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The History of Timperley

Next year, we will be unveiling 55 new apartments in the village of Timperley. Timperley is only a short distance away from the popular town of Altrincham and just thirty minutes from the centre of Manchester.

Timperley is a beautiful place to make your home. Allow us to tell you a little more about the times gone by in this pretty little suburb, which is known today for its quintessential British culture, lively shops and traditional pubs.

Our story of Timperley begins at least as far back as the seventh century when Anglo-Saxon settlers arrived from the south and integrated with the Britons already living in the area. In fact, the word ‘Timperley’ itself is taken from the Anglo Saxon (Old English) words “Timber Leah” which translate to “clearin’ in the forest”. Although remains of a Roman road have been discovered in the area, which were part of the network linking Chester (Deva Victrix) and York (Eboracum), there is no evidence that the Romans ever settled in Timperley or even Altrincham. Neither of these towns are listed in the Doomsday Book but nearby Dunham is.

Over the coming centuries, more settlers arrived in Timperley. Norwegian Vikings arrived in the late ninth century, travelling west from the Isle of Man and Ireland. Later, in the tenth century, the Danish Vikings arrived from the east. Up until the Norman invasion of 1066, the land was ruled by a Saxon called Thegn Alweard but after the invasion, the land came under the influence of Hamon de Massey from Normandy. The Earl of Stamford inherited these lands in 1340 after the de Massey family line ended. The Stamford name can still be found on a number of buildings and roads in Altrincham because the Stamford remained influential right up until the late 20th century.

Before the Industrial Revolution in the 1700’s, Timperley was predominantly an agricultural settlement. It was an area used for market gardening and along with Altrincham, it was famous for its crops, including the Timperley Early rhubarb, the Altrincham carrot, Bowden Down potatoes, as well as onion, celery and strawberries.

In 1776, the Bridgewater Canal opened in Timperley. Lord Francis Egerton, the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater was the British nobleman who commissioned the Bridgewater Canal. He is renowned as the “father of British inland navigation”. In fact, the Bridgewater Canal is considered by many to be the first true canal in Britain – and even the modern world! However, the unusual thing about this 40-mile canal is that it has no locks.

The improvement in transport spurred on the development of market gardening in Timperley.  It was used to transport market garden produce and commuters into the growing city of Manchester. When the boats came back to Timperley, night soil was unloaded and it provided the manure for the farms and market gardens. (We’ll leave you to Google night soil yourselves …)

Things continued to look up for Timperley as time went on. In 1851, there were approximately 16 square miles of market gardens, producing eight tonnes of onions and potatoes every year. The area’s infamous Bowdon Down potatoes were very popular in Manchester. Then, during the mid-19th century, four railways were built in Timperley and with the railways came the middle classes. The population of Timperley more than doubled over a twenty-year period. As the population grew, so too did the facilities available in Timperley. The hockey club was founded in 1886, the cricket club in 1887 and the golf club in 1893. During the second world war, the golf club used its second and third holes for the production of potatoes.

Today, Timperley has a population of approximately 11,000 people. It is a sought-after village which is popular with commuters and families alike but that’s no surprise because just seven miles from Manchester, it offers a tranquil and convenient retreat from the hubbub of city-life. Perhaps Timperley’s biggest claim to fame however are its former residents, which include Ian Brown and John Squire, the founder members of the Stone Roses, as well as comedienne and writer Caroline Aherne.

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