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Dukinfield is a small town within the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, in Greater Manchestermarker, England. It lies in central Tameside on the south bank of the River Tamemarker, opposite Ashton-under-Lynemarker, and is east of the city of Manchestermarker. At the time of the 2001 census it had a population of 18,885.

Historically a part of Cheshiremarker, the town is a product of the Industrial Revolution when its development was accelerated by the growth of coal mining and the cotton industry.


The earliest evidence of human activity around Dukinfield comes from a collection of four flints from the late Neolithic/early Bronze Age. The artefacts were discovered on the site of Dukinfield Hall and has been taken as evidence of a prehistoric settlement on the site. There is no further evidence of activity in the area until the Roman period. A 3rd-century bronze Roman coin, from the reign of Emperor Tetricus I was discovered in the town.

Dukinfield means "open land of the ducks" and derives from the Old English duce and feld. After the Norman conquest of England the area became part of two Norman estates and in the 12th century the presiding family took the name "De Dokenfeld".

During the English Civil War, Colonel Robert Duckenfield of Dukinfield Hall was a noted commander in the New Model Army. His son was a Dukinfield Baronet in 1665.

Industrialisation - particularly the cotton trade - helped shape the town, but its rapid development destroyed its former pasture and meadow land. Most of the cotton mills have now been demolished, but some have been preserved and have been converted into apartments.

Coal pits were also a major part of Dukinfield's industrial history, one pithead was located on Birch Lane, now the site of All Saints' Catholic College, with another near the northern border with Ashton-under-Lynemarker. One, the Astley Deep pit minemarker, was just off King's Street opposite the bottom of Brownlea Avenue. This mine was reported to be the deepest coal mine in the world, at 2100 feet (640 metres) and had three main shafts. These shafts were filled in and left to stand for many years before being built on. It is now the site of a development of houses comprising Angel Close, Oval Drive & Silver Close.
On 14 April 1874, a large underground gas explosion occurred in the Astley Deep Pit coal mine, known locally as Astley Deep Pit Disastermarker.

54 men were killed.

There are four major historical characters in Dukinfield's history - Robert Duckenfield, John Astley, Samuel Robinson and Daniel Adamson.

John Astley, born in 1724 was a coal, iron and cotton industrialist who built Dukinfield Lodge.

Robinson, who was a Unitarian, industrialist and scholar founded the village library in 1833 and was dubbed the "foremost promoter of education in the district" before his death in 1884.

Adamson was a mechanical engineer who also became the first chairman of the world-renowned Manchester Ship Canal Company. He died on 13 January 1890. The Adamson Military Band, (which received support from Daniel Adamson and is named after him) set up for the workers, is based in Dukinfield.

Dukinfield and its surrounding towns were major centres of civil revolt during the Nineteenth Century and briefly the area was a hotbed of Chartism, the popular movement calling for universal suffrage via a "People's Charter". The famous Chartist leader Reverend Joseph Rayner Stephens is buried in St John's Church cemetery in the town.


In the Middle Ages, Dukinfield was part of the parish of Stockportmarker in the Macclesfieldmarker Hundred. It became a civil parish in 1866 and in 1894 those parts not already included in the Municipal Borough of Stalybridgemarker became an urban district in the administrative county of Cheshiremarker. The town was granted municipal borough status in 1899 under the provisions of the Municipal Corporations Act 1882, and was expanded in 1936, gaining part of the civil parish of Matleymarker, which had been abolished.

In 1974, the Municipal Borough of Dukinfield was abolished, and its territory amalgamated into the newly created Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, in the metropolitan county of Greater Manchestermarker.

Dukinfield is currently represented by the occupants of 6 of the 57 seats on Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council. These seats are spread over two wards: Dukinfield and Dukinfield Stalybridge. Dukinfield currently has five Labour councillors and one Conservative councillor.

Parliamentary representation

Andrew Gwynne is Dukinfield's Member of Parliament. He was elected in 2005 to represent the Denton and Reddishmarker constituency, of which the town of Dukinfield is a part. Between 1918 and 1997 Dukinfield was part of the Stalybridge and Hydemarker constituency.


At (53.477818° -2.092584°), and north-northwest of Londonmarker, Dukinfield's borders are defined to the north and west by the River Tamemarker.

The town is situated at the edge of the Cheshire Plain where it meets the Pennines, and Dukinfield is the first town on the hill. The park is situated approximately a quarter of a mile from the Town Hall along King Street towards Hydemarker in the South. Because of the quite steep rise out of the plain, the park is terraced and is over 90 feet higher at the top. The hill flattens out slightly before rising steeply again towards the East, where the library is situated.The Town Hall is also at the base of the same hill with Astley Street rising steeply along its shorter Southern side before climbing some 120 feet to the crest of the ridge.

There are coal measures around the town, which run north–south through Tameside. The local soil is mainly clayey with some alluvial deposits. The reason for Dukinfield having so many mines in such a small area is simply that the hill that these buildings are on is a folded granite, dropping down at a steep angle into the earth where it meets the plain. This gives a definite end of the plain in Dukinfield, and as such it is the ancient side of a vast lake or swamp that would have run out from the park and Town Hall through Audenshawmarker and into Manchestermarker itself.

This ancient lake is the reason coal is found in the area. The layers of shale and coal are laid on top of each other in quite thin bands, only 20 or 30 feet thick, but they are folded in such a way as to allow the miners to track the coal seams quite easily downwards. The coal deposits fall away at a 20 degree or so angle, and runs some 8 or 9 miles from the base of the hill out under the plain. The coal deposits are known as the Dukinfield Marine Band and form a V shape running out from here towards Stockportmarker in the South and Ashton Moss in the North East. Because there are so many folds coming to this point, Dukinfield had at least three mines of which Astley Deep Pit had the best coal. There are many types of coal found here, but Dukinfield coal was of extremely good quality and was known to be the best for heating and steam generation. Only a mile to the south along Hyde road is another large mine, the Dewsnap Colliery, which was of a lower quality and so was not in as much demand.The Dukinfield Marine Band rises out of the earth at Dukinfield, and continues up the hill towards the top of the ridge, some 140 feet above the level of the plain where it flattens out for a while, and it is here that the third mine was situated. Because Astley Deep and Dewsnap Colliery are at the base of the Hill, their advantage is prodigious.


Dukinfield compared
2001 UK census Dukinfield Tameside England
Total population 18,885 213,043 49,138,831
White 97.3% 94.6% 90.9%
Asian 1.7% 4.0% 4.6%
Black 0.1% 0.3% 2.3%
According to the Office for National Statistics, at the time of the United Kingdom Census 2001, Dukinfield had a population of 18,885. The 2001 population density was , with a 100 to 93.9 female-to-male ratio. Of those over 16 years old, 29.1% were single (never married), 42.1% married, and 9.4% divorced. Dukinfield's 8,072 households included 31.2% one-person, 36.8% married couples living together, 9.9% were co-habiting couples, and 10.5% single parents with their children. Of those aged 16–74, 35.1% had no academic qualifications.

As of the 2001 UK census, 79.0% of Dukinfield's residents reported themselves as Christian, 0.9% Hindu, 0.8% Muslim, and 0.1% Buddhist. The census recorded 12.2% as having no religion, 0.1% had an alternative religion and 6.8% did not state their religion.

Population change

Population growth in Dukinfield since 1801
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1939 1951 1961 1971 2001
Population 1,737 3,053 5,096 14,681 22,394 26,418 15,024 14,085 16,942 17,385 18,929 19,422 19,509 19,311 17,749 18,451 17,316 17,302 17,917
Source: A Vision of Britain through Time

Dukinfield grew from a small village just south of Ashton-under-Lynemarker with open land to the south and east, the gap between it and the surrounding towns of Hydemarker and Matleymarker being a semicircle around 1.5 miles wide, to fill the gap entirely by the late 1940s. In its early days from 1801, and previously, the population was small but boomed during the days of the cotton industry and later the coal industry with its major rail junction adding to its prosperity and growth.

The industries which sustained it died out by the turn of the 1900s, leaving only the Daniel Adamson Ltd works but it managed to maintain its population and has only declined by 2000 since 1921. One reason is that it has a central location on the main road from Stockportmarker to Ashton-under-Lynemarker and is in easy commuting distance of Manchestermarker which is less than a 20 minute bus ride away.


Dukinfield compared
2001 UK Census Dukinfield Tameside England
Population of working age 13,621 151,445 35,532,091
Full time employment 45.6% 43.5% 40.8%
Part time employment 11.8% 11.9% 11.8%
Self employed 5.9% 6.5% 8.3%
Unemployed 3.2% 3.3% 3.3%
Retired 13.1% 13.3% 13.5%

According to the 2001 UK census, the industry of employment of residents of Dukinfield aged 16–74 was 24.4% manufacturing, 19.3% retail and wholesale, 10.0% health and social work, 9.5% property and business services, 7.2% construction, 6.5% transport and communications, 5.7% education, 4.7% public administration, 4.4% finance, 3.4% hotels and restaurants, 1.0% energy and water supply, 0.3% agriculture, 0.1% mining, and 3.6% other. Compared with national figures, the town had a relatively high proportion of people working in manufacturing, and low levels of people working in agriculture, public administration, and education. The census recorded the economic activity of residents aged 16–74, 2.1% students were with jobs, 2.8% students without jobs, 4.9% looking after home or family, 7.9% permanently sick or disabled, and 2.7% economically inactive for other reasons.


Dukinfield town hall was built in the late 1890s and opened in 1901. It was built by raising funds from the inception of the Borough of Dukinfield. The park was also made and cost the same amount of money as the town hall. There is an 80ft difference between the King Street lower side and the rear of the park, being the first hill off the Cheshire plain, and on a clear day it is possible to stand at the top of the steps and see Manchester city centre across the Cheshire plain.

Old Hall Chapel is an old historic church, claiming to be the first independent church in the 17th century. It was built during the late 15th century but is unfortunately partially derelict due to fire in the 1970s which destroyed much of the superstructure of the roof.


There are many bus routes through the town. Services from north to south terminating in Ashton-under-Lynemarker to the north and Stockportmarker in the south, as well as east to west terminating in Glossopmarker to the east and Manchestermarker in the west.

There have been proposals to build a railway station near the old site of the Astley Deep pitmarker alongside the Dewsnap sidings, but as yet these have not been put into action.

There are also some national coaches which stop here offering connection to the rest of Britain. These tend to pickup passengers in the early hours of the morning.

The nearest airports are Manchester Ringwaymarker to the south east and Leeds Bradfordmarker to the east.

There are several canals which cross through the town and outlying areas giving connection to Marplemarker and Manchester and as far afield as Leedsmarker.


There are numerous primary schools and nurseries, such as Jeffreys Day Corner Nursery, Globe Lane Primary School and Lyndhurst Community Primary School

There are secondary schools but there is not any facility in Dukinfield for further education which must be pursued in Ashton-under-Lynemarker or Hydemarker, the two closest, as well as numerous other establishments throughout Greater Manchestermarker.Since 2001 Dukinfield has had a further education establishment located at All Saints Catholic College which provides education from 11-18.


Dukinfield Cricket Club, founded in 1870, is a member of the Lancashire County League. For several seasons Paul Turner was the clubs "professional" player, leaving at the end of the 2005 season. He was replaced in 2006 by Andrew Gleave from Flowery Field Cricket Club, where he had been a leading amateur. Martin Vidler is the club's youth coach.

Dukinfield Rugby Union Football Club currently plays in the South Lancashire & Cheshire 2 League of the Northern Division. The club plays its home games at Blocksages Playing Fields and is one of the oldest Rugby teams from the historic county of Cheshire, having been founded in 1880. During the late 90's and early 00's, Mike Ford was head coach gaining 2 league promotions in 3 seasons. He left Dukinfield RUFC for a brief spell at Oldham RUFC but then left to take over as Defensive coordinator of Ireland (January 2002 - September 2005). In September 2004 he started working as Defence and Skills coach at Saracens in the Guinness Premiership before taking over as Head Coach. He is now the defence coach of the England national rugby union team.

Dukinfield Town AFC, founded in 1948, plays in the Bridgewater Office Supplies Manchester League and has a ground at Blocksage's Playing Fields, Birch Lane, next to Dukinfield Rugby Club.

Public Services

Dukinfield has a public library which is situated in Concord Way, a small shopping centre, off Foundry Street opposite the Morrison's store. The old library was situated close by on Town Lane and was built on land donated by the Astley family who also donated money towards the building.

Notable people


Actors and actresses



  1. HMSO. Local Government Act 1972. 1972 c.70.
  2. Nevell (1992), pp. 37–38.
  3. Nevell (1992), p. 69.
  4. Dodgson (1970a), p. 276.
  5. A Vision of Britain Through Time : Dukinfield Municipal Borough
  7. Nevell (1992), pp. 8, 10.
  8. Nevell (1993), p. 12.


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