Cheadle, Staffordshire

Cheadle is a small market town near Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, with a population of 12,158 according to the 2001 census. It is roughly from the city of Stoke-on-Trent, north of Birmingham and south of Manchester. It is also around from the Alton Towers leisure park.


Cheadle is an historic market town dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, with its own reference in the Domesday Book. It was (and still is, but not for administrative purposes) in the historic Staffordshire Hundred (administrative division) of Totmonslow; nowadays it is part of the Staffordshire Moorlands area.

The High Street of Cheadle has many attractive old buildings and is little changed from how it looked in Victorian times, and for a small town has a bustling High Street with independent retailers and a fine market. Of particular interest in the town are the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches both of which are dedicated to St. Giles. The Catholic church, built 1841-6 at the expense of the Earl of Shrewsbury, was designed by Pugin who, in collaboration with Sir Charles Barry, also designed the rebuilt Houses of Parliament. The Catholic Church is one of the finest examples of its type in the Country, particularly for a small town such as Cheadle. The Anglican Church was totally rebuilt in 1837-9 to the design of J. P. Pritchett but incorporating fragments and furniture from the earlier church. There is also a strong Methodist tradition in Cheadle, and in the 19th century it was the various Methodist Chapels around the Cheadle area which taught many of the young boys who worked on the farms or in the coal mines to read and write. There is a large modern Methodist Church in the town.

Cheadle has had a varied and eventful history. The town was mentioned in the Domesday Book and was a small and unimportant hamlet with a small population. The town grew steadily over the next few hundred years, with the development of industry and agriculture. The historic industries that the town has depended on have been coal mining, agriculture, brass making and the historic copper industry in nearby Froghall and Oakamoor. The town and the nearby village of Upper Tean also had a textiles industry in tape weaving. Nowadays the old industry has passed into history and the new employers and industries are the large JCB factory, the several small industrial units on the site of the former New Haden Colliery and the nearby theme park of Alton Towers which employs a lot of people from the Cheadle area. More people now commute to the Potteries for work than in previous years.

Cheadle did have a railway station which was originally opened by the Cheadle Railway Company (purchased by the North Staffordshire Railway) in the early part of the twentieth century, after years of petitioning for a connection. It was closed by British Rail in the 1960s for passenger traffic, and for freight traffic in the 1980s as the local sand and gravel quarries which used the station to transport their output to rail moved to road transport. One notable point of interest is that the stone which helped to construct the Thames Flood Barrier in London was quarried from around Cheadle and loaded on to trains at Cheadle station.

Cheadle In Bloom

Cheadle participates in the Britain in Bloom Competition. It is run by a group of volunteers from Cheadle, Staffordshire and the surrounding district. They plant floral displays in Cheadle with the aid of grants from Cheadle District Council, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and sponsorship from local businesses and individuals.

The Cheadle Coalfield

The Cheadle Coalfield is totally detached from the nearby North Staffordshire Coalfield and covers an area of about from Dilhorne in the west to Ipstones and Foxt in the east where the coal meets the millstone grit and Carboniferous Limestone of the Peak District. Despite the coalfield being detached from its much larger neighbour, the North Staffordshire Coalfield, and developing from the North Staffs field in relative isolation, the two Coalfields were correlated by analysis of marine bands in the mid 20th century which confirmed that the two coalfields are the same, and were probably separated by something called a washout a couple of million years ago.

Notable individuals

  • Gareth Owen, professional footballer was born in Cheadle
  • Herbert Chester, a prominent local historian who wrote two books, The history of the Cheadle Coalfield, and the Iron Valley concerning the Churnet Valley Iron Industry.



Cheadle used to be served by a branch line opened in 1901 from Cresswell which was a station on the North Staffordshire Railway Crewe to Derby Line. It took almost thirty years of petitioning by the local coalmasters and notables in the town for the Cheadle Railway Company to build the small branch line and station. Even though the branch was only about four miles (6 km) long it was difficult to build as a tunnel had to be constructed under the huge Bunter Sandstone Hill at Huntley. The tunnel was very wet and plagued by problems with its roof. In the 1930s the LMS Railway, which had taken over the North Staffordshire Railway, built a diversion line around Huntley tunnel and abandoned it. Interestingly the tunnel survives to this day due to the fact that it was used as a coal mine in the 70s and 80s, and the western portal remains; however the eastern portal has long been filled in. With the opening of the branch line to Cheadle it meant that New Haden Colliery and Parkhall Colliery now had connections to the rail network, and Cheadle in general had its long-awaited rail connection to the outside world. The line closed to passenger traffic in 1963 but remained open to serve local gravel quarries until 1978.

Bus services to Cheadle were provided by PMT until it was bought out by First Group, now operating under the name First PMT. Such service include bus number '32 Hanley - Uttoxeter', every twenty minutes and '32A Hanley - Uttoxeter via Alton Towers', every two hours (one hour during the summer).


Further reading

  • Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). Staffordshire (Pevsner Buildings of England). Yale University Press.

See also

External links

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