Greater Manchester UK




Townships &
Villages of Cheshire

& Definitions

In general terms,
a town is a fully operational entity with its own council, public services
and elected councillors. A village is usually identified as a suburb
parish of or in some way administed by a larger town’s local authority.
The distinction between a village and a hamlet is more subtle, but most
authorities identify a hamlet as a small collection of dwellings with
no church, while a village proper will normally have a church at its

Alphabetical Listing Continued:


The village of Disley is situated on the main A6
trunk road from
Stockport to Buxton
on the edge of the boundary between Greater Manchester and the High
Peak district of Derbyshire. The village was not mentioned in the Domesday
Survey of 1086, but its history can be traced back to a time when it
was merely a clearing in the ancient Forest of Macclesfield. The town’s
most important buildings include the parish church of St Mary, dated
from around 1558 and the Ram’s Head pub, an old Victorian coaching inn,
built in a Tudor style, still complete with outer stables, on the corner
of the old Roman Road over higher Disley. The village itself is an attractive
stone built affair strung along the A6 highway, with a direct railway
link to Buxton and Manchester, as well as being almost invisibly bypassed
by the Upper Peak Forest Canal
on its way to Bugsworth and the terminus at Whaley bridge.

Ellesmere Port

Ellesmere Port is the largest of the townships in
the southern end of the Wirral Peninsular of Cheshire. The town has
been well known for the Shell petrochemical refinery at Stanlow since
1922 and for its largest employer, the Vauxhall Motor Company, which
has been manufacturing cars there since the early 1960s.
Before the construction of the
Ship Canal
the town of Ellesmere Port actually lay on the south
bank of the River Mersey. In 1792, under the chairmanship of Lord Edward
Clive, several Shropshire businessmen planned to construct an artificial
canal which would connect the rivers Severn, Mersey and Dee, and on
30th April 1793 Parliament Granted permission to begin its construction.
The canal basin area into which the Ellesmere Port to Chester Canal
connected via Whitby Locks came to be known as Ellesmere Port.
The so-called Ellesmere Canal, later to become known as the Shropshire
Union Canal, surveyed and built by the celebrated engineer, Thomas Telford,
came into being. Telford bequeathed the town a complete scheme of locks,
docks and warehouses, and maintenance facilities.
Contemporary Ellesmere Port has a main shopping centre, the Port Arcades,
as well as its busy Market. Ellesmere Port’s association with the canal
system is commemorated at the Boat Museum, which has become a major
tourist attraction in the region.


Frodsham is a small pretty township located on the
A56 trunk road, near to Junction 12 on the M56 motorway which connects
Chester to Manchester. It stands on the River Weaver and the Manchester
Ship Canal. The old township of Frodsham Parish was once part of the
Eddisbury Hundred. Frodsham was an important River Mersey port during
its early history as well being an important stopover for stage coaches
in the 18th and 19th centuries. The nearby Delamere Forest overlooks
the township, which still holds an ancient and ever-popular weekly street
market. The town’s 11th century parish church is actually located half
a mile up the hill northwards at Overton. Frodsham’s first known settlers
were Anglo-Saxons from the southern Kingdom of Mercia based in the Midlands,
and the two possible origins of the place name reveals these origins.
One explanation has it that “ham” signifies a small village,
or hamlet, and “frod” (or “froda”
), believed to be the name of a local Saxon leader who founded it –
hence “Frod’s hamlet” . The other explanation translates as
“ham on the ford” or “ford
(meaning, possibly, “the
hamlet on the ford, or crossing over the local river”

the Weaver).

Hazel Grove

Hazel grove is a large village township in Stockport
and Cheadle Parishes, once part of the old Macclesfield Hundred. It
was formerly known as Bullock Smithy,
due to the old blacksmith’s forge stopover en route by stagecoach from
Manchester to Buxton. It was situated partly in the townships of Bosden,
Norbury, Offerton and Torkington, which were united to create Hazel
Grove cum Bramhall civil parish in 1900. Local history has it that coach
passengers, availing themselves of the hazel nuts from trees around
the smithy, began to refer to the place as “The
Hazel Grove”
, and thus the name stuck.
The township is now part of the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, in
the Greater Manchester Metropolitan County, and is located about 3½
miles south of Stockport town centre on the main A6 trunk road to Buxton.
A busy transit town, it is conveniently well placed for touring the
Peak District, which lies a few miles to the south, as well as the urban
conveniences of shops and theatres in Stockport and Manchester a few
miles to the north. In 1939 the civil parish was extended to include
Woodford, and transferred to the county of Greater Manchester in 1974.

Holmes Chapel

Holmes Chapel, a village in the Congleton Borough
of central Cheshire, is located about one mile from Junction 18 of the
M6 Motorway. Once also known as Church Hulme, (and originally simply
‘Hulme’), probably derived from the old Saxon
or “holm”,
meaning rising ground, or dry land surrounded by bog or marshland. After
the Norman Invasion of 1066 the lands were held by the Barony of Halton.
Historically it has had many names – Church Hulme, meaning the
“hill with the church”
– was its last name preceding
the present Holmes Chapel. The village centre is dominated by the old
Parish Church of St. Luke.
On the village northern boundary lies the River Dane – its name still
bearing witness to Danish settlers who founded the settlement. Since
1842, the river valley has been spanned by a large brick-built railway
viaduct which rises 105 feet above the valley below, still carrying
the main railway line on its way from Manchester to Crewe. Near to the
village is located the Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope complex – its giant
reflector dish, which dominates the Cheshire Plain, can be seen from
many miles away.
In July 1753 a major catastrophe struck when fire burnt down all but
two of the village’s 20 cottages. These, and the Church were all that
survived of the former village, and they can still be seen today in
Church House Close.
The town has a railway station with regular services to Manchester and
Crewe. Manchester Airport is 15 miles away. The village of Holmes Chapel
is still mainly a residential area within the commuter belts of Greater
Manchester, Chester and the Staffordshire Potteries.


Ince is a township and parish in the old Eddisbury
Hundred which became part of Ellesmere Port Civil Parish in 1950. The
name “Ince” or Inys” is derived from the Welsh word for
island. Shortly after the Domesday Survey of 1086, the Manor of Ince
became the property of the secular canons of St. Werburgh, after the
Norman Earl of Chester, Hugh Lupus, gave it to the Benedictines in 1093.
After the Dissolution of the Monasteries the lands manor passed into
the hands of Sir Richard Cotton, and from his son George to Sir Hugh
Cholmondley. The land then passed on to the Vale Royal branch of the
Cholmondleys where they continued until 1724, when they were sold by
Charles Cholmondley to Sir George Wynn of Leeswood. From his heiress,
Margaret, the manor passed into the Waring family. Former monastery
land at Stanlow is now the site of a major oil refinery, which tends
to give the area a rather unfortunate industrial character, surrounded
as it is by an otherwise pleasant rural Cheshire landscape.


Knutsford is a market town and was created a civil
parish in 1895 by the union of Knutsford Inferior and Knutsford Superior
civil parishes. In 1936 Knutsford was extended to include parts of Bexton,
Tabley Superior and Toft civil parishes.
The name of Knutsford is thought to come from King Canute (or in Danish,
“Knut” ), who supposedly
forded the River Lily at this point in 1016. It appears under the name
Cunetesford in the Domesday Book
of 1086.
In 1292 William de Tabley was granted a charter to establish a market
and an annual fair. Later the Lordship of the Manor fell to the Massey
family of Tatton, and thence on to their successors, the Egertons. (See
Old Cheshire Families ).
The town was first granted a charter in 1292 and for many years it was
virtually the capital of central Cheshire.
One of its most celebrated inhabitants was Mrs
. Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, the novelist, lived much of
her life and was married in Knutsford. Her novel ‘Cranford’ is said
to be based on life in Victorian Knutsford.
In 1955 Knutsford received its own Armorial Bearings featuring the motto
‘Respice, Aspice, Prospice’ (Look to the Past, the Present, and the
Future) and today it is one of Cheshire’s most visited places .


The township of Lymm was a parish in the old Bucklow
Hundred, and is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. In 1933 the
northern boundary of the civil parish was altered to follow the course
of the Manchester Ship Canal. Lymm now includes the hamlets of Booths,
Broomedge, Church Green, Deansgreen, Heatley, Heatley Heath, Little
Heatley, Oughtrington, Reddish, Rush Green and Statham. Lymm is a medium-
sized village in the north of rural Cheshire, situated near the intersection
of the M6 and M56 motorways. The
passes through the town and featured as an important transportation
link during the 19th century, though nowadays, as part of the so-called
Cheshire Ring , it has become a
popular cruise route for holidaymakers. Lymm is a popular dormitory
commuter town for several major conurbations that surround it, including
Greater Manchester and Warrington, and is a much sought after place
to live well away from inner city town life.


Macclesfield – showing the Macclesfield Canal
(left to right). Aerial Photograph Courtesy of
© 2005

Macclesfield is a borough in Prestbury Parish, in
the old Macclesfield Hundred. The civil parish was extended in 1894
to include parts of Hurdsfield and Sutton, in 1936 to include Tytherington
and Upton and part of Gawsworth, and in 1955 to include a further part
of Gawsworth civil parish. Nowadays it also includes the hamlets of
Broken Cross, Longmoss, Moss Side, Sycamore Hill and Whirley Green.
The earliest written reference to Macclesfield is found in the Domesday
Survey of 1086. As a medieval town it developed its distinctive street
patterns and place names. It is a major township and one of the largest
in Cheshire. Its charter was granted by Prince Edward in 1262, establishing
it as a free borough with its own merchant guild.
Macclesfield became a major woven silk producing town in the late 18th
century, and is justly proud of its heritage. It became the greatest
silk weaving centre in England during the mid-19th century, and though
this industry has now declined, it is still a major manufacturer of
neck ties and silk covered buttons. Several of its early mills still
survive and the
Silk Museum
and Paradise Mill are now open to the public as museums
of silk production. The arrival of the Macclesfield Canal in 1831 further
accelerated its industrial development, though this was short lived.
Nowadays the Macclesfield Canal
is a popular holiday venue for canal hire boats and canal cruising.
Macclesfield’s Georgian houses are distinctive and plentiful, and still
bear witness to the former wealth of the town.

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This page last updated 16 Nov 12.