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Bollington is a small town and civil parish in the county of Cheshire (County Palatine of Chester), England, in the unitary authority of Cheshire East,to the east of Prestbury. In the Middle Ages it was part of the Earl of Chester’s manor of Macclesfield, and the ancient parish of Prestbury. According to the 2001 UK census, Bollington had a population of 7,095.

Bollington, which is locally nicknamed “Happy Valley”, is on the River Dean and the Macclesfield Canal, on the south-western edge of the Peak District. Rising above the town is Kerridge Hill that is surmounted by White Nancy, a monument built to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo in the Napoleonic Wars.

Bollington is twinned with Thurles in North Tipperary, Ireland.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Bollington was a major centre for cotton spinning. The Waterhouse Mill, now demolished, off Wellington Road, once spun the finest cotton in the world, and was sought after by lace makers in Nottingham and Brussels. Clarence Mill still stands and has since been converted into luxury apartments. One of the oldest surviving mills in Bollington is the very small Defiance Mill, built in Queen Street about 1800 and also now restored for residential occupation. There is a large paper coating mill on the site of Lower Mills. The original mill was built by George Antrobus in 1792 but very little of those buildings remain. A stone-built traditional mill still survives amongst the more recent brick developments. In the 1830s and 1840s this mill was rented to Thomas Oliver and Martin Swindells for the production of fine cotton thread for the lace-making industry.

The town falls within the Westminster constituency of Macclesfield. Bollington is represented by two councillors on the Cheshire East Unitary Council.

Cheshire Fire Brigade have a retained fire station in Bollington. The town has a medical practice on Wellington Road, and a dental surgery on Bollington Road. The town does not have its own police station; policing is provided from local stations in neighbouring Poynton and Wilmslow by the Cheshire Constabulary. The town has a small yet thriving local retail community, with two bakers, three meat puryeyors, a delicatessen, and a small Cooperative convenience store. The town has several restaurants, wine bars, and coffee shops, along with a dozen or so traditional public houses.

The town has several churches. The parish Church of St John the Baptist closed several years ago, leaving St Oswald’s Church in Bollington Cross as the only Anglican church. St Gregory’s church on Wellington Road is the Roman Catholic place of worship in the town, and the Grade-II listed Methodist church is opposite the council offices.

Every five or six years since 1964, the town has played host to the Bollington Festival which runs for two and a half weeks and involves various community activities, from concerts, theatrical, opera, art exhibitions, to local history events, science events and competitions.

In 2005 Canalside Community Radio was launched to provide community news and entertainment for the duration of the festival. Cousins John and Terry Waite opened the Festival. In December 2008 Canalside Community Radio began broadcasting to northeast Cheshire having obtained a full-time licence after five years of trying.

Hiking, cycling and riding through the hills and along the canalside around Bollington are popular activities. Boats can be hired for day-trips and holidays at Grimshaw Lane canal wharf.

The town has many traditional public houses, most of which have not been modernised.

Bollington has a branch of the Women’s Institute, which meets regularly while retired professional gentlemen may meet at the weekly Probus.

Bollington is 2 miles (3.2 km) from the A523 road tha runs from Hazel Grove, Stockport though Macclesfield to Leek in Staffordshire. The nearest motorway junctions are Junctions 17 and 19 on the M6, and junction 1 and 27 on the M60.

Bollington used to be served by the Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway, a former railway between Marple Rose Hill and Macclesfield. The railway was built in 1869 by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR) and the North Staffordshire Railway (NSR), as a part of a quest to provide an alternative link between Manchester and the south, that was independent of the London and North Western Railway (L&NWR). Thomas Oliverhad suggested this route hoping to revive the cotton mills of Bollington, the Kerridge stone quarries as well as the coal fields at Poynton. The line was closed in 1970 because British Rail stated it was not profitable. The trackbed is used for walking, cycling and horseriding; It is known as the Middlewood Way.

The Macclesfield Canal that passes through the centre of the town is now part of the Cheshire Ring. The stretch from Marple Junction on the Peak Forest Canal to Bosley is without locks and is carried on an embankment through Kerridge. This was the scene of a spectacular breach on 29 February 1912, where the water from Bosley to Bugsworth basin emptied through the town. Today the canal is used for leisure purposes.

Note: this page is partly based on a Wikipedia page. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Where possible, text is being updated to original, fully referenced research. ‘Our photos’ means we took the photographs. The Street View and street map visuals are courtesy of Google.

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