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Congleton

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Congleton
Congleton (Vereinigtes Königreich)
Congleton (53° 9′ 44,23″ N, 2° 13′ 3,52″W)
Congleton
Basic data
Longitude -2.217645
Latitude 53.1262285
Region North West
Unitary authority Cheshire East
Population 22.763(2001)
ONS code SJ854628
Area code 01260
Postal code CW12
Website http://www.congleton-cheshire.co.uk

Congleton is a town in Cheshire in England, situated on the banks of the River Dane and west of the Macclesfield Canal. In 2001 its population was 22,763. Congleton has been part of the Cheshire East Unitary Authority since 2009.

History

It is believed that it was already a Roman settlement. In 1272 Congleton received its town charter with the right to hold fairs and markets. King Edward I allowed the building of a mill. Congleton became an important centre of textile production, particularly in the manufacture of lace and leather gloves. In 1936 the neighbouring town of Buglawton was incorporated. Since 1974 the administrative district of Congleton has covered much of south-east Cheshire.

Congleton was notorious in the 1620s when hunting bears was a popular sport. Congleton owned an old and extremely weak bear that was hardly likely to draw large crowds to bear hunting contests. Congleton, however, had no money for a new, more aggressive bear. It had, however, accumulated money to buy a new Bible. The town now decided to use the money collected in the Bible fund for a new bear, to be repaid later by revenue from the growing number of spectators. The story circulated through neighboring towns and was distorted, giving rise to the legend that Congleton had sold his Bible to afford a new bear.

A song[1] by John Tams[2] was doing the rounds, repeated in the chorus:

Congleton Rare, Congleton Rare
They sold the Bible to buy a bear.

Since the beginning of this legend, Congleton has been nicknamed Beartown.

One of the most important landmarks in Congleton are considered to be the protruding rocks known as The Clouds[3], known as The Clouds, which can be seen across the Cheshire plain. The Cloud Project in Congleton is a daily photographic record of the Clouds for over a year and of the Cloudsides, the River Dane in Shaw, the Macclesfield Canal and the surrounding countryside.

The Clouds also form the atmospheric backdrop to the supernatural novella A Hainted Man by Stuart Neild, in which the novella’s hero, ghost hunter Boag-Munroe, becomes embroiled in a battle that leads to his death.

Congleton Town Hall

The Lion and Swan Hotel

Congleton’s main industries manufacture airbags and golf balls. There are light engineering factories near the town and sand mining on the Cheshire Plain, although for many commuters to Manchester it is only a bedroom community. There are also several local weeklies: the subscription-only Chronicle and the free papers Congleton Advertiser and Congleton Guardian. Local radio stations come from nearby Macclesfield-based Silke FM and Stoke-on-Trent-based Signal Radio.

Congleton personalities

  • John Whitehurst (1713-1788), watchmaker and scientist
  • Alan Garner (* 1934), writer
  • Emma Bossons, ceramic artist
  • Laura Newton, Cricketer
  • David Boothroyd, political researcher, author and councillor
  • Ann Winterton, politician
  • Mark Edwardson, television presenter, BBC North West
  • Louise Bours (* 1968), politician and actress

Web links

Commons: Congleton– Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual references

  1. Lyrics(Memento of Originals of 30 September 2007 in the Internet Archive) Info:The archive linkwas inserted automatically and not checked yet. Please check original and archive link according to instructions and then remove this note.@1@2Template:Webachiv/IABot/homepage.ntlworld.com
  2. About John Tams(Memento of Originals august 19, 2007 on the Internet Archive) Info:The archive linkwas automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check original and archive link according to instructions and then remove this notice.@1@2Template:Webachiv/IABot/homepage.ntlworld.com
  3. Website(Memento of the Originals of September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive) Info:The archive linkwas inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check original and archive link according to instructions and then remove this notice.@1@2Template:Webachiv/IABot/www.nineandten.co.uk

Coordinates 53° 10′ N, 2° 13′ W