infobox UK place
country = England

static_image_caption=Stockport Town Hall
latitude= 53.4083
longitude= -2.1494
official_name= Stockport
population= 136,082 (2001 Census)
population_density= 11,937 per mi² (4,613 per km²)
metropolitan_borough= Stockport
metropolitan_county= Greater Manchester
region= North West England
constituency_westminster= Stockport
post_town= STOCKPORT
postcode_district = SK1-SK3, SK5-SK8
postcode_area= SK
dial_code= 0161
os_grid_reference= SJ895900
london_distance= convert|157|mi|km|abbr=on SE

Stockport (Audio|en-uk-Stockport.ogg|pronunciation) is a large town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies on elevated ground on the River Mersey at the influx of the rivers Goyt and Tame, convert|6.1|mi|km|1|lk=on southeast of the city of Manchester. Stockport is the largest settlement of the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, and has a population of 136,082, the wider borough being 281,000.

Historically a part of Cheshire, Stockport in the 16th century was known for the cultivation of hemp and rope manufacture and in the 18th century the town had one of the first mechanised silk factories in the United Kingdom. However, Stockport's predominant industries of the 19th century were the cotton and allied industries. Stockport was also at the centre of the country's hatting industry which by 1884 was exporting more than six million hats a year. In December 1997 the last Stockport hat works closed. The town's hatting heritage is preserved at 'Hat Works - the Museum of Hatting'.

Dominating the western approaches to the town is the Stockport Viaduct. Built in 1840, the viaduct's 27 brick arches over the River Mersey carry the mainline railways from Manchester to Birmingham and London. This structure featured as the background in many paintings by L.S. Lowry.



Stockport was first recorded as "Stokeport" in 1170.Arrowsmith (1997), p. 23.] cite book |last=Mills |first=A D |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Dictionary of English Place-Names (2nd ed) |year=1997 |publisher=Oxford University Press |location=Oxford |id=ISBN 0-19-280074-4 ] The currently accepted etymology is Old English "stoc", a market place, with "port", a hamlet (but more accurately a minor settlement within an estate); hence, a market place at a hamlet.

Older derivations include "stock" or stoke, a stockaded place or castle, with "port", a wood, hence a castle in a wood.cite web |url= |title=Local History |accessdate=2007-04-02 |work=Stockport MBC web pages ] The castle part of the name probably refers to Stockport Castle, a 12th century motte-and-bailey first mentioned in 1173.cite web |title=Stockport Castle |url= | |accessdate=2008-01-05] Other derivations have been formed, based on early variants of the name such as Stopford and Stockford. There is evidence that a ford across the Mersey existed at the foot of the town centre street now known as Bridge Street Brow. Stopford retains a use in the adjectival form, Stopfordian, used for Stockport-related items, and pupils at Stockport Grammar School style themselves as Stopfordians. [cite web |url= |title=Old Stopfordians' Association |accessdate=2007-04-03 |format= |work=Stockport Grammar School - an independent school near Manchester, England] By contrast, former pupils of nearby Stockport School are known as Old Stoconians, perhaps from the Old English name for the town.

Stockport has never been a sea or river port. The Mersey is not navigable to anything much above canoe size, and in the centre of Stockport has been culverted and the main shopping street, "Merseyway", is built above it.

Early history

Roman artefacts have been found and a ford over the River Mersey was a junction of several Roman roads.

After the Norman Conquest, it was ruled by a hereditary Baron of Stockport.

The town was connected to the national canal network by the 5 miles of the Stockport branch of the Ashton Canal opened in 1797 which continued in use until the 1930s. Much of it is now filled in, but there is an active campaign to re-open it for leisure uses.The first borough charter was granted in about 1220 and was the only basis for local government for six hundred years.

From the 17th century Stockport became a centre for the hatting industry and later the silk industry. Stockport expanded rapidly during the Industrial Revolution, helped particularly by the growth of the cotton manufacturing industries. However, economic growth took its toll, and 19th century philosopher Friedrich Engels wrote in 1844 that Stockport was "renowned as one of the duskiest, smokiest holes in the whole of the industrial area". [cite book | last = Engels | first = Frederick | authorlink = Frederick Engels | title = The Condition of the Working Class in England | origdate = 1845 | url = | accessdate = | edition = | year = 1969 | publisher = Panther | location = | id = | doi = | chapter = The great Towns | chapterurl = | quote = Stockport is renowned throughout the entire district as one of the duskiest, smokiest holes, and looks, indeed, especially when viewed from the viaduct, excessively repellent.]

Recent history

Since the start of the 20th century Stockport has moved away from being a town dependent on cotton and its allied industries to one with a varied base. It makes the most of its varied heritage attractions, including a national museum of hatting, a unique system of underground Second World War air raid tunnel shelters in the town centre, and a late medieval merchants' house on the 700-year-old Market Place.

In 1967 the Stockport air disaster occurred, when a British Midland Airways C-4 Argonaut aeroplane crashed in the Hopes Carr area of the town, resulting in the deaths of 72 passengers.

In recent years, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council has embarked on an ambitious regeneration scheme, known as "Future Stockport". The plan is to bring over 3,000 residents into the centre of the town, and revitalise its residential property and retail markets, in a similar fashion to the nearby city of Manchester. Many ex-industrial areas around the town's core will be brought back into productive use as mixed-use residential and commercial developments.


Most of the town is within the historic county boundaries of Cheshire (south of the Mersey), although Reddish and the Four Heatons lay within the historic boundaries of Lancashire (north of the Mersey).

Civic history

The 1835 Municipal Corporations Act made Stockport a municipal borough divided into six wards with a council consisting of 14 Aldermen and 42 Councillors. In 1888, its status was raised to County Borough, becoming the County Borough of Stockport. Since 1972, Stockport has been twinned with in Béziers in France. [cite web |url= |title=Twin towns | |accessdate=2008-05-19] In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972 Stockport amalgamated with neighbouring districts to form the Unitary Authority of the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport in the now ceremonial metropolitan county of Greater Manchester.

Parliamentary representation

There are four parliamentary constituencies in the Stockport Metropolitan Borough: Stockport, Cheadle, Hazel Grove, and Denton and Reddish.

Stockport has been represented by Labour MP Ann Coffey since 1992.

Mark Hunter has been the Liberal Democrat MP for Cheadle since a 2005 by-election.

Andrew Stunell has been the Liberal Democrat MP for Hazel Grove since 1997.

The constituency of Denton and Reddish bridges Stockport and Tameside; the current member is Andrew Gwynne.


climate chart
source=cite web|url=|publisher=Yahoo! Weather|year=2008|title=Records and averages
At coor dms|53|24|30|N|2|8|58|W|city (53.408°, -2.149°), and convert|157|mi|km|0 northwest of London, Stockport stands on elevated ground, convert|6.1|mi|km|1 southeast of Manchester City Centre, at the confluence of the rivers Goyt and Tame. It shares a common boundary with the City of Manchester.

Divisions and suburbs


As of the 2001 UK census, Stockport had a population of 136,082. The 2001 population density was 11,937 per mi² (4,613 per km²), with a 100 to 94.0 female-to-male ratio. [cite web |title=KS01 Usual resident population: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas | |url= |date=7 February 2005 Retrieved on 17 August 2008.] Of those over 16 years old, 32%.0 were single (never married) and 50.2% married. [cite web |title=KS04 Marital status: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas | |url= |date=2 February 2005 Retrieved on 5 August 2008.] Stockport's 58,687 households included 33.1% one-person, 33.7% married couples living together, 9.7% were co-habiting couples, and 10.4% single parents with their children, these figures were similar to those of Stockport Metropolitan Borough and England. [cite web |title=KS20 Household composition: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas | |url= |date=2 February 2005 Retrieved on 5 August 2008.
cite web |title=Stockport Metropolitan Borough household data | |url= Retrieved on 17 August 2008.
] Of those aged 16–74, 29.2% had no academic qualifications, significantly higher than that of 25.7% in all of Stockport Metropolitan Borough but significantly similar to 28.9% in all of England. [cite web |title=KS13 Qualifications and students: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas | |url=|date=2 February 2005 Retrieved on 5 August 2008.]

Although suburbs such as Woodford, Greater Manchester, Bramhall and Hazel Grove rank amongst the wealthiest areas of the United KingdomFact|date=August 2008 and 45% of the borough is green space, districts such as Adswood and Brinnington suffer from widespread poverty and post-industrial decay. In the north-west of the borough are the relatively prosperous areas of Heaton Moor and Heaton Mersey, which together with Heaton Chapel and Heaton Norris comprise the so-called "Four Heatons".

Opinions on the general quality of life in Stockport greatly differ.Fact|date=February 2007 In its favour, some highlight its proximity to Manchester, and its abundance of amenities; but its perceived grittiness and loutish youth culture earned it 12th place in the internet-based 2004 guide "" (however, given that its fellows on this list were places such as Oxford, Winchester, Liverpool (European Capital of Culture 2008), and tiny London commuter belt villages, the relevance of the list is disputed).


Stockport's principal commercial district is located in the town centre, with branches of most high-street stores to be found in the Merseyway Shopping Centre or The Peel Centre. Grand Central Leisure boasts an Olympic sized swimming pool, a ten-screen cinema, bars, a bowling alley, health complex, and several restaurants. Stockport is located seven miles (10 km) from Manchester city centre, making it convenient for commuters and shoppers.

In 2008 the council's £500M plans to redevelop the town centre were cancelled. The construction company, Lend Lease Corporation, pulled out of the project, blaming the credit crunch for their choice. [cite web |title=Town centre future on scrap heap |url= |work=Stockport Express |date=13 August 2008 Retrieved on 17 August 2008.]


Landmarks and attractions

Stockport is home to the following:

*Stockport boasts the UK's only hat museum, the "Hat Works" based in Wellington Mill - a thriving hat factory in Victorian times. [ [ Hat Works Web Site ] ]
*Stockport Viaduct is one of the western Europe's biggest brick structures,cite web|accessdate 2007-12-10|title=Stockport Railway Viaduct|url=] the convert|111|ft|m|0 high, four-track railway viaduct over the River Mersey on the line to Manchester which represents a major feat of Victorian engineering, built in 21 months at a cost of £70,000. Eleven million bricks were used in its construction, opening in 1842. The foundation stone was laid on March 10, 1839.
*Staircase House is a Grade II* listed medieval townhouse in the Market Place. The building has been modified several times, but is probably the oldest secular building in Stockport.cite book | last = Arrowsmith | first = Peter | authorlink = | title = Recording Stockport's Past: Recent Investigations of Historic Sites in the Borough of Stockport | year = 1996 | publisher = Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council | location = Stockport | isbn = 0-905164-20-2]
* [ Stockport Story Museum] , detailing over 10,000 years of Stockport's history. This museum has free admission and is housed within Staircase House.
* Stockport Town Hall, with its ballroom, described by Poet Laureate, John Betjeman as 'magnificent' containing the largest Wurlitzer theatre organ in Britain designed by Sir Alfred Brumwell Thomas.
*Stockport College with sites in the town centre and Heaton Moor
*Underbank Hall in the centre of Stockport is a late 16th century timber framed building, built as the townhouse of the Arderne family from nearby Bredbury. It remained in the family until 1823, and since 1824 has been used as a bank. The current main banking hall lies behind the 16th century part and dates from 1915. The building is listed Grade II*.
* [ Stockport Air Raid Shelters] is a museum based around the underground tunnels dug during World War II to protect local inhabitants during air raids
* [ Vernon Park] . This is the main municipal park, located a short distance to the east towards Bredbury. It was opened on September 20th, 1858 on the anniversary of the Battle of Alma in the Crimean War. Named after Lord Vernon who presented the land for the park to the town.
*St. Elisabeth's church, Reddish, and model village. Mill community designed in the main by Alfred Waterhouse for the workers from Houldsworth Mill, at the time the largest cotton mill in the world.
*St Mary's Church on the Market Place is the town's oldest place of worship with parts dating to the early 14th century and houses the Stockport Heritage centre run by local volunteers on market days.


Stockport is home to two professional sports teams, both of which play at Edgeley Park stadium:

Stockport County F.C. play in Football League One;. Their claim to fame is that they currently hold the record for the most consecutive Football League wins without conceding a goal with nine, achieved in 2007.Fact|date=June 2008

Sale Sharks Rugby Union club, who currently own Edgeley Park stadium, won the Guinness Premiership title in 2006 and boast current England internationals Mark Cueto, Charlie Hodgson and Andrew Sheridan; Scotland's Jason White as well as capped overseas stars including Sébastien Chabal, Sébastien Bruno.

Stockport Metro Swimming Club, based at Grand Central Pools is the most successful British swimming club, through the last three Olympic Games.Fact|date=June 2008 Stockport Metro swimmers have claimed 50% of British swimming's medal haul.Fact|date=June 2008 In the 1996 Atlanta games Graeme Smith won bronze in the 1500 m freestyle [cite web |url=| title=The Water Zone Profiles - Graeme Smith |accessdate=2008-09-26] , in the 2004 Athens games Stephen Parry won bronze in the 200 m butterfly [cite web |url=| title=It's a swimming bronze for Stockport |accessdate=2008-09-26] , and in the 2008 Beijing games Keri-Anne Payne and Cassie Patten won silver and bronze, respectively, in the 10km marathon swim. [cite web |url= |title=British duo take 10km swim medals |accessdate=2008-09-26]

Stockport has three athletics clubs - Manchester Harriers & AC, Stockport Harriers & AC, and DASH Athletics Club. Manchester Harriers train at William Scholes' Playing Fields in Gatley, and they organise highly-regarded schools cross country races throughout the winter. Stockport Harriers are based at Woodbank Park in Offerton, and have several International middle-distance and endurance athletes including Steve Vernon. DASH Athletics Club are the newest Club in Stockport based at both Hazel Grove Recreation Centre,and the Regional Athletics Arena at Sportcity in Manchester. In 2006 DASH AC Coach Geoff Barratt was UK Athletics' Development Coach of the Year, and in 2007 the club won England Athletics North West Junior Club and North West Overall Club of The Year accolades.

It is also the birthplace of Fred Perry, the late tennis player. Perry is the last Briton to win both the Men's Singles titles in Wimbledon and the US Open (both in 1936), making him the last British male to win a Gland Slam title.


The Manchester orbital M60 motorway and A6 road to London cross at Stockport. Stockport railway station is a mainline station on the Manchester spur of the West Coast Main Line. Manchester Airport (Ringway), the busiest in the UK outside London, is located five miles (8 km) southwest of the town.

Notable people

As one of the larger towns in the UK, Stockport and its surrounding villages have had many notable residents throughout their history including dashing weatherman Chris Fawkes, actor Dominic Monaghan, best-known for his role in the movie adaptations of "The Lord of the Rings" (who attended Aquinas College in Stockport), John Amaechi, NBA Star and activist, novelist Christopher Isherwood, engineer Sir Joseph Whitworth, tennis player Fred Perry, TV presenter David Dickinson, judge John Bradshaw and architect Norman Foster. Distinguished first-class cricketers Fred Ridgway and Maurice Tremlett were born in Stockport and played test cricket for England. [cite web |url= |author= |title=Fred Ridgway player profile | |accessdate=2007-08-27] [cite web |url= |author=Wisden Cricket Monthly |title=Maurice Tremlett player profile | |accessdate=2007-08-27] Also, drummer Dominic Howard from the successful band Muse hails from Stockport.

ee also

*Stockport Air Disaster
*St Mary's Church, Stockport
*St Peter's Church, Stockport
*St George's Church, Heaviley
*Stockport Peel Centre



*cite book |last=Arrowsmith |first=Peter |title=Stockport: a History |year=1997 |publisher=Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council |location=Stockport |isbn=0-905164-99-7

External links

* [ Stockport Council]

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