Although now part of Greater Manchester Altrincham was historically an important town in the county of Cheshire. The town lies to the south of Manchester and is a popular home for commuters to the city.
It is thought that people have settled in and around Altrincham since prehistoric times and there is evidence of Roman settlements here as there is in so much of the surrounding area in Cheshire. The town linked the Roman fort at Chester with the one at York, for example. In Saxon times the area was predominantly owned by Thegn Alweard before being passed on to Hamon de Massey after the Norman invasion. It was de Massey that first mentioned the town in the 1200s when he gave it a Royal Charter and it attained market town status. The first mentions of the town often gave it the name of Aldringeham.
By the 1300s the manor lands of Altrincham were given to the Earl of Stamford. At this point the town was one of the largest and most important towns in the north west of the country. It had a certain status as a market town and as a site of agricultural industry which carried on down through the centuries.
In the mid 1700s the Bridgewater Canal was built to reach the town which helped establish its industrial base of the time. This was further extended in the 1840s when the town was given access to the railway network and two stations of its own. Even in these early years the town was often used as a commuter base for industrial business men and factory owners in Manchester.
Most of the actual industrial process undertaken in Altrincham took place in its Broadheath area. By the early 1800s the town had built up a number of cotton mills, for example, although the textile trade here petered out over the next few decades. Nowadays Altrincham is perhaps best known for its market which continues to this day and its old town conservation area. The market is located on what is considered to be the site of the original settlement that created the town itself.
Visitors to the area may also enjoy a visit to the National Trust’s Dunham Massey Hall and deer park which lies on the edge of the town. Stamford Park is also worth a visit - this town and sports park was built in the late 1800s and is now on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. The town is also unusual in that it has an ice rink which is open to the public.