1689) served alongside Sir William Brereton in the defence of
Manchester in September 1642 and took part in the siege of Wythenshawe
Hall, the seat of the Royalist family of the Tattons.
Arms of Tameside
Bend Or and Vert a Bend barry wavy Argent and Azure between in chief
a Rose Gules barbed and seeded proper and in a base a Garb Or."
Crest: " Out of a Mural Crown Gules a demi Lion guardant Or resting
the sinister forepaw on an Escutcheon of the Arms. Mantled Gules
Supporters: " On the dexter a Lion Or gorged with a Chain pendant
therefrom a Mullet pierced Sable and on the sinister a male Griffon
Gules armed beaked irradiated and gorged with a Chain pendant therefrom
a Cogwheel Or". Motto: "Industry and Integrity".
of the Arms
The lower half
of the shield depicts the gold (or) wheatsheaf emblem of Cheshire
on a green (vert) background. This is separated by a blue (azure)
and white (argent) band representing the River Tame from the upper
half of the shield which contains the red (gules) rose of Lancashire
on a gold (or) background. The crest above the shield has been drawn
from the fundamental elements of the Arms of Greater Manchester
County. The left hand (sinister) supporter is a gold lion with a
black (sable) pierced star (a mullet) hanging from a chain around
its neck. The right hand supporter is a red griffin, used to depict
dynamism and progress, and hanging from a chain around its neck
is a gold cogwheel indicating the industrial aspects of Tameside.