Got an hour or two to spare? Barnaby Festival is seeking vol...
Steep cobbled streets, a handsome Market Place, medieval thoroughfares, mills, museums and a fascinating collection of churches all play their part in the story of Historic Macclesfield.
Download our Historic Macclesfield brochure.
The town’s rugged charm springs from its historic character as a centre of silk weaving and design, of non-conformism, of independence – against an ever-present backdrop of the beautiful Peak District hills. And whether it’s in the Market Place or tucked away amid the streets of weavers’ cottages, you will always find something going on in Macclesfield - a monthly Sunday market… an annual arts festival… regular concerts in the handsome Heritage Centre… a thriving little independent cinema… themed guided walks… its own opera company… an award-winning brass band… little art galleries… traditional pubs… its own breweries… and even its own ice-cream makers…. all Made in Macclesfield.
Macclesfield was granted it’s charter 750 years ago, and famously produced highly valued archers for the King. A traditional market town, it is depicted in a picture (in West Park Museum) by famous son Charles Tunnicliffe , showing livestock on Market day at the Waters Green with the town rising behind.
After a period known for its button making, Macclesfield concentrated on Silk production in its handsome mills. The Silk Museum, Heritage Centre and working looms in Paradise Mill all offer the interested visitor intriguing insights into Macc’s Silk past and the people who were part of it. The local football team are known as the Silkmen to this day and the town has recently become recognised by the UN tourism association as the official End of the Silk Road.
Religion has played a defining role in shaping the town: the imposing Heritage Centre was once a magnificent Sunday School, and monumental Christ Church where Charles Wesley once preached is a landmark on the town’s skyline.
Macclesfield was the birthplace of Hovis bread and you can see the handsome old Hovis Mill ( now smart apartments) by the canal.
In former years the Mills closed for two weeks, for the Barnaby holiday (after St Barnabus) and the town went to sleep while Mill workers decamped to the seaside at Blackpool and the like. Barnaby has recently been revived as an annual arts festival each June. This is a town with a rich and multilayered heritage and plenty of ways to find out more.
...read more in our Historic Macclesfield brochure.