|Area||34.67 km2 (13.39 sq mi)|
|• Density||683/km2 (1,770/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|• London||154.5 mi (248.6 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Marple is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. It is on the River Goyt, 9 miles (14 km) south-east of Manchester, 9 miles (14 km) north of Macclesfield and 4 miles (6 km) south-east of Stockport. In 2011, it had a population of 23,686.
Within the boundaries of the historic county of Cheshire, the town lies along the Peak Forest Canal which contains the Marple Lock Flight and Marple Aqueduct. The Roman Lakes, to the south-east of the town centre, attracts anglers and walkers. The town is served by two railway stations: Marple and Rose Hill Marple, providing access to the rail network in Greater Manchester and beyond. It is also close to the Middlewood Way, a shared use path following the former Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway line south from Rose Hill to Macclesfield.
The first reference to Marple in written history was to Merpel, believed to be derived from the Old English maere pill, meaning 'the stream at the boundary'.
Scientists estimate that the earliest residents of the area settled several millennia ago.There are clues to their existence around the Ludworth area where there are standing stones and tumuli. This was confirmed around 1998 when an archaeological dig in Mellor revealed many clues about the existence of Marple's earliest residents.
The area was predominantly within the Macclesfield Forest, and was omitted from the Domesday Book survey. The first mention of the area was in 1122 in a deed for the sale of land. In 1220 the land passed to the Vernon family where it remained for several generations.The pre-Industrial Revolution inhabitants of the village mostly worked on small farms and others specialised in linen weaving and hatting. After 1790, Samuel Oldknow transformed much of this lifestyle, with the construction of lime kilns and mills as part of the Industrial Revolution. The population of the village began to rise, with the construction of terraces to house mill workers and the formation of a village centre filled with private businesses.
Samuel Oldknow also played a large role in the development of the town in addition to his mills; there is still a street named Oldknow Road in Marple today. He built workers' cottages and churches, introduced aspen trees to the area, and assisted in the constructions of the Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals. Marple Aqueduct, which opened in 1800, carries the Peak Forest Canals over the River Goyt, was designed by Benjamin Outram, a pioneer in the building of canals and tramways. Seven men lost their lives during its construction. Samuel Oldknow died in 1828; his mill was destroyed by fire in 1892.These navigations accelerated Marple's growth, but eventually declined into disrepair when the railway arrived in 1865. They have since been restored for use by leisure narrowboats, now forming part of the Cheshire Ring.
In the early 1900s the town prospered from the success of cotton in nearby Stockport and Manchester; the canals in the area served as a link with other industrial towns. In 1936, Marple Urban District, at the time part of Cheshire, annexed from Derbyshire the parish of Ludworth and Mellor. Marple grew as a residential suburb of Stockport after the arrival of frequent bus and rail services in the 1920s.
The area, close to Derbyshire, covers just over 11 square miles (28 km2) of countryside, ranging from heavily wooded valleys to hill-top moorland. It rises from around 262 feet (80 m) above sea level at the River Goyt to 1,073 feet (327 m) at Cobden Edge. On a clear day it is possible to view the Beetham Tower in Manchester as well as the city centre, the Winter Hill TV transmitter and the surrounding counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire and West Yorkshire and the mountains of North Wales from the top of these hills.
In 1866 Marple became a civil parish in Cheshire and in 1894 the parish formed an urban district.In 1974 the urban district was abolished and its former area was transferred to Greater Manchester to form part of the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport.
Marple is represented on Stockport Borough Council in two three-member electoral wards called Marple North and Marple South by six councillors;four Liberal Democrats and two Conservatives. Stockport Borough Council has 63 councillors in 21 wards, of whom 26 are Liberal Democrats, 21 are Labour, 13 are Conservative, and 3 others, as of May 2015. For the United Kingdom Parliament, Marple is in the Hazel Grove constituency, which is represented by William Wragg, a Conservative, elected in 2015, gaining the seat from the Liberal Democrats.
Marple is twinned with the town Motril in the province of Granada in Spain.
Water is supplied to the area by United Utilities.The nearest NHS hospital is Stepping Hill in Stockport, which is run by the Stockport NHS Foundation Trust. Marple has a police station, served by Greater Manchester Police, close to the library and Memorial Park. It also has a fire station, run by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, located behind the Asda supermarket in the town centre.
Since 1932, Marple has had a cinema in a building designed in 1878 as a place of worship or refuge. The building was purchased in 1932 by the 'Marple Cinema Company' and became the Regent Cinema. It remains open as one of the few independent cinemas in the UK.
The town has two brass bands: the Marple Band and the Hawk Green (Marple) Band.
In 2008, Marple was used as the setting for the BBC drama Sunshine .
Marple featured in a 2010 BBC documentary on Dr Beeching which described the long-term effects of axing much of the UK railway network in the 1960s. The programme highlighted the transport issues and how getting a direct train from Marple to Stockport was now impossible and the road traffic made the journey one of the most difficult in the UK.
Marple is notable for its series of 16 canal locks, known as Marple Lock Flight, close to the village centre. The Peak Forest Canal skirts the village, north running alongside Marple Memorial Park and Brabyns Park until it reaches the Marple Aqueduct and on to Dukinfield Junction, and south towards Bugsworth Basin. Macclesfield Canal meets the Peak Forest Canal at Marple Junction, and heads towards Birmingham. The two canals form part of the Cheshire Ring canal system;the canals served as a vital link during the Industrial Revolution. Nowadays they provide an area of relaxation for walkers, anglers and boaters.
The Roman Lakes leisure complex, in the valley bottom close to Strines, is popular with walkers, anglers, nature lovers and horse riders. The area was named in the Victorian era as an attraction to tourists, not because it had links with the Romans (also true of Roman Bridge, a packhorse bridge over the Goyt). In the area closest to the river there was a mill built by Samuel Oldknow and destroyed by fire in 1892. In 2011, volunteers uncovered the wheelpit and entrance footings to the mill and are currently seeking funds to continue the exploration. The wheelpit, which when built was the largest in the world, is now viewable.
The Middlewood Way is a 10-mile walking and cycling path between Marple and Macclesfield, following the line of the former Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway.
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Marple Hall was close to where Marple Hall School now stands. The remains of the hall can be explored, though very little remains. The hall was the ancestral home of the Bradshaws and passed to the Isherwoods. It was demolished in 1959 after it was offered to the council in 1954 by the writer Christopher Isherwood, who had inherited it. By this time the hall had been ransacked by vandals and looters. Much of the estate is now residential housing or the school. The old hall foundations can be seen on the corner of Marple Hall Drive. There is a plaque on a piece of stone, the only remaining lintel from the house. The shutters from its windows are restored and on display in Marple Library. The hall overlooked the River Goyt and it is still possible to walk from there to the river following a pathway which once led to the Dooley Lane entrance to the estate. Nearby Brabyn's Hall suffered a similar fate. Wyberslegh Hall, now in private ownership, stood ruined for a time.
In a letter, Agatha Christie explained to a fan that while she was staying with a sister in Cheshire (her elder sister Margaret "Madge" had married Sir James Watt of Abney Hall) they went to a sale at Marple Hall. There Christie bought two Jacobean oak chairs which she still possessed at the time of writing and, wanting a name for her old-maid character in The Thirteen Problems , she thought of Jane Marple.
The town falls within the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive area, with public transport provided by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).
The town is served by two railway stations: Marple and Rose Hill Marple; both are on the Hope Valley Line. Marple station hosts regular services between Manchester Piccadilly, New Mills Central and Sheffield. Rose Hill was originally on the Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway, which was closed in 1970, and is now at the end of a spur providing services to Manchester Piccadilly, via the Hyde loop.
The Agatha Christie character Miss Marple is often incorrectly thought to be named after the railway station, at which Christie was once delayed. Her grandson, Matthew Pritchard, cleared that up in July 2015 by bringing a letter to the station's 150th anniversary, which was, coincidentally, the 125th anniversary of the author's birth. The actual source of the name was Marple Hall, as discussed in the Marple Hall section above.
The town has many bus services, which are operated primarily by Stagecoach Manchester and High Peak. Key routes include:
The town lies along the A626, which runs between Glossop and Heaton Chapel. It has a junction in the centre of Marple with the B6101, which heads south to New Mills.
Education in Marple is run by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council.
There are two primary schools, the secondary Marple Hall School which occupies the site of the ancestral home of the Bradshaw-Isherwood family.Marple Sixth Form College (formerly Ridge Danyers College) offers courses to young people and adults. There is also an independent school and nursery, Brabyns Preparatory School.
Marple Rugby Club has three adult teams, and a "Marple Minis Rugby" outfit with teams from age 7 to 17.
Marple Cricket Club was formed in c.1900 and has been based at Bowden Lane since 1951. The club is a member of the ECB Cheshire County Cricket League and its first team plays in the Premier Division. The club runs four senior teams: the first and second teams play on Saturdays and the third and fourth teams on Sundays. The club also has a junior section. The cricket club built a squash section in the 1970s, which has three courts and four teams playing regular club squash.
Brabyns Tennis Club has four clay courts and three floodlit artificial grass courts, enabling year-round play. The club has several men's and ladies' teams in the Slazenger North East Cheshire League and mixed teams in the East Cheshire Winter League. There is a junior section and extensive coaching programme.
Marple Golf Club, founded in 1892, is in Hawk Green, Marple. It is an 18-hole private members' course.
Bollington is a town and civil parish in Cheshire, England, to the east of Prestbury. In the Middle Ages, it was part of the Earl of Chester's manor of Macclesfield and the ancient parish of Prestbury. In 2011, it had a population of 8,310.
Disley is a village and civil parish in Cheshire, England. It is located on the edge of the Peak District in the Goyt valley, south of Stockport and close to the county boundary with Derbyshire at New Mills. The population at the 2011 Census was 4,294. To the north, the River Goyt and the Peak Forest Canal, which opened in 1800, pass along the edge of the village. Today, it is a dormitory village retaining a semi-rural character.
The River Etherow is a river in northern England, and a tributary of the River Goyt. Although now passing through South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Greater Manchester, it historically formed the ancient county boundary between Cheshire and Derbyshire. The upper valley is known as Longdendale. The river has a watershed of approximately 30 square miles (78 km2), and the area an annual rainfall of 52.5 inches (1,330 mm).
Stockport is a large town in Greater Manchester, England, 7 miles (11 km) south-east of Manchester city centre, where the rivers Goyt and Tame merge to create the River Mersey. It is the largest town in the metropolitan borough of the same name.
New Mills is a town in the Borough of High Peak, Derbyshire, England, 8 miles (13 km) south-east of Stockport and 13 miles (21 km) from Manchester at the confluence of the River Goyt and Sett. It is close to the border with Cheshire and above the Torrs, a 70 feet (21 m) deep gorge cut through carboniferous sandstone, on the north-western edge of the Peak District national park.
Whaley Bridge is a town and civil parish in the High Peak district of Derbyshire, England, on the River Goyt, 16 miles (26 km) southeast of Manchester, 7 miles (11 km) north of Buxton, 9 miles (14 km) east of Macclesfield and 28 miles (45 km) west of Sheffield. It had a population of 6,455 at the 2011 census, including Furness Vale, Horwich End, Bridgemont, Fernilee, Stoneheads and Taxal.
Woodley is a suburb in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. It is situated on the east side of the Peak Forest Canal, next to Bredbury, Romiley and the boundary with Tameside, at Gee Cross.
High Lane is a village in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England, on the Macclesfield Canal, 5 miles (8 km) from Stockport.
Poynton is a town in Cheshire, England, on the easternmost fringe of the Cheshire Plain, 11 miles (18 km) south-east of Manchester, 7 miles (11 km) north of Macclesfield and 5 miles (8 km) south of Stockport. Poynton has formed part of the Cheshire East unitary authority since the abolition of the Borough of Macclesfield in 2009.
The Macclesfield Canal is a canal in east Cheshire, England. There were various proposals for a canal to connect the town of Macclesfield to the national network from 1765 onwards, but it was not until 1824 that a scheme came to fruition. There were already suggestions by that date that a railway would be better, but the committee that had been formed elected for a canal, and the engineer Thomas Telford endorsed the decision. The canal as built was a typical Telford canal, constructed using cut and fill, with numerous cuttings and embankments to enable it to follow as straight a course as possible, although Telford had little to do with its construction, which was managed by William Crosley.
Mellor is a village in Greater Manchester, England, lying between Marple Bridge and New Mills, Derbyshire.
Bredbury is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England, 7.9 miles (12.7 km) south-east of Manchester, 1.8 miles (2.9 km) east of Stockport and 3.2 miles (5.1 km) south-west of Hyde. At the 2011 census, it had a population of 16,721.
Marple Bridge is a district of Marple in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England; it is sited on the River Goyt, which runs through the centre of the village.
Marple railway station is on the Hope Valley Line and serves Marple, in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. It is 8.9 miles (14.3 km) south-east of Manchester Piccadilly. The station, opened in 1865 by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, was demolished and rebuilt in 1970. It is managed and served by Northern Trains, who provide two trains per hour in each direction.
Rose Hill Marple railway station is in Marple in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, England. The station, which opened in 1869, is the last surviving stop on the former Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway (MB&MR). It is connected via a short branch to the Hope Valley Line. The original line to Macclesfield closed in January 1970, leaving Rose Hill Marple as the terminus of the route. Daily services run to Manchester Piccadilly, via the Hyde loop; there is no service on Sundays.
Marple Hall School is a secondary school located in Marple, Greater Manchester.
Palmer Mills, Stockport were cotton spinning mills in Portwood, Stockport, Greater Manchester. Built in the late 19th century, It was taken over by the Lancashire Cotton Corporation in the 1930s and sold on. Renamed the Stockport Paper Mill they survived into the 21st century when they were demolished to be replaced by modern businesses.
Vernon Mill, Stockport is a former cotton spinning mill in Portwood, Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. Built in 1881, it was taken over by the Lancashire Cotton Corporation in 1930 and later sold on. Although still in business use, it is now a grade II listed building.
Mellor Mill, also known as Bottom's Mill, was a six-story cotton mill in Marple, Greater Manchester built by Samuel Oldknow in 1793. This was a six-storey, 42-foot (13 m) wide and 210-foot (64 m) long mill with additional three-storey wings making it 400 feet (120 m) in all. The mill was built for Samuel Oldknow and used to spin coarse counts. It was originally driven by the Wellington water wheel. The River Goyt, and with it the then county boundary between Derbyshire and Cheshire was diverted and a weir built, the leat fed a millpond that in later times was named the Roman Lakes. This in turn fed a second mill pond along with water from reservoir in Linnet Clough. Supplementary power was provided by a second exterior wheel known as the Waterloo wheel. The Mill reached its peak production in 1804, when 10,080 spindles were operating and around 550 people were employed. It was destroyed by fire in 1892.
Brabyns Park is a public park in Marple Bridge, Stockport, Greater Manchester, England.