The industrial town of Macclesfield has been the hub of the British silk industry for over 200 years. Many of the old silk mills, dating from the 18th & 19th-c, can be still be seen among the steep streets of the town, which overlook the beautiful Bollin Valley.
The town dates back to medieval times, which can be identified in many if its ancient street names, such as Backwallgate, Chestergate and Jordansgate. The town's ancient market place is dominated by its magnificent Georgian Town Hall Building. The market cross (now moved to West Park), once stood in the centre of the square, and during medieval times all important proclamations were read out from here to the townspeople.
St Michael's Church, founded in 1278 by Queen Eleanor, stands so high above the town that over 100 steps must be climbed to reach it from the south side. It has been much restored over the centuries and many tombs with effigies in the church date from the 15th-c onwards. The magnificent pinnacled west tower retains many carved fragments from its original medieval foundations. Inside there is a fine hammer-beam roof to the chancel, a superb clerestory, and many beautiful stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes. Amongst its various ancient treasures is a curious 'Pardon' Brass of Roger Legh, who died in 1506. It shows Roger Legh kneeling with his six sons below a vision of Pope St Gregory, being pardoned for his good works and prayers.
Tourist Information Centre:
|Town Hall, Market Place, Macclesfield, SK10 1DX - Tel: 01625 378123|
Local history museum and art gallery, displaying local works by Landseer and others. Located in the main town park, the museum was built and presented to the town in 1898 by the Brocklehursts (local mill owners). It contains an extensive collection of Egyptian artifacts collected by the Victorian explorer Marianne Brocklehurst.
Opening times: all year, Tue to Sun & BH, 1.30pm to 4.30pm Free Entry
Location: Prestbury Road, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 3BJ - Tel: 01625 613210 - Website
Facilities: gift shop
Fascinating industrial heritage museum, located in a early 19th-c Georgian Sunday school, built for the workers of the Silk Industry. The museum explores the story of silk production in Macclesfield, through audio-visuals, exhibits and displays of traditional silk garments from the Regency era to the present day. Regular changing events provided throughout the year.
Opening times: all year, Mon-Sat 11-5, BH Mon 1-5. (closed Xmas, NY & GF)
Location: Heritage Centre, Roe St, Macclesfield SK11 6UT - Tel: 01625 613210 - Website
Facilities: refreshments, gift shop
Preserved 19th-c working silk mill, complete with the original jacquard hand looms. Guided tours and regular weaving demonstrations.
Opening times: all year, BH Mon & Mon-Sat 11-5 (closed Xmas, NY & GF)
Location: Park Lane, Macclesfield, SK11 6TJ - Tel: 01625 612045 - Website
Facilities: guided tours, gift shop