What’s Macclesfield Famous For?

The picturesque town of Macclesfield is filled with cobble streets, historic buildings, and surrounded by beautiful undulating hills.

Less than an hour away from Manchester, this quaint town is a relaxing getaway from the city, which is why many a famous face frequents it.

Packed with shops, restaurants, and bars, this historic village has both a bit of buzz whilst also offering a tranquil setting to recharge.

The history of Macclesfield

This town is almost 1,000 years old, perhaps more. It was mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1085, showing that it’s been around for a long time.

Silk town

Macclesfield is most well known for their manufacturing of silk. The town started first making buttons which were usually covered with mohair or linen. But during Tudor times, Spanish silk buttons were the height of fashion, so Macclesfield decided to cover their buttons in silk.

The first silk mill was established in 1743 and during the peak of manufacturing in the 1820’s, there were around 70 mills producing silk in Macclesfield.

When silk buttons weren’t as popular as before, Macclesfield produced the silk itself.

The town made a great place to produce silk because of its location next to the Bollin River. Clean water was needed for producing and dyeing the silk. Their location meant the water wheels ran the mills for silk production.

Silk production could pay handsomely for the time with workers in the 18th century paid one shilling a day at least.

Is silk still made in Macclesfield?

Yes, Adamley is the only surviving silk mill. They use screen printing and still use the water sources of the river Bollin for their silk production.

How many silk mills does Macclesfield have?

In the height of its popularity, Macclesfield had 70 mills but now it only has one. Plus, the silk mill museum.

Macclesfield silk mill

The silk mill is now a museum where you can tour and see how the designs were created and produced.

It is the only silk museum in the UK and encompasses three sites including Park Lane Galleries, Paradise Mill, and the Heritage Centre.

Bread production

Another item that was produced in Macclesfield was bread.

From the 14th century, flour was created at mills here to make bread.

Nether Alderley Mill is one of four nearly complete corn mills in Cheshire. It’s a restored working corn mill that made flour from Medieval times.

It is a distinct looking building, with a slanting roof that almost touches the ground, as if it is slowly melting.

It is owned by the National Trust and can be visited.

Another building famous for producing flour is the Hovis Mill situated beside Macclesfield Canal.

Flour was milled here from 1898 until 1904 for the famous bread brand Hovis. Bread production then moved to the bigger premises of Trafford Park in Manchester. The mill became run down but was then restored and made into apartments.


Like many towns in England, there is a great many listed buildings from the Georgian and Victorian era.

There are terrace houses, mills, churches, and larger properties which are all listed in Macclesfield.

Some of these include the Heritage Centre (1813), Christ Church (1775), and Macclesfield Arms (18th Century).  

Some of these are now National Trust properties, to preserve them and their history.

A particularly striking listed building is Capesthorne Hall. It is a family-owned stately home set in 100 acres of countryside with three lakes, and formal gardens.

This sprawling manor home was built between 1719 and 1732 and was owned by the Bromley-Davenport family since 1726.

Its red brick Jacobean style façade includes turrets which were added a hundred years later.


Situated beside the Peak District, Macclesfield has many parks and scenic walking trails.

Tegg’s Nose Country Park has activities such as armchair walks, climbing and abseiling, and wildlife watching.

They have a tearoom and gallery and are a Regionally Important Geological Site.

Filled with woodland and crooked dry-stone walls, there are views over the Cheshire Plain and you can even see as far as Liverpool.

Macclesfield Forest is another beautiful spot with a herd of red deer and four reservoirs.

The beautiful still water is overlooked by tall trees and rising hills. There are views over the Peak District and Shining Tor, the highest point in Cheshire at 559 metres.

Jodrell bank observatory

This observatory is quite an attraction and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2019.

The observatory is part of the University of Manchester and includes radio telescopes including the Lovell Telescope.

The Lovell Telescope, which is 76m high, is famous for spotting Russia’s Sputnik 1 in 1957.

The observatory has a discovery centre with an arboretum, space dome, immersive auditorium, and gardens.

Famous residents of Macclesfield

Macclesfield is part of the golden triangle, an affluent area where celebrities and footballers live and gather.

It’s no wonder that many a famous face has either lived or passed through Macclesfield.

Famous visitors have included the Rooney’s, Freddie Flintoff, Robbie Savage, among many other celebs and footballers.


Macclesfield has produced several musically talented residents over the years.

Members from the band Joy Division, Ian Curtis and Stephen Morris lived here.

After Ian’s death in 1980, the drummer Stephen went on to form a new band called New Order, which also found success. It also added a new band mate Gillian Morris who was also from Macclesfield.

Another band, The 1985, formed in Wilmslow High School and went on to have music in the charts.

Present day Macclesfield

As well as being a hot spot for the rich and famous, it is a quaint village with lots of attractions such as the historical buildings and shopping.

Situated in an ideal location close to Manchester and beside the Peak District, it offers both relaxation and lots to do.

Add Heat

Family-run business Add Heat has serviced the Macclesfield area for over 25 years. We cover Macclesfield and roughly a 20-mile radius, fixing all kinds of heating problems. If you’re in the Macclesfield area and need any heating advice, contact us.

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