Poynton

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Poynton is a town within the civil parish of Poynton-with-Worth, and the unitary authority area of Cheshire East, England. For ceremonial purposes it is part of the county of Cheshire. Poynton is located at the easternmost fringe of the Cheshire Plain, 7 miles (11 km) north of Macclesfield, 5 miles (8 km) south of Stockport and 11 miles (18 km) south-southeast of Manchester. At the time of the United Kingdom Census 2001, Poynton-with-Worth had a population of 14,433, ranking it 44th on the Greater Manchester Urban Area.

The name of Poynton is of Old English derivation, indicating ancient settlement by the Anglo-Saxons. From the late middle ages coal has been mined in Poynton. The collieries, under the ownership of the Lords Vernon, from 1832 until their closure in 1935 they were the largest in Cheshire. Consequent urbanisation and socioeconomic development necessitated better transport links; these came with the completion of the Macclesfield Canal through Poynton in 1831 and the arrival of the Manchester and Birmingham Railway in 1845 and the Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway in 1869. By the late 20th century, Poynton had emerged as a commuter town, partly because of the transport links and because it forms part of the Greater Manchester Urban Area.

The name of Poynton is of Old English derivation. Having been omitted by the Domesday Book of 1086, the first mention of the manor of Poynton is in 1289 when it was part of the barony of Stockport. Past spellings include Ponynton and Poynington The Warren family held the manor from before 1386 when Edward de Warren married Cicely de Eton of Poynton and Stockport until 1801 when Sir George Warren, the last surviving male, died. He was succeeded by his daughter, Lady Warren Bulkeley. She died childless in 1826 when she left the estate to Frances Maria Warren, Lady Vernon. The Lords Vernon held the estate until the final sale in 1920.

Coal is found outcropping to the east of Towers Road, which corresponds to the line of the Red Rock Fault; that is at the surface. It has been worked from early times. The earliest record to be found is a lease dated 28 February 1589, which talks of the “Coal pit at Wourthe lately occupied by George Finche”. This could be worked on the surface then by bell pits, and then by deeper shafts with waterwheels or steam engines operating pumps and winding gear. Around 1700, the Warrens of Poynton co-operated with the Leghs of Lyme to work the Cannel and Sheepwash seams at Norbury Hollow. Initially, the mines were pumped using waterwheels driven by the Norbury Brook; atmospheric steam engines were then used and then condensing engines thus allowing deeper pits to be sunk. Output in 1789 was over 23,586.80 metric tons (26,000 tons) rising to a peak production of 221,056.42 metric tons (243,673 tons) in 1859. The Poynton Colleries were substantial, and the coal rights were held by the Warren family who leased them the Wrights and the Claytons. The canal and new roads and railway lines were used to remove the coal, In 1826 the estate passed to George John Venables Vernon, 4th Lord Vernon who decided in 1832 to manage the mines himeself. In 1856 it was estimated that there was a reserve of 15,163,027 tons which would supply 245,000 tons for 61 years. This was to be supplied by the Park Round Pit, and the Park Oval Pit both working the Four Foot and Five Foot Seam and the Anson Pit and the Nelson Pit which were working the Accommodation Seam. The pits had good transport links to their principal markets, Cotton Mills of the Manchester conurbation. With the Lancashire Cotton Famine, 1861 and the subsequent recession, the price of coal collapsed, the vend dropped 112,840 tons. Men were laid off. A new shaft, the Lawrance Pit was sunk at Park, in 1885 raising the vend to vend of 216,362 tons and paying for itself within a year. However the costs were rising and the closure of the Norbury Pits resulted in a constant ingress of water. In 1926 production was down to 80,146 tons. in the year of the general strike. The 1926 General strike lasted for 17 weeks in Poynton and the men went back to work as the collieries would have closed due to the cost of pumping. The collieries closed on 30 August 1935; 250 men were made redundant. 80 men were offered jobs in Kent, and some secured employment with AVRO at Woodford, Greater Manchester. The Anson Colliery is now the site of the Anson Engine Museum, all other shafts have been capped and Park Pit has been levelled.

The Macclesfield Canal was originally proposed in 1765, but construction was not commenced until 1826 due to opposition from outside parties. Thomas Telford was the designer and the canal was completed in 1831. The original coal wharf at Higher Poynton is now in use for boatfitting. Sir George Warren was a promoter of the extension of the turnpike road from Manchester by way of Hazel Grove to Sandon in Staffordshire where it joined what is now the A51 road. The Manchester and Birmingham Railway Railway opened line through Poynton in 1845 which today forms part of the London–Manchester main line. The station on this line, offers local services to Manchester and Macclesfield. The Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple railway was opened in 1869, with stations at Higher Poynton and Middlewood, and was closed in 1970. The line is now footpath called the Middlewood Way.

During the late 18th century, the Pickford family developed their family business of waggoners on the London-to-Manchester route with The Birches Farm at Poynton as its headquarters. The business thrived and they relocated to London in 1823. Pickfords is today one of the best known removal firms in the United Kingdom.

From the 1870s private house-building gathered pace and gradually Poynton became a commuter town for those working in the Manchester conurbation. Since the Second World War several housing estates have been built by both the local authorities and private developers.

The population has risen from 5000 to over 15,000 since 1945.

From 1974 until the 2009 structural changes to local government in England, Poynton was administered by a three-tiers of local governance: the parish council of Poynton-with-Worth, Macclesfield Borough Council, and Cheshire County Council. Poynton-with-Worth (a civil parish) was made up of three electoral wards, was created in 1880 by uniting the hitherto two separate civil parishes of Poynton and Worth. Cheshire East Council took over the responsibilities of borough council and the county council on 1 April 2009, and the parish council has been renamed as Poynton Town Council. The Poynton electoral ward is represented on Cheshire East Council by three councillors. Cheshire East Council has 81 councillors in 27 ward.The boundaries are being reviewed, and the 2011 election will be for a 82 member council. Poynton and Adlington will be represented by two, two-member wards called Poynton West and Poynton East and Adlington. For the United Kingdom Parliament it is in the Macclesfield Constituency.

Poynton is located between the Norbury Brook and the Poynton Brook at the eastern most limit of the Cheshire Plain. The land is between 88 metres (289 ft) and 148 metres (486 ft) above sea level. The town is approximately 17 kilometres (11 mi) SSE of Manchester, 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from Manchester Airport, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from junction 5 of the M56 motorway and 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from junction 3 of the M60 motorway. The west of the parish is predominantly residential, with diverse amenities, buffered from Hazel Grove and Bramhall by the planning restrictions of the North Cheshire Green Belt. To the south of the town are two business parks but here and to the east it is rural in nature, bounding on the former deer park of Lyme Hall. This is green belt. The A6 trunk road passes to the north of the parish, and the Macclesfield Canal runs north/south along the 155m contour to the east of the parish.

The town straddles the Red Rock Fault. Its 200 metres (660 ft) downthrow to the west brings the Permo-Triassic sandstones and mudstones of the Cheshire Plain up against the Millstone Grit and shales of the Peak District. To the immediate east of the fault are the coal measures of the Carboniferous period which, unlike those in the Lancashire Coalfield, are missing the top layers. Here we find outcrops of the Middle Coal Measures. Coal from these strata, particularly the Four Foot Mine (or seam), the Five Foot Mine and the Accommodation Mine was extracted in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The lower ground, including most of Poynton, is covered by glacial till left by the retreating ice sheet at the close of the last ice age.

Woodford Aerodrome, to the west of the parish is now owned by BAE Systems—a major employer in the area—and has a Met Office weather station used for regional weather forecasting. Woodford’s weather station recorded a temperature of −17.6 °C (0.3 °F) on 8 January 2010, during the Winter of 2009-2010 in the United Kingdom.

The Macclesfield Canal, a canal with only one flight of locks, was originally proposed in 1765. However it was not commenced until 1826. Completed in 1831, it joins the Peak Forest Canal in Marple with the Trent and Mersey Canal near Kidsgrove and forms a part of the Cheshire Ring. The route was chosen so it could pass close to the Poynton Colleries, in order to transport coal to Macclesfield for the steam engines and 5000 houses. It shortened the canal journey from Manchester to London by 25 miles and allowed easy carriage of coal to the cotton mills at Dukinfield.

Poynton lies to the south of the A6. This was the favoured London to Manchester route in the late middle ages as it avoided the wetter land of the Cheshire Plain. This is shown in John Ogilby’s road atlas of 1675. It was improved by the formation of a turnpike trust in 1724. In 1760, Sir George Warren, the Leghs of Adlington and James Pickford promoted a new turnpike road through Poynton with Worth from Hazel Grove to Sandon in Staffordshire on the A51 road. This provided a link to Macclesfield. It is now known as the A523, or locally as the London Road. Later the Chester Road, the A5149 provided a link to Wilmslow.

The Manchester and Birmingham Railway opened a line through Poynton in 1845 which today forms part of the London–Manchester main line. The station on this line, offers local services to Manchester and Macclesfield. The Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway was opened in 1869, with stations at Higher Poynton and Middlewood. Since its closure in 1970, the line has been converted into a footpath and bridleway called the Middlewood Way.

Cheshire East Council is responsible for co-ordinating public transport. They run an Integrated Transport Service with Cheshire West and Chester Council, but at the Environment and Prosperity Scrutiny Committee of 25/11/2009 – they agreed to investigate separating the services; this would commence in November 2010. Poynton with Worth parish council was one of the Cheshire parishes that were part of Selnec PTE created by Transport Act 1968 but was not included in Greater Manchester when it was formed on 1 April 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act 1972. As a result special ticketing arrangements are in place within the parish.

Poynton railway station on the West Coast Main Line is served by an hourly off-peak rail service to Stoke-On-Trent and Manchester Picadilly Monday-Saturday, with extra trains at peak times (Mon-Fri). Sunday services consist of 5 trains in each direction from Sunday 1st April 2012.

Poynton Co-op was founded in 1862, staying independent until February 1992. There were many Friendly Societies, Burial Clubs, Workmen’s Club and the Miners’ Union. The Methodist Chapel was established in 1847 followed by the Baptists and Primitive Methodists chapels; together with St George’s Church they were the social centres of the village. Lord Vernon opened the first school in 1838 which was extended as the number of children attending it grew, and this building is used today as the Poynton Youth and Community Centre.

The Poynton Show, is held every August bank holiday weekend. It started in 1885, as an agricultural show, and has grown in size, 35,000 people visited the show in 1970. It offers a full range of events in the main arena such as stunt riding and aerobatics, a fairground, exhibitions and competitive events.

The St George’s Singers, is large choral society founded in 1956. Its current president is Dame Joan Bakewell. The choir has strong links with the Royal Northern College of Music and Chetham’s School of Music. It has sung in Helsinki, Tallinn, Krakov, Budapest and Érd; more locally the choir’s Singing Day attracts over 200 singers to learn and perform choral music.

Poynton is also home to one of the North-West’s premiere brass bands. The Vernon Building Society (Poynton) Brass Band  as it is now known, first started within the Poynton coal mining community and was supported by the mine owners, the Vernon family. It is not known for certain when the band began, but records from 1832 stating that new uniforms had been purchased by Lady Vernon suggest that it has existed for well over 160 years. Delighting audiences throughout the year with original and entertaining concert programmes, the band is also a regular prize-winner at contests throughout the country.

There are two Anglican churches in Poynton, St. Martin’s, High Poynton, and St. George’s, which occupies a prominent position in the town centre. St. George’s church dates from 1859 and is in the Victorian Gothic style; the steeple was added in 1884. These have active congregations: running services, youth groups and a children’s group.

Sir George Warren bought the Worth estate in 1792. Worth Hall, originally the home of the Downes family of Worth, has now been redeveloped as flats and lies within the confines of Davenport Golf Club.

Several halls were built in Poynton Park, each one then demolished to make way for a new hall. The last hall, Poynton Towers, was finally taken down in the 1930s. The ornamental lake, known locally as Poynton Pool, was created in the 1760s by Sir George Warren who dammed a tributary of the Poynton Brook, as part of his landscaping of the Park. The dam itself served as the foundation for the turnpike.

Poynton Coppice is a designated Local Nature Reserve.

Poynton is twinned with Érd in Hungary.

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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