Wilmslow is located in the county of Cheshire in the north west of England, Wilmslow is a town within the Borough of Macclesfield. Wilmslow lies to the south of the city of Manchester in the valley of the River Dean and the River Bollin.
Wilmslow has been inhabited since ancient times. The discovery of ‘Lindow Man’ in the area (an ancient body that was naturally preserved in peat) in 1983 shows that the area has been used by settlers since the times of the Iron Age. Evidence of Roman inhabitation has also been found in the town’s peat bogs. The town, however, was a relatively sleepy hamlet until the arrival of the railway in the 1840s being primarily composed of a few farms and a village church up to that point.
Wilmslow was perhaps best known historically as a centre for the cutting of Fustian. This was a cloth that was similar to today’s corduroy which was used for clothing in past centuries. The town has also made much of its access to the local peat bogs and this has played a major part in the economy of the town over the years. The town also had other forms of industry including silk milling.
During Victorian times it became quite fashionable to live in Wilmslow. As with many small towns in the Cheshire area, Wilmslow attracted some of the first ‘commuters’ when the railway was connected to the town. It was, for example, quite common for Manchester factory owners and industrialists to live in the town and to ‘commute’ to Manchester for work as they needed to.
Nature lovers will enjoy a visit to Wilmslow’s Lindow Moss Nature Reserve. Lindow Common is also of interest. This is designated as being a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) although it was originally used as common land for grazing cattle. The Carrs parkland and recreational area is also well worth a visit. This open area runs alongside the River Bollin. The town’s own Bluebell Wood is just outside of the centre and is a great place to see bluebells when they flower.
The town also holds an annual show (The Wilmslow Show) in the summer if the weather is good. A visit to St Bartholomew’s Church is also essential. The church was built in the early 1500s but still has a crypt dating back to the 1300s in place. The original crypt can be viewed from a window in the church.