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You Are Here : Skip Navigation LinksHome | Council Services | Community, People and Living | About Stockport | Our Stockport

History of Stockport

Stockport is a place of contrasts, a borough that offers a sense of balance and variety that is rare.

It’s a friendly and fascinating place to live – and to visit.

Being close to major transport networks, Stockport is in an ideal location to explore the fascinating treasures in the town and the surrounding region.

There is a medieval centre, unique heritage attractions, beautiful urban and country parks, bustling, modern shopping areas and steep, narrow cobbled streets.

Stockport has stunning countryside nestling between fine Cheshire villages and the dramatic Derbyshire Peaks and the vibrant, cosmopolitan city of Manchester.

A short history

The historic centre of Stockport is the Market Place which is situated on a 240 million year old red sandstone cliff. This overlooks what was once an important ford over the River Mersey.

This ford was the meeting point of several Roman roads. The Saxons established a village on the site and this was the beginning of Stockport,

The name was derived from two Saxon words: STOC - a stockaded place or castle, and PORT - a wood. Literally, a castle in a wood.

Sir Robert de Stokeport, nephew of King William the Conqueror, obtained the Charter of Freedom for the town in 1220.

Despite attempts to subvert it, the Charter served as the basis of local government in Stockport until the 1835 Municipal Corporation Act swept away such ancient traditions.

Stockport became a town divided into seven wards, with a Council consisting of 14 Aldermen and 42 Councillors.

A further Act, in 1888, raised the town to the status of a County Borough. In 1974 Stockport established its current role as a Metropolitan Borough Council.

The town still has its medieval street patterns, a traditional market and many churches. Alongside modern architecture, there are fine examples of Victorian, Regency, Georgian and Tudor buildings

The borough today

Stockport is one of ten districts comprising the Greater Manchester city region. It is 7 miles from Manchester and close to Manchester Airport, a short drive along the M60 motorway.

Stockport has an important railway station with superb direct services to Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, London and other destinations. Stockport also has good public transport connections.

The town centre has motorway connections and is accessible from M60 J1, linking up with the M62, M6 and M56.

Today Stockport is rightly proud of its international connections, with visitors coming to Stockport from far and wide. In 1972 Stockport twinned with Béziers in the South of France and ten years later with Heilbronn in the South West of Germany.

Since then Stockport has developed a number of Friendship Agreements with towns and cities around the world.

Stockport has a vibrant, diverse economy and a skilled workforce, employing over 120,000 people in at least 12,000 businesses.

Its strategic location, entrepreneurial spirit and educated workforce have contributed to the area becoming a renowned hub for knowledge based sectors including financial and professional services and digital and creative industries.

Airport connectivity has played an important part in influencing Stockport’s economy with major international names, such as PZ Cussons, BAe Systems, Adidas and United Biscuits choosing Stockport as a business location.

The borough has a rich mix of both manufacturing and service sector employers, and planned developments that will support and secure future growth for Stockport.

Stockport town centre, for example, will be transformed through new proposed retail, residential and office development projects, improving its attractiveness as a place to shop, eat, work and live.

Stockport’s rich architectural and historic legacy is reflected in the designation of over 500 listed buildings and 37 conservation areas, ranging from the medieval Market Place and Underbanks in the town centre, the rich Victorian and Edwardian suburbs around Bramall Hall and Park to rural Chadkirk.

A number of listed buildings are open to the public, including Staircase House, a recently restored C15th historic timber framed building, Stockport Art Gallery and Hatworks, a museum of hatting which is contained in a C19th cotton mill.

Stockport Plaza is one of the few remaining art deco super cinemas in the country and offers a programme of professional theatre and music performances The Garrick Theatre has amateur dramatic productions

Stockport has urban and country parks; 8 with prestigious Green Flag Awards. Vernon Park has been restored to its Victorian splendour and is recognised as being of national importance. Chadkirk Estate, Etherow and Bruntwood Parks are well used by visitors.

Nearby Lyme Hall is one of the top country houses in the region.

It is a National Trust property, but is still supported by funding from Stockport Council. It has a high profile as a result of featuring in a TV adaptation of Pride & Prejudice

Stockport has a fifty metre swimming pool at Grand Central Pools. This is home to the successful Stockport Metro Swimming Club. Edgeley Park is home to local football team Stockport County FC and Sale Sharks RFC which has considerable visitor appeal. Stockport Sports Trust operates a range of leisure activities at sport and recreational centres across the borough

New restaurants, cafes and bars have opened in the town centre offering great food, competitive prices and excellent customer service.

Be our guest

Stockport aims to offer all its visitors a warm welcome to the Borough, however long they choose to stay. Accommodation in Stockport comprises a range of hotels, including one which is located near to the historic town centre (the Old Rectory, Premier Travel Inn).

There are three other Premier Inn operated hotels in the borough; a 40 room hotel south of Stockport town centre, a 40 room hotel at Cheadle and a 66 room hotel at Manchester Airport. The Village Hotel in Cheadle operates in the 3/4 star market. Like others in this brand, it has extensive leisure facilities and is attractive for family-oriented weekend breaks. Similarly Bredbury Hall, with 150 bedrooms, offers 3 star accommodation and conference facilities.

Stockport has good quality, smaller guest houses and some short term self catering accommodation; many of the guest houses are family-run and are accredited by national inspection bodies.

The Tourist Information Office and Tourist websites can offer assistance and information about local accommodation.

Whatever your reason for visiting Stockport, you won’t be disappointed!

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