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Congleton is a town and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East and the ceremonial county of Cheshiremarker, Englandmarker, on the banks of the River Danemarker, and to the west of the Macclesfield Canalmarker. It has a population of 25,750.


Congleton was once thought to have been a Roman settlement, although there is no archaeological or documentary evidence to support this theory. However, a number of neolithic and bronze age artefacts have been found in the town, and these can be viewed at Congleton Museum. The town is built on marshy land and the centre of population was once at modern day Astbury.

In 1272 it received its charter to hold fairs and markets King Edward I granted permission to build a mill. Congleton became an important centre of textile production, especially lace and leather gloves The neighbouring village of Buglawtonmarker was incorporated into Congleton borough in 1936. From 1974 to 2009, Congleton boroughmarker covered much of south-east Cheshire. Following the abolition of Cheshire County Council on 1 April 2009, Congleton is now administered by the unitary authority of Cheshire East.

Congleton became notorious in the 1620s when bear-baiting was a popular sport Congleton owned an old and rather decrepit bear and was unable to attract large crowds to their bear-baiting contests, but also lacked the money to pay for a new and more aggressive bear. It did however have a sum of money saved to buy a new bible. The town decided to use the money in the bible fund to pay for a new bear, and then replenished it with the income from the increased number of spectators. However, when the story was reported to neighbouring towns, it got corrupted and the legend grew that Congleton had sold its bible in order to buy a new bear.

A song called "Congleton Bear" (by John Tams) did the rounds of which the chorus ran:

Congleton Rare, Congleton Rare
They sold the Bible to buy a bear.

From the time of this legend, Congleton has been nicknamed 'Beartown'


Congleton's main landmark, a high outcrop of rocks known as The Cloudmarker, overlooks the Cheshire plain. The Cloud Project in Congleton is a daily photographic record of The Cloud over a period of one year and also of Cloudside, Dane in Shaw, The Macclesfield Canal and surrounding areas. The Cloud is also the setting for the climax of the supernatural novel, A Haunted Man, by Stuart Neild, where the novel's hero, ghosthunter Boag-Munroe, is involved in a fight to the death.

The town of Congleton is broken up by the Congleton townspeople into six main areas. These are Buglawton, otherwise known as "Bug Town" , the Bromley Farm estate, otherwise known as "Tin Town" due to the number of Anderson shelters built there during the war, Mossley which is sometimes classed as the posher part of town, West Heathmarker which is a relatively new estate built in the late 1970s to the early 1980s, Lower Heath to the north of the town, and finally the town centre.


The principal industries in Congleton include the manufacture of airbags and golf-balls. There are light engineering factories near the town, and sand extraction occurs on the Cheshire Plainmarker, although much of the town is now a dormitory for Manchestermarker. There are several weekly local newspapers: the paid-for Congleton Chronicle and free-sheets the Congleton Advertiser and Congleton Guardian. Local radio is broadcast from nearby Macclesfieldmarker-based Silk FM, Signal Radio from Stoke-on-Trentmarker and BBC Radio Stoke.

Congleton railway stationmarker opened on 9 October 1848. It lies on the Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent branch of the West Coast Main Linemarker.


Attractions near, but not in the civil parish of Congleton, include Little Moreton Hallmarker, a National Trust Tudor house to the south of the town.

Congleton is home to a local football team, Congleton Town F.C.marker, known as the Bears, who play in the North West Counties League. Their ground is at Booth Street. There are also two cricket clubs, Congleton and Mossley.

Notable residents


External links

See also

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