Tameside

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The Metropolitan Borough of Tameside is a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester in North West England. It is named after the River Tame, which flows through the borough and spans the towns of Ashton-under-Lyne, Audenshaw, Denton, Droylsden, Dukinfield, Hyde, Mossley and Stalybridge. Its western border is approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Manchester city centre. It borders High Peak in Derbyshire to the east, the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham to the north, the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport to the south, and the City of Manchester to the west. As of 2011 the overall population was 219,324.

The history of the area extends back to the Stone Age. There are over 300 listed buildings in Tameside and three Scheduled Ancient Monuments, which includes a castle of national importance. The settlements in Tameside were small townships centred on agriculture until the advent of the Industrial Revolution. The towns of the borough grew and became involved in the cotton industry, which dominated the local economy. The current borough was created in 1974 as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972. Since then the area has been administered by Tameside Borough Council, which has been judged by the Audit Commission to be “performing strongly”.

The history of the area stretches back up to 10,000 years; there are 22 Mesolithic sites in Tameside, the oldest dating to around 8000 BC; 21 of the 22 sites are in the hilly uplands in the north east of the borough. Evidence of Neolithic and Bronze Age activity is more limited in the borough, although the Bronze Age Stalybridge Cairn is the most complete prehistoric funerary monument in the borough. The people in the area changed from hunter-gatherers to farmers around 2500 BC–1500 BC due to climate change. Werneth Low is the most likely Iron Age farmstead site in the borough, probably dating to the late 1st millennium BC. Before the Roman conquest of Britain in the 1st century AD, the area was probably part of the territory of the Brigantes, the Celtic tribe controlling most of what is now north west England.

The area came under control of the Roman Empire in the second half of the 1st century. Roads through the area were established from Ardotalia fort in Derbyshire to Mamucium (Manchester) west of Tameside and Castleshaw Roman fort in the north. Romano-British finds in the borough include a bog body in Ashton Moss, occupation sites at Werneth Low, Harridge Pike, Roe Cross, and Mottram. A 4th-century coin hoard was found in Denton and is one of only four hoards from the 4th century in the Mersey basin. A Byzantine coin from the 6th or 7th centuries, also found in Denton, indicates continued or renewed occupation once the Romans left Britain in the early 5th century.

Nico Ditch, an earthwork stretching from Stretford to Ashton-under-Lyne, is evidence of Anglo-Saxon activity in Tameside. It was probably dug between the 7th and 9th centuries and may have been used as a boundary between the kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria. Further evidence of Anglo-Saxon era activity in Tameside comes from the derivation of settlement names from Old English such as –tun, meaning farmstead, and leah meaning clearing.

According to the Domesday Survey of 1086, Tameside was divided into four manors, those of Tintwistle, Hollingworth, Werneth, and Mottram. The land east of the River Tame was in the Hundred of Hamestan in Cheshire and held by the Earl of Chester while to the west of the river was in the Hundred of Salford under Roger de Poitevin. These manors were divided to create further manors, so that by the 13th century most of them were owned by local families and remained in the hands of the same families until the 16th century. Manorialism continued as the main for of administration and governance until the mid-19th century.

The Industrial Revolution had a significant impact on Tameside; the area, whose main towns had previously been Ashton-under-Lyne and Mottram-in-Longdendale, was transformed from a collection of the rural, farming communities into mill towns. The towns of Ashton-under-Lyne, Dukinfield, Hyde, Mossley and Stalybridge have been described as “amongst the most famous mills towns in the North West”. With only a brief interruption for the Lancashire Cotton Famine of 1861 to 1865, factories producing and processing textiles were the main industry in Tameside from the late-18th century until the mid-20th century.

In 1964, Dukinfield Borough Council convened a meeting of neighbouring local authorities with the aim of formulating a policy of cross-authority social improvement for the districts in the Tame Valley. Following deindustrialisation, the area had suffered “gross-neglect” and had large areas of housing unsuitable for human habitation. This joint enterprise comprised the nine districts that would become Tameside ten years later, plus the County Borough of Stockport. This collective agreed on creating “a linear park in the valley [of the River Tame] for the use of the townspeople and as a major recreational resource within the Manchester metropolis”.

Tameside was created on 1 April 1974, by the Local Government Act 1972 as one of the ten metropolitan districts of Greater Manchester. It took over the local government functions of nine districts which were formerly in the administrative counties of Lancashire and of Cheshire. In 1986 Tameside effectively became a unitary authority with the abolition of the Greater Manchester County Council.

A name for the metropolitan borough proved problematic. The Redcliffe-Maud Report had used the name Ashton-Hyde, but double-barrelled names were prohibited for the new districts. Had Ashton-under-Lyne been a county borough, or had had a less common name, “it might have been chosen as the new name” for the new district. The eight other towns objected, adamant that “a new name should be found”. Thirty suggestions were put forward, including Brigantia, Clarendon, Hartshead, Kayborough, Tame, Ninetowns, and West Pennine, with Hartshead (with reference to Hartshead Pike) being the most popular throughout most of the consultation period. However, the name Tameside (with reference to the River Tame, but a concocted name with no historical basis) won 15 votes to Hartshead’s 10 in a final stage of voting.

The borough underwent a boundary review in 2002. The review altered the areas covered by some wards to ensure councillors represented roughly equal numbers. Between 12 October 2006 – 8 January 2007, a dispersal order was enforced in the Dukinfield and Newton Hyde areas of the borough. The move was designed to reduce anti-social behaviour. A representative of Stalybridge police post said “Due to the serious nature of recent incidents in Dukinfield and Newton Hyde involving a number of confrontations between large groups of youths, the decision has been made to introduce a Dispersal Order”.

Tameside is bordered by the metropolitan boroughs of Stockport and Oldham to the south and north respectively, the city of Manchester to the west and the borough of High Peak in Derbyshire to the east across Longdendale. Tameside features flat lowlands in the west and highlands in the east where the western edge of the Pennines encroaches on the borough. The hills in the east include Hartshead Pike and Werneth Low which is also a country park. As well as coal measures running north-south through the centre of the borough, there are areas of peat in the north east and there are large areas of boulder clay all over Tameside. Ashton Moss is a peat bog covering about 107 hectares (260 acres) and Denton Moor is an area of about 81 hectares (200 acres) of peat.

Waterways in Tameside include the rivers Medlock and Etherow, which form parts of Tameside’s western and eastern boundaries respectively, and the River Tame crosses the borough north to south, giving Tameside its name. The Ashton Canal, the Hollinwood Branch Canal, the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, and the Peak Forest Canal all run through the borough. There are also several reservoirs, including the Audenshaw Reservoirs. Greenspace accounts for 63.5% of the Tameside’s total area, domestic buildings and gardens comprise 17.4%, and the rest is made up of roads and non-domestic buildings.

Localities within the boundaries of Tameside include: Ashton-under-Lyne, Audenshaw, Broadbottom, Carrbrook, Copley, Denton, Droylsden, Dukinfield, Flowery Field, Gee Cross, Godley, Godley Green, Guide Bridge, Hartshead Green, Hattersley, Haughton Green, Hazelhurst, Heyrod, Hollingworth, Hyde, Landslow Green, Luzley, Millbrook, Mossley, Mottram in Longdendale, Newton, Park Bridge, Roe Cross, Stalybridge, Warhill, and Woolley Bridge.

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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