Sandbach is a market town and civil parish within the Congleton borough of Cheshire, England. The civil parish contains four settlements; Sandbach itself, Elworth, Ettiley Heath and Wheelock.

Sandbach is probably best known as the original home of both Foden and ERF lorries, both companies founded by members of the Foden family. Neither company now exists in Sandbach, having been taken over and production moved elsewhere. As of 9 September 2007 there is no trace of Fodens within Sandbach, with the former mansion home of the Foden family at Westfields, being demolished to make way for a new council building. However, Foden's Brass Band, originally created for employees and now renamed Foden's Richardson Brass Band, is still based in Sandbach.



Known as Sanbec in 1086, and Sondbache in 1260, Sandbach derives its name from the Anglo-Saxon sand bæce, which can mean sand stream or sand valley.

Early history

Traces of Settlement are found in Sandbach from Saxon times the town was then called Sanbec, during this time little is known about the town apart from the fact that there were Welsh and Danish raids frequently. The town's inhabitants were converted to Christianity in the 7th Century by four Priests: Cedda, Adda, Betti and Diuma. The town has an entry in the Domesday Book from 1086 at that time the town was of a sufficient size to call for a priest and a church. The reading states:

Sanbec: Bigot de Loges. 1 hide and 1½ virgates pay tax. Land for 2 ploughs. 1 Frenchman has ½ plough, 3 slaves. 2 villagers have ½ plough. Church. Woodland. Value TRE 4s; now 8s.

13th Century

By the 13th Century, during the reign of King John much of the land around the township of Sandbach was owned by the Richard de Sandbach who was the High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1230. Richard de Sandbach specifically owned a manor, he claimed an interest in the living of Sandbach. This claim against Earl Randle de Blundeville was unsuccessful. His son, Jon, however was slightly more success full in he won an 'interest' temporarily against the Abbot of Dieulacres only for it to be lost when it went to the King's Bench.

Tudor and Stuart era

The Manor in Sandbach passed through numerous families, including the Leghs and Radclyffes. The manor was eventually bought by Sir Randulph (or Randle) Crewe, he was therefore the Lord of the Manor.

Sandbach has been a market town since the 1579 when it was granted a Royal Charter by Elizabeth I due to the petitioning of Sir John Radclyffe of Ordsall who as the largest landowner in Sandbach and the owner of the Old Hall encouraged the farmers of the area to go and hold a market in the town on Thursdays. The Charter also allowed for right to establish a Court-leet and a Court of Pied-powder. The actual Charter is still preserved and can be found in Chester a reproduction can be found in the Sandbach Town Council meeting offices, which are at the Literary Institution . The charter also granted the town the right to hold two annual fairs, which lasted for two days, and were held around Easter and early September. Today the Thursday market is still held outdoors on Scotch Common, and in and around the town hall. Nearby are some wetlands called Sandbach Flashes.

Civil war and Commonwealth

During the Wars of the Three Kingdoms a Scottish army swept down into England, at the Battle of Worcester it was forced to retreat. This was the only notable event of the Civil War to have happened in Sandbach. On the 3rd of September 1651 Sandbach summer fair was being held and a Scottish army of around 1000 exhausted cavalry men passed through the town; this army had been under the command of David Leslie. The town was not an easy retreat route however the people of Sandbach and the Market stall holders attacked the Scottish army killing 9 or 10 and taking around one hundred prisoner a newspaper of the time said:
The dispute was very hot for two or three houres, and there were some townsmen hurt and two or three slaine, the Townesman slew about nine or ten and tooke 100 prisoners.

As the Fair and the fight took place on the common of the town, after this event the Common gained the name Scotch Common.


Local government

Sandbach is part of Cheshire and as such has some services administered by Cheshire County Council. Most of the other services are provided by Congleton Borough Council, whose headquarters are at Westfields in Sandbach. For the Purposes of the local town elections Sandbach is divided into 3 wards North, East, and West ward, and town councillors are elected for terms of four years. For the purposes of borough and the new Cheshire East Unitary Authority elections there are two wards.

Sandbach has an active town council and active youth council. The town council has jurisdiction over the whole parish of Sandbach not just the town, all meetings are held in the Literary Institution in Sandbach and the press and public are welcome to attend, except in the rare event of something sensitive being talked about. Sandbach Town Council is striving for Quality town status, and has created a vision document to give direction to the council. The council also applied for Fairtrade Town status, which was granted on the 17 July 2008.

The town was previously governed by Sandbach Urban District Council (SUDC), this was then merged with other urban and rural councils form Congleton Borough Council in 1974. Sandbach Urban District Council was created in 1894 and dissolved in 1974.

Arms of the Former SUDC

In 1956 Sandbach Urban District Council secured a grant of Armorial Bearings. The Blazon is

Azure, on a Fesse Argent between in chief two garbs and in base a representation of the Saxon Crosses of Sandbach Or, a Fesse Gules.And for the Crest on a Wreath Or and Azure in front of a Garb Or banded with Silk Ribbons Alternately Azure and Gules a demi-Wheel of the last.

The use of the crosses confirmed them as a symbol of Sandbach.

By an Order in Council signed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second on the 13th of October 1980, the Armorial bearings of the SUDC were "Transferred unto and do now as of right pertain and belong to the Town Council of Sandbach." A Certificate of confirmation of that Order was issued by the College of Arms in May 1981.


The town is in the Congleton Constituency and the current MP is Lady Ann Winterton. For the European Parliament it is in the North West Constituency.


The distance from the county administrative capital Chester to Sandbach is . The distance from London to Sandbach is . The nearest large town is Crewe, which is six miles to the south-west by road and can be reached either via the A534 Wheelock bypass or via Winterley and Haslington. The nearest city is Stoke-on-Trent in the neighbouring county of Staffordshire, approximately away by road.


Sandbach has two very important historical features in the cobbled market square. These are the Saxon Crosses that were reportedly built in the 7th, 8th or 9th century. A plaque is situated on the crosses which states they were completed in the 9th century. The crosses are Scheduled Ancient Monuments. It reads:

Listed Buildings

Sandbach is also home to many listed buildings, the buildings include Sandbach School, St Mary's Church, Sandbach and the Old Hall Hotel, Sandbach. Many of the local Public houses, that were formally stage coach stops are listed, for example the Lower Chequer. Many of the buildings of the town were designed by the renowned architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, he designed Sandbach Literary Institution, Sandbach School, St John's Sandbach Heath and the Almshouses. He also restored St Mary's Church.


The town is served by Sandbach railway station, along the Crewe to Manchester Line with services operated by Northern Rail to and from as north as Deansgate although there is a branch line north of the station leading to Northwich which is mainly used by freight traffic and express passenger trains heading to Chester while the North Wales Coast Line is unavailable between the city and Crewe, although some oragnisations have been campaigning for a local passenger service between the two stations. The station itself is located to the west of the town in Elworth. Pressure of road traffic going from Greater Manchester to Crewe has forced the building of a bypass for Sandbach, Wheelock, Wheelock Heath, Winterley, and Haslington for the A534. This is largely due to the M6 motorway which has a junction (J17) at Sandbach, which is close to the eponymous RoadChef service station.

Local bus services are provided by Arriva and D&G Bus and Coach.


Sandbach Partnership

In Sandbach there is a Partnership of groups which form the Sandbach Partnership. Sandbach Partnership is part of the SECE. The Partnership goal is to

is to realise the Vision of local people set out in the current Sandbach Action Plan, by creating a vibrant and inclusive market town providing convenient access to retail and professional services, training and jobs, leisure and cultural opportunities. We will achieve this by working to create a ‘can do’ atmosphere to ensure the successful and smooth implementation of projects.


Primary Schools

It has been announced by Cheshire County Council that they are looking into to reduce the number of primary school places in Sandbach.

Secondary schools

Sandbach School was founded as a parish charity school for boys in 1677. Now it is a Independent comprehensive boys school, with charitable status, funded by Cheshire Local Education Authority but controlled by a board of governors. The school's motto is Ut Severis Seges meaning approximately "what you sow, so shall you reap" though literally meaning "You sow in order to reap". The school educates 985 pupils and the Sixth Form educates 185 pupils, and is still growing. The school has its own Combined Cadet Force (CCF). This is a cadet force in which all three British armed forces (Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force) are represented. On September 4, 2006 the School officially became a 'Specialist Arts College', this is partly the success of the school's theatre company (made up of its pupils and occasionally staff). This change has had an impact on the ethos of the school; with a more direct focus on Art, music, dance and Cross curricular arts.

Within Sandbach there is also a comprehensive Girls school Sandbach High. It was originally the Towns mixed Secondary Modern when Sandbach School served as the local Boys grammar school, but has been a single sex comprehensive since 1979.

Religious sites

Sandbach has Churches Together in Sandbach which helps Bring the various denominational churches together.

The Following Churches are in Sandbach Town


There are a few places to stay in Sandbach. The old, 18th century church rectory—now the Chimney House Hotel—offers a modern, easily accessible place to stay. The hotel is very popular with business travellers and is also well known to play frequent host to TV stars and comedians working in the area. Other hotels include the historic Old Hall Hotel, claimed to be one of the most haunted hotels in the UK. The Most Haunted television show featured the hotel in series 5. The Old Hall Hotel is one of the last remaining examples of Tudor architecture typical of the buildings in the town. As of late 2007, the hotel was closed and undergoing refurbishment. A small selection of public houses in the town centre can offer bedrooms.

Organisations in Sandbach

Sandbach Round Table

In Sandbach there is a branch of the Round Table called Sandbach Round Table No. 201 Area 22. It organises many events in the town and its membership is open to males aged between 25 and 45 , there is a separate section for females called the Ladies Circle.



The Transport Festival

Sandbach has an annual transport festival this usually takes place during April. It originally started in 1992 as ‘Transport through the Ages parade’ and was such a success that it became an annual event, since its inception it has been run alongside the National Town Criers’ competition.The Festival is run by an organising committee in partnership with Congleton Borough Council, Sandbach Town Council and the North West Development Agency who provide much of the funding for the free, to the public, event. Many volunteers are used to help run the actual event.

Christmas lights

At the end of November every year the Christmas lights are turned on, by the chairman of the town council, illuminating the town.

Sports and recreation

Within the town there are various Sporting facilities; there is a leisure Centre run by Congleton Borough Council and Sandbach School offers community sports facilities. There are various sports teams in Sandbach; many work with the local community, for example they hold training sessions in local schools. The main local football club is Sandbach United Football Club. It has recently started to work with the Borough council in developing new sports facilities. The local Rugby Union club is Sandbach RUFC, it is the largest sporting club in the Borough and has recently been at the heart of some controversy as the members of the club got involved with ITV's Generation Xcess and were seen heavily inebriated in local pubs as a result many were barred, the club responded by saying that ITV was selective in what it showed. The Local Cricket club is Sandbach Cricket Club. There is also Elworth Cricket Club which plays in the Cheshire County Cricket League. Sandbach also has a Squash club called Sandbach Squash Club, the club enters two teams in the North West Counties League. There is also Sandbach Judo Club which meets at Sandbach School and is a member of British Judo Council


Foden's Richardson Brass Band

The band is currently bidding for lottery funding in the form of a Heritage Lottery grant.


Sandbach in particular Sandbach School was host to the BYFA's Production of the feature film 'The School That Roared''.

Sandbach Players

Sandbach Players was founded as Sandbach Amateur Dramatic Society in 1946 and up until 2007 they were a community theatre company which performed regularly . The productions started with Without the Prince performed at the town hall, where all productions were held up until 1977. In 1977 the society acquired a building in the town which became 'The Little Theatre' where productions were then held. A period of great prosperity followed and the 'House Full' sign was put to frequent use. However, in 1992, the society was forced to leave the building after a survey revealed dry rot. Far from being despondent, the society bounced back to perform John Chapman's Dry Rot at Sandbach School. The school was their home until 2005 when Sandbach Players returned to Sandbach Town Hall where all productions were staged. Sandbach Players was dissolved in June 2007 following ever-increasing difficulty in obtaining cast and crew members.

Sandbach Voices

Sandbach Voices is a local choir that was founded in 1947 and is a registered charity. The choir makes it its mission to bring choral music into the community and regularly stages concerts often in Sandbach Town Hall or at St Mary's Church, Sandbach.



There are currently four different local Newspapers that are read in Sandbach. There is The Chronicle (Sandbach edition) this is Published on a Wednesday, The Sandbach Chronicle this is published on a Friday ,Crewe Guardian this is published on Thursdays, the South Cheshire Advertiser and the Sentinel (Cheshire edition) this is Daily.


Sandbach along with South Cheshire in general is served by BBC Radio Stoke. It also is in the broadcast area of Cheshire FM and the Macclesfield based Silk FM.

Public services

In Sandbach Water Services are Provided by United Utilities. In Sandbach there has been a new Primary Care Centre created called Ashfields Primary Care Centre. This was built on the Former ERF site and was a merger of Two doctors surgeries and one health care centre. It provides a wide range of services for Sandbach and surrounding areas; there is also a Co-operative Pharmacy on-site. The nearest local Hospital is Leighton Hospital in Crewe. Sandbach is in Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust. Sandbach is Served by the North West Ambulance Service. The Policing in Sandbach is conducted by Cheshire Constabulary. Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service is the fire service in Sandbach it runs the Fire station in the town.

Notable people




See also

External links

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