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Wilmslow is a town in Cheshiremarker, England. It lies to the south of the city of Manchestermarker between Alderley Edgemarker and Handforthmarker. At the 2001 Census, the population of the town was 30,326.

Wilmslow, like its neighbour Alderley Edge, is famous for its affluence and expensive houses.

The town has a selection of expensive designer shops and cafe/restaurants that attract people living the true "Cheshire lifestyle", such as the numerous Premiership footballers, WAGs, actors and multi-millionaire North-West business people that live in and around the Wilmslow.

It is one of the most expensive and sought-after places to live in the UK outside of central London.

History

Toponymy

Wilmslow derives its name came from Anglo-Saxon Wīghelmes hlāw = "mound of a man called Wīghelm"

Lindow Man

Much about the local Iron Age history of Wilmslow was uncovered with discovery of Lindow Man, in Lindow Moss. Preserved in the peat bogs for 2000 years, Lindow Man is one of the most important Iron Age finds in the country. Despite a campaign to keep Lindow Man in the area, he was transferred to the British Museummarker and is a central feature of the Iron Age exhibition. Lindow Man returned to Manchester Museummarker in April 2008 for a year long exhibition.

Events

Wilmslow was in the international media in March 1997, when an IRA bomb exploded at the railway station destroying a signal box. The original IRA message was confusing and led to the evacuation of nearby houses around the Wilmslow Police Station to the local leisure centre not far from the explosion. Nobody was hurt.

In the general election of the same year, the parliamentary constituency of Tattonmarker, in which Wilmslow falls, made headlines as part of the "sleaze" accusations levelled against the then Conservative Government. Tatton MP, Neil Hamilton, was accused of accepting cash for tabling Parliamentary questions, and subsequently defeated in the election by independent candidate Martin Bell. Martin Bell was supported in his door to door canvasing for votes by David Soul and served for a single term as MP.

Administrative history

Wilmslow was one of the eight ancient parishes of the Macclesfield Hundredmarker of Cheshire. It was subdivided into the townships of Bollinfee, Chorley, Fulshaw and Pownall Fee. Under the Poor Law Amendment Act 1866 the townships became civil parishes in their own right. Wilmslow was recreated as a civil parish on 30 September 1894 when Pownall Fee and Fulshaw were abolished. Wilmslow gained the whole of Fulshaw and part of Pownal Fee; the other 1523 acres of Pownall Fee were used to create the new Styalmarker civil parish. The new Wilmslow civil parish was the only parish of the new Wilmslow Urban District. On 1 April 2009 it became part of the Cheshire East unitary authority.

Expansion

On 1 April 1936 Wilmslow lost 19 acres to Alderley Edge. However it gained 3 acres from Chorley and on the abolition of Bollinfee, Handforthmarker and Styalmarker civil parishes it gained 1, 1080 and 1521 acres respectively.

Geography

Wilmslow town centre is focused upon Bank Square, Grove Street and Water Lane. Although Bank Square has traditionally provided the location for many of the town's banks, the name in fact originates from the bank, or slope, leading down to The Carrs recreational fields and up towards the railway station. The River Bollinmarker flows through The Carrs and once provided the power source for nearby Quarry Bank Millmarker, now a National Trust site, as well as enjoyment for the local population.

Before the railway came in 1842, Wilmslow comprised only a few farms and a church.

For purposes of the Office for National Statistics, Wilmslow forms part of the Greater Manchester Urban Areamarker.

Economy

Wilmslow is well known, like Alderley Edgemarker, for having many famous residents, notably footballers, stars of Coronation Streetmarker and rich North West businessmen. The town is part of the so-called Golden Trianglemarker in the north west together with Alderley Edge and Prestburymarker. It has seen a consistent year-on-year growth in its property value thanks to transport improvements and its iconic Cheshire image.

It grew in popularity in the Victorian era as a most desirable area for wealthy North West businessmen to move out to once the railways arrived and connected the towns.

Wilmslow is the founding location of clothing giant Umbro who have their headquarters in the area.

The town is the centre of operations of the life insurance and pensions firm, Royal London Mutual Insurance. The Information Commissioner's Office, one of the government's executive agencies, is also based in Wilmslow.

The town's Aston Martin garage sells the highest number of Aston Martins in the entire country; a high demand stimulated largely by the high level of affluence in the town.

Transport

Wilmslow railway stationmarker is situated where the electrified line from Crewemarker to Manchester Piccadillymarker divides. One line continues to Manchester via Handforthmarker and Stockportmarker, the other continues via Styalmarker, Manchester Airport and Heald Greenmarker. The latter route is commonly known as the Styal Line. There are frequent services to Manchester, Stockport, Crewe and Manchester Airport plus an hourly service to Shrewsburymarker and Cardiffmarker. Since December 2008 there is an hourly service to London Eustonmarker. The A34 Manchester to Newcastle-under-Lymemarker and Winchestermarker road now bypasses the town centre to the east. Manchester Airportmarker lies just four miles to the north west, but Wilmslow lies away from the approach and departure routes and therefore suffers only slightly from aircraft noise.

The A34 bypass is the main road network that serves the town of Wilmslow. This is to be extended beyond neighbouring Alderley Edgemarker by 2011 and is planned to stretch towards Manchester Airportmarker at an unconfirmed date.

Landmarks

St Bartholomew's Church


There are three Church of England churches in Wilmslow, St. Bartholemew's, St Anne's and St John's. St Bartholemew's is a 16th century building, which was modified in the 19th century. It has a turreted bell tower.

Dean Row Chapel, 2 miles east of the town centre, is a Grade II* listed building built around the end of the 17th century. Initially Presbyterian, it later became Unitarian and is still in use as a chapel.

Notable residents

Alan Turing, the driving force behind the Bombe machine for cracking the German Enigma cypher, is perhaps Wilmslow's most notable resident. Turing committed suicide in his Wilmslow home on 7 June 1954 by eating an apple laced with potassium cyanide. In 2004, a blue plaque was placed on the house in his honour.. In 1999 Time Magazine named him as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century.

William Roache Coronation Street Actor for almost 50 years, Roache has lived in Wilmslow much of his life

Alex Ferguson, Nemanja Vidić, Titus Bramble, and Joleon Lescott are also residents, amongst a selection of other Premiership footballers, all living in multi-million pound Cheshire mansions.

Literature

Wilmslow has featured in the novels of the writer Alan Garner, with the Black Lake on Lindow Common apparently housing a witch. Garner is perhaps best known for his books The Owl Service, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath the last two of which are set in nearby Alderley Edgemarker.

Music

The British indie rock band Doves met at Wilmslow High Schoolmarker in the 1980s. Their song 'Black and White Town' was inspired by Wilmslow and its contradicting 'rich-poor' divide

Other notable residents include;

References

See also




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