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Marple, or Merpel as it was written when the name first appeared on the pages of history, was omitted from the Domesday Survey made by William I in 1086 probably being a waste land inside the boundary of Macclesfield Forest. The name of Marple is believed to be derived from either maere hop hyll meaning "The hill at the boundary valley" or maere pill "The stream at the boundary".
In October 2020 a gentleman called Dave Watson sent me some photos that featured his mother, Joan Hope, as a young girl and also a couple of newspaper cuttings. The subjects were a 1934 pantomime at the Albert Schools and two Rose Queen events held at the Albert Schools and Rose Hill House in 1934-35.
Francis was my 4 x great grandfather and I believe that I and my two sons are his only direct ancestors. I eventually came across Francis after I'd asked my father, Charles Brindley, to tell me as much as he could about our Brindley family. My father did not know about Francis but he managed to spark an interest in me to look further at my family's history.
I first came across Francis through the IGI (International Genealogist Index) website as being the father of Thomas Brindley of Marple. This was confirmed by a Brindley genealogist, Gordon Brindley. I then found his Will on the East Cheshire council web site. Through this I discovered his profession, where he lived and the property and land he had owned in Marple. I found the website e-mapping Victorian Cheshire invaluable in confirming what I had learnt from the Will. I found out more about the company Francis Brindley & Co. from Tony Bonson, a mill expert interested in mills and waterways.
The best finds of all were on the Marple Website's Virtual Tour, where there were actually pictures of Marple Corn (mineral) Mill and Greenbank House, all once owned or occupied by Francis Brindley.
I never see anything about what Mrs Barlow of Woodville did at the outbreak of the war when my two younger sisters and I and my best friend and her younger sister were evacuated out of Manchester centre with the rest of the pupils of our school. Mrs Barlow took all five of us into her home and we were treated like we were her own. As you can imagine it was a very different life to what we were used to as children of working class parents. It was a beautiful home and we all enjoyed being there.
A little artistic licence has been employed for that alarming headline, as the events described here happened many years before the Dolce Vita Italian Restaurant came to occupy its present position on Stockport Road, opposite the entrance to Memorial Park. However, as it easily identifies the location in question for the majority of local people, I hope that readers will forgive the deliberately misleading start to this article.
A vintage photo of a Marple WWI Roll of Honour has been discovered that lists not only the fallen but all of Marple's "Old Boys" who answered the call at the time the photo was taken. Amongst the names are also men who survived the war and we know little or nothing about many of them. Do you have a relative on this list? Can you tell us more about what happened to the local men who survived?
Marple Hall is probably Marple's greatest historical loss. If it had survived a few more years it may have become a tourist attraction like Bramhall Hall but sadly that was not to be and all we can do today is speculate what might have been. However, at least you can at least take a Guided Tour of the hall through these pages and learn something about the incredible history that helped shape the community we live in today and discover a few relics that people managed to save.
Samuel Oldknow came to this district in 1787 and remained for over 40 years, until his death at the age of 72. During this time he changed the face of Marple beyond all recognition, being the chief architect and driving force in the development and industrialisation of the area. Along with his mill at Mellor he was responsible for the building of roads, bridges, coal mines and housing for his workers. He was also instrumental in the construction of the Peak Forest Canal. A monument to him, placed in the Church he built to replace the old Chapel that had become too small for the expanding community, gives a clear indication of his standing and influence.