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Audenshaw is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, in Greater Manchestermarker, Englandmarker. It is located on the east side of the River Tamemarker, along the course of both the M60 motorwaymarker and the Ashton Canalmarker, southwest of Ashton-under-Lynemarker and east of the city of Manchestermarker. As at the United Kingdom Census 2001, Audenshaw had a population of 13,000.

The name Audenshaw is a corruption of its earlier name Aldwinshagh which derives from Aldwin, a Saxon personal name, combined with the Old English suffix shagh meaning woodland. Nico Ditchmarker, an early-medieval linear earthwork possibly built as a defensive barrier against Vikings, runs through the area. During the Middle Ages, Audenshaw was a division of the township of Ashtonmarker, in the county of Lancashiremarker. Audenshaw's urbanisation and expansion largely coincided with developments in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian era. In the 1870s, many of Audenshaw's inhabitants were employed in hat-making, cotton-spinning, calico-printing, and silk-weaving. In 1894 this area became Audenshaw Urban Districtmarker and in the poor law union of Ashton-under-Lyne poor law Union. In 1974 it became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside.


Audenshaw Reservoir
The name Audenshaw is a corruption of its earlier name Aldwinshagh which derives from Aldwin, a Saxon personal name, combined with the Old English suffix shagh meaning woodland.

Nico Ditchmarker, a medieval linear earthwork, runs through the area. Stretching from Ashton Moss in the east to just east of Stretfordmarker in the west, the origin of the ditch is unclear. According to legend, it was completed in a single night by the inhabitants of Manchester, as a protection against Viking invaders in 869–870, and that it was the site of a bloody battle between Saxons and Danes and that Gortonmarker and Reddishmarker got their name from the battle, "Gore Town" and"Red-Ditch". Despite the legend, the U-shape of the ditch – as opposed to the usual V-shape of military earthworks – and the absence of an associated bank indicates that Nico Ditch was probably a boundary marker. Although it is thought to be earlier, the earliest documented reference to Nico Ditch is in a charter detailing the granting of land in Audenshaw to the monks of the Kersal Cell. In the document, dating from 1190 to 1212, the ditch is referred to as "Mykelldiche", and a magnum fossatum, Latin for "large ditch".

In 1877, part of the original village of Audenshaw was demolished to make way for the three Audenshaw Reservoirsmarker. Also destroyed to allow the construction of the reservoirs was a section of Nico Ditch.


During the Early Middle Ages Audenshaw is supposed to have been athanage held by Saxons, but following the Norman conquest of England fell within within the historic county boundaries of Lancashiremarker, and noted as a division of Ashtonmarker, an ancient township and parish within the hundred of Salfordmarker. The division of Audenshaw spanned the village of Audenshaw, and the outlying settlements of Danehead, Hooleyhill, Littlemoss, North-street, Walkmill, Waterhouses and Woodhouses. This arrangement persisted until the creation of Audenshaw's first local authority, a local board of health in 1870. Audenshaw Local Board of Health was a regulatory body responsible for standards of hygiene and sanitation in the locality. Under the Local Government Act 1894, the area of the local board became the Audenshaw Urban Districtmarker, a local government district in the Ashton-under-Lyne Poor Law Union and administrative county of Lancashire. Under the Local Government Act 1972, the Audenshaw Urban District was abolished, and Milnrow has, since 1 April 1974, formed an unparished area of the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, within the Metropolitan county of Greater Manchestermarker.

Audenshaw is represented in Parliamentmarker by the Denton and Reddish constituencymarker. Since its creation in 1983, the constituency has been held by the Labour Party, and the current Member of Parliament is Andrew Gwynne who gained 57.4% of the vote at the United Kingdom general election, 2005.


At (53.4743°, −2.1122°), north-northwest of Londonmarker and east of Manchester, Audenshaw stands at the head of the Dane valley.


Audenshaw compared
2001 UK census Audenshaw Tameside England
Total population 12,790 213,043 49,138,831
White 96.5% 91.2% 91%
Asian 1.6% 5.6% 4.6%
Black 0.3% 1.2% 2.3%
According to the Office for National Statistics, at the time of the United Kingdom Census 2001, Audenshaw had a population of 12,790. The 2001 population density was , with a 100 to 93.2 female-to-male ratio. Of those over 16 years old, 28.4% were single (never married), 43.3% married, and 8.8% divorced. Audenshaw's 5,260 households included 29.0% one-person, 38.5% married couples living together, 8.8% were co-habiting couples, and 11.4% single parents with their children. Of those aged 16–74, 33.4% had no academic qualifications, similar to the Tameside average (35.2%), but above that of England (28.9%).

In 1951 the breakdown of social class in Audenshaw was recorded as 22.7% middle class and 19.3% working class. By 1971, this had changed to 23.4 middle class and 17.2% working class. The rest of the population was made up of clerical workers and skilled manual workers.

As of the 2001 UK census, 80.28% of Audenshaw's residents reported themselves as being Christian, 1.1% Muslim, 0.6% Hindu, 0.3% Buddhist, and 0.1% Sikh. The census recorded 11.0% as having no religion, 0.2% had an alternative religion and 6.7% did not state their religion.

Population change

Population growth in Audenshaw since 1801
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1939 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001
Population 2,275 2,772 3,781 4,891 5,374 5,427 6,327 7,024 7,308 7,958 7,216 7,977 7,876 8,461 12,015 12,661 12,122 11,901 10,771 13,173 12,790
Source: A Vision of Britain through Time


Audenshaw compared
2001 UK Census Audenshaw Tameside England
Population of working age 9,151 152,313 35,532,091
Full time employment 45.9% 43.5% 40.8%
Part time employment 11.9% 11.5% 11.8%
Self employed 6.8% 6.5% 8.3%
Unemployed 2.8% 3.3% 3.3%
Retired 13.5% 13.3% 13.5%
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the main occupation in Audenshaw was that of farming. The earliest recorded agriculture in the Tameside area was in Audenshaw in the period 1190–1212. As was the case in neighbouring Dentonmarker, in the 19th century most of Audenshaw's residents were occupied in the hatting industry, the manufacture of cotton and silk, and calico printing.

According to the 2001 UK census, the industry of employment Audenshaw's residents aged 16–74 was 20.3% manufacturing, 18.7% retail and wholesale, 10.1% property and business services, 9.0% health and social work, 8.2% construction, 6.8% transport and communications, 6.3% education, 6.2% public administration, 5.2% finance, 3.8% hotels and restaurants, 0.9% energy and water supply, 0.4% agriculture, 0.1% mining, and 4.0% other. Compared with national figures, the town had a relatively high percentage of residents working in manufacturing (14.8% in England).

The census recorded the economic activity of residents aged 16–74, 2.2% students were with jobs, 3.0% students without jobs, 4.7% looking after home or family, 6.5% permanently sick or disabled, and 2.7% economically inactive for other reasons.


St Stephen's Church
There are nine Grade II listed buildings in Audenshaw, although no Grade I or II*. These include two lodges which were originally a single barn, a trough and pillar, and St Stephen's Church. The church was constructed in 1846, at a cost of £2,900 (£ as of ) and provided space for a congregation of 750. Ryecroft Hall, a Grade II listed building, was donated to the people of Audenshaw by the local Member of Parliament, Austin Hopkinson in 1921.

The war memorial at the entrance to Audenshaw Cemetery is also a Grade II listed building and commemorates the 140 men from Audenshaw who lost their lives in World War I. Standing , it features a bronze statue of a soldier standing on top of a square column. There are slabs of black granite on the fours sides of the column with the names of the deceased. Unveiled in 1920 before a 10,000 strong crowd, it cost £1,300 (£ as of ).


There are two nursery schools, five primary schools, and one secondary school in Audenshaw. Opened in 1932 as Audenshaw Grammar School for Boys, Audenshaw Schoolmarker is now the only secondary school in the town. In 2008, the school was the most successful in the borough in terms of proportion of pupils attaining five or more A*–C grades at General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) including maths and English (64% in Audenshaw School compared with the average of 41.8% for Tameside and 47.6% for England) and most points per pupil at A-level. It is a specialist technology college. Until 1964, secondary education was also provided by Poplar Street School which was built in 1914, although its primary school still exists.

See also


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