MARPLE, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Stockport, hundred of Macclesfield, N. division of the county of Chester, 4¾ miles (E. S. E.) from Stockport; containing 3462 inhabitants. This chapelry, anciently called Merpull, is situated on the river Goyt, which separates the counties of Chester and Derby; and comprises by measurement 3030a. 3r. 37p. of land, of a clayey soil: about one-eighth is wood, and the remainder arable and pasture. The scenery is of the most extensive, varied, and romantic character, and perhaps unrivalled in this part of the kingdom. The banks of the river, which from the higher points may be seen for several miles, are rocky, precipitous, and finely wooded: the ancient name of the chapelry is in allusion to an expanse of the waters, in the vale. The view from the churchyard includes the mountains of the Peak on one side, and the Welsh hills on the other. The road from London to Manchester through Buxton, the Peak-Forest and the Macclesfield canals, and the Whaley branch of the Manchester and Sheffield railway, pass through the township. Some coal-mines and stone-quarries are in operation; and the cotton manufacture is carried on in three large mills.
The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £150, with a house; patron, the Rector of Stockport: the glebe comprises about 24 Cheshire acres. The chapel, dedicated to All Saints, was rebuilt in 1812, and is a neat edifice with a tower. It contains some good monuments, particularly one by Flaxman to the Rev. Kelsall Prescot, a former minister of Marple, and a mural monument by Chantrey to Samuel Oldnow, Esq., who projected the Peak-Forest canal, and was a great benefactor to the neighbourhood: the latter was interred here. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists; and two national schools. John Bradshaw, president of the court that condemned Charles I., was born at Wyberslegh Hall, in the chapelry, and was baptised at Stockport on the 10th December, 1602; he bequeathed £700 for a free school at Marple, but the confiscation of his estates, on the Restoration, rendered the gift unavailable. Marple Hall, a good specimen of the architecture of the period, beautifully overlooking the river Goyt and the vale of Chad-Kirk, was the residence of Bradshaw.