Samuel Lewis - A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831)


MARPLE, a chapelry in the parish of STOCKPORT, hundred of MACCLESFIELD, county palatine of CHESTER., 4¾ miles (E. S. E.) from Stockport, containing, in 1821, 2646 inhabitants, since which period the population is supposed to have nearly doubled. The village is situated on the road from London to Manchester through Buxton, and was anciently called Mupull, in allusion to an expansion of the waters of the river Goyt in the vale below. The scenery is remarkably picturesque: the banks of the river, which, from the highest points, may be seen for severa1 miles, are rocky, precipitous, and well wooded; and the view from the churchyard includes the mountains of the peak on one side, and the Welch hills on the other.

The cotton manufacture, established here by the late Samuel Oldnow, Esq., is considerable, and many of the inhabitants are employed in the manufacture of hats. This place derives importance from the Peak Forest and Macclesfield canals, which pass through it: a direct communication is afforded by the former from the Cromford canal and the Peak Forest railway to the Ashton canal, and thence to Manchester; and the Macclesfield canal (which is now in progress) unites the Peak Forest and the Trent and Mersey canals, and thus forms, not only a direct, but the shortest, water conveyance from London to Manchester.

Marple forms part of His Majesty's manor and forest of Macclesfield, at the court leet whereof constables and other officers are appointed.

The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Chester, endowed with £400 private benefaction, £600 royal bounty, and £1200 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Rector of Stockport. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is a neat edifice, capable of accommodating one thousand persons; it was rebuilt and enlarged in 1812, and the tower contains the bells taken from the old church at Stockport. Samuel Oldnow, Esq., who projected the Peak Forest canal, and was a great benefactor to this place and neighbourhood, was interred here. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyan Methodists.

This is the birthplace of John Bradshaw, who was president of the court that condemned Charles I: he bequeathed £700 to purchase an annuity for maintaining a free school at Marple, but the change of property brought about by the Restoration prevented his bequest becoming available. His brother Henry founded a small school here, and endowed it with the interest of £ 100, which has since been augmented with other benefactions.

From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of England  (1831) ©Mel Lockie