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Congleton, Cheshire

Historical Description

Congleton, a market-town, a municipal borough, and the head of a poor law union and county court district in Astbury parish, Cheshire. The town stands in a fine valley, on the river Dane, adjacent to the Macclesfield Canal, 8 miles SSW of Macclesfield, 9 N of Burslem, 10 NNW of Leek, 12 N of Newcastle-under-Lyme, and 157½ by rail from London. It has a station on the North Staffordshire railway, and a heads, post office. It was known at Domesday as Cogletone; possessed consequence in the time of Henry III.; and still retains some old timbered houses. The river is crossed by a fine bridge, built in 1782, and widened at the joint expense of borough and county in 1889. Congleton is a thriving town, with good streets and houses, and is well paved. It is governed by a corporation of 6 aldermen and 18 councillors½ one of whom is mayor. The corporation is the urban sanitary authority, and has a commission of the peace and a: police force, with suitable offices and chief constable's house. The town-hall was built in 1864, and contains the offices of the corporation, borough and county police and county court, a market-house in the basement, and an assembly room. A grammar school was founded here in the 16th century; the present school was built in 1814. There is a Masonic Hall. A cottage hospital was established in 1866. There is a public park and recreation ground of about 25 acres, and a cemetery. Two weekly newspapers are published. The workhouse is at Arclid, a township in Sandbach parish. St Peters Church occupies an elevated site, and was built in 1742. St James' Church is an edifice in the Early English style, and was built in 1848. St Stephen's Church is in the Early English style, and was built in 1860. Holy Trinity Church, at Mossley Moss, was erected in 1844. There are Roman Catholic, Congregational, Wesleyan, Primitive and New Connexion Methodist, and Unitarian chapels. A weekly wholesale market is held on Friday, and a retail market on Saturday, and fairs on the Thursday before Shrove-Tuesday, and 12 May, 13 July, and 22 Nov. The making of gloves and of tagged-leather laces, called " Congleton points," was at one time the chief employment, but is now extinct. Silk manufacture in various departments and fustian cutting for velvets are now the staple trades. There are also iron and brass foundries and machine works. Much business is done also in connection with extensive neighbouring gravel pits and limestone quarries. Whitehurst the engineer was a native, and Bradshaw, who presided at the trial of Charles I., was mayor. Acreage of the municipal borough, 2572; population, 10,744. Four ecclesiastical parishes are within the boundaries of the municipal borough, all in the diocese of Chester. The livings are all vicarages, except that of Holy Trinity, Mossley, which is a perpetual curacy; net value of St Peter's, £197 with residence; of St James', £285 with residence; gross value of St Stephen's, £215; net value of Holy Trinity, Mossley, £152 with residence. Patron of St James', the Bishop; of St Stephen's, the Crown and the Bishop of Chester alternately; of Holy Trinity, Mossley, the Rector of Astbury. Population of the ecclesiastical parish of St Peter, 3181; of St James, 3623; of St Stephen, 2965; of Holy Trinity, Mossley, 975.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyCheshire 
Civil parishAstbury 
Poor Law unionCongleton 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Congleton from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Cheshire is available to browse.


Online maps of Congleton are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Cheshire papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Cheshire, 1580 is available on the Heraldry page.

CountyCheshire East
RegionNorth West
Postal districtCW12
Post TownCongleton