Ashton-under-Lyne
Overview
Ashton-under-Lyne is a market town
Market town
Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the medieval period, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city...

 in the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside
Tameside
The Metropolitan Borough of Tameside is a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester in North West England. It is named after the River Tame which flows through the borough and spans the towns of Ashton-under-Lyne, Audenshaw, Denton, Droylsden, Dukinfield, Hyde, Mossley and Stalybridge. Its western...

, Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 2.6 million. It encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom and comprises ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the...

, England. Historically
Historic counties of England
The historic counties of England are subdivisions of England established for administration by the Normans and in most cases based on earlier Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and shires...

 a part of Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

, it lies on the north bank of the River Tame
River Tame, Greater Manchester
The River Tame flows through Greater Manchester, England.-Source:The Tame rises on Denshaw Moor in Greater Manchester, close to the border with West Yorkshire but within the historic West Riding of Yorkshire.-Course:...

, on undulating land at the foothills of the Pennines
Pennines
The Pennines are a low-rising mountain range, separating the North West of England from Yorkshire and the North East.Often described as the "backbone of England", they form a more-or-less continuous range stretching from the Peak District in Derbyshire, around the northern and eastern edges of...

. Ashton (as it is often shortened to) is 3.8 miles (6.1 km) south-southeast of Oldham
Oldham
Oldham is a large town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies amid the Pennines on elevated ground between the rivers Irk and Medlock, south-southeast of Rochdale, and northeast of the city of Manchester...

, 6.1 miles (9.8 km) north-northeast of Stockport
Stockport
Stockport is a town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies on elevated ground southeast of Manchester city centre, at the point where the rivers Goyt and Tame join and create the River Mersey. Stockport is the largest settlement in the metropolitan borough of the same name...

, and 6.2 miles (10 km) east of the city of Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

.

Evidence of Stone Age
Stone Age
The Stone Age is a broad prehistoric period, lasting about 2.5 million years , during which humans and their predecessor species in the genus Homo, as well as the earlier partly contemporary genera Australopithecus and Paranthropus, widely used exclusively stone as their hard material in the...

, Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

, and Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

 activity has been discovered in Ashton-under-Lyne and its surrounding area.
Encyclopedia
Ashton-under-Lyne is a market town
Market town
Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the medieval period, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city...

 in the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside
Tameside
The Metropolitan Borough of Tameside is a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester in North West England. It is named after the River Tame which flows through the borough and spans the towns of Ashton-under-Lyne, Audenshaw, Denton, Droylsden, Dukinfield, Hyde, Mossley and Stalybridge. Its western...

, Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 2.6 million. It encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom and comprises ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the...

, England. Historically
Historic counties of England
The historic counties of England are subdivisions of England established for administration by the Normans and in most cases based on earlier Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and shires...

 a part of Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

, it lies on the north bank of the River Tame
River Tame, Greater Manchester
The River Tame flows through Greater Manchester, England.-Source:The Tame rises on Denshaw Moor in Greater Manchester, close to the border with West Yorkshire but within the historic West Riding of Yorkshire.-Course:...

, on undulating land at the foothills of the Pennines
Pennines
The Pennines are a low-rising mountain range, separating the North West of England from Yorkshire and the North East.Often described as the "backbone of England", they form a more-or-less continuous range stretching from the Peak District in Derbyshire, around the northern and eastern edges of...

. Ashton (as it is often shortened to) is 3.8 miles (6.1 km) south-southeast of Oldham
Oldham
Oldham is a large town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies amid the Pennines on elevated ground between the rivers Irk and Medlock, south-southeast of Rochdale, and northeast of the city of Manchester...

, 6.1 miles (9.8 km) north-northeast of Stockport
Stockport
Stockport is a town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies on elevated ground southeast of Manchester city centre, at the point where the rivers Goyt and Tame join and create the River Mersey. Stockport is the largest settlement in the metropolitan borough of the same name...

, and 6.2 miles (10 km) east of the city of Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

.

Evidence of Stone Age
Stone Age
The Stone Age is a broad prehistoric period, lasting about 2.5 million years , during which humans and their predecessor species in the genus Homo, as well as the earlier partly contemporary genera Australopithecus and Paranthropus, widely used exclusively stone as their hard material in the...

, Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

, and Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

 activity has been discovered in Ashton-under-Lyne and its surrounding area. The "Ashton" part of the town's name probably dates from the Anglo-Saxon period
History of Anglo-Saxon England
Anglo-Saxon England refers to the period of the history of that part of Britain, that became known as England, lasting from the end of Roman occupation and establishment of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in the 5th century until the Norman conquest of England in 1066 by William the Conqueror...

, and derives from Old English meaning "settlement by ash trees". The origin of the "under-Lyne" suffix is less clear, and it possibly derives from the British lemo meaning elm
Elm
Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the genus Ulmus in the plant family Ulmaceae. The dozens of species are found in temperate and tropical-montane regions of North America and Eurasia, ranging southward into Indonesia. Elms are components of many kinds of natural forests...

 or from Ashton's proximity to the Pennines. During the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, Ashton-under-Lyne formed a parish
Parish
A parish is a territorial unit historically under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of one parish priest, who might be assisted in his pastoral duties by a curate or curates - also priests but not the parish priest - from a more or less central parish church with its associated organization...

 and township
Township (England)
In England, a township is a local division or district of a large parish containing a village or small town usually having its own church...

 centred on Ashton Old Hall which was held by the de Asshetons, the Lords of the Manor
Lord of the Manor
The Lordship of a Manor is recognised today in England and Wales as a form of property and one of three elements of a manor that may exist separately or be combined and may be held in moieties...

. Granted a Royal Charter
Royal Charter
A royal charter is a formal document issued by a monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organizations such as cities or universities. Charters should be distinguished from warrants and...

 in 1414, the manor spanned a broad rural area consisting of marshland, moorland, and a number of villages and hamlets.

Until the introduction of the cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 trade in 1769, Ashton was considered "bare, wet, and almost worthless". The factory system
Factory system
The factory system was a method of manufacturing first adopted in England at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 1750s and later spread abroad. Fundamentally, each worker created a separate part of the total assembly of a product, thus increasing the efficiency of factories. Workers,...

, and textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution
Textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution
The industrial revolution changed the nature of work and society. Opinion varies as to the exact date, but it is estimated that the First Industrial Revolution took place between 1750 and 1850, and the second phase or Second Industrial Revolution between 1860 and 1900. The three key drivers in...

 triggered a process of unplanned urbanisation in the area, and by the mid-19th century Ashton had emerged as an important mill town
Mill town
A mill town, also known as factory town or mill village, is typically a settlement that developed around one or more mills or factories .- United Kingdom:...

 at a convergence of newly constructed canals and railways. Ashton-under-Lyne's transport network allowed for an economic boom in cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 spinning
Spinning (textiles)
Spinning is a major industry. It is part of the textile manufacturing process where three types of fibre are converted into yarn, then fabric, then textiles. The textiles are then fabricated into clothes or other artifacts. There are three industrial processes available to spin yarn, and a...

, weaving
Weaving
Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The other methods are knitting, lace making and felting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling...

, and coal mining
Coal mining
The goal of coal mining is to obtain coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and since the 1880s has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United States,...

, which led to the granting of honorific borough status
Borough status in the United Kingdom
Borough status in the United Kingdom is granted by royal charter to local government districts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The status is purely honorary, and does not give any additional powers to the council or inhabitants of the district...

 in 1847.

During the mid-20th century, imports of cheaper foreign goods led to the decline of Ashton's heavy industries, but the town has continued to thrive as a centre of commerce, and is "considered the hub of Tameside, providing the perfect setting for the town hall, council offices and 19th-century market hall". Ashton Market is one of the largest outdoor markets in the United Kingdom. The 140000 square feet (13,006.4 m²), two-floored Ashton Arcades
Ashton Arcades
The Ashton Arcades, also known locally as just Arcades, is a medium sized shopping centre located in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, England.It currently has over 40 stores over two floors and a multi-storey car park for customers...

 shopping centre opened in 1995, and in 2006 IKEA
IKEA
IKEA is a privately held, international home products company that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture such as beds and desks, appliances and home accessories. The company is the world's largest furniture retailer...

 opened what was then the tallest store in the country.

History

Evidence of prehistoric activity in the area comes from Ashton Moss – a 107 hectares (264.4 acre) peat bog – and is the only one of Tameside's 22 Mesolithic
Mesolithic
The Mesolithic is an archaeological concept used to refer to certain groups of archaeological cultures defined as falling between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic....

 sites not located in the hilly uplands in the north east of the borough. A single Mesolithic flint tool has been discovered in the bog, along with a collection of nine Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 flints. There was further activity in or around the bog in the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

. In about 1911, an adult male skull was found in the moss; it was thought to belong to the Romano-British period
Roman Britain
Roman Britain was the part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire from AD 43 until ca. AD 410.The Romans referred to the imperial province as Britannia, which eventually comprised all of the island of Great Britain south of the fluid frontier with Caledonia...

 – similar to the Lindow Man
Lindow man
Lindow Man, also known as Lindow II and as Pete Marsh, is the preserved bog body of a man discovered in a peat bog at Lindow Moss near Wilmslow in Cheshire, North West England. The body was found on 1 August 1984 by commercial peat-cutters...

 bog body – until radiocarbon dating
Radiocarbon dating
Radiocarbon dating is a radiometric dating method that uses the naturally occurring radioisotope carbon-14 to estimate the age of carbon-bearing materials up to about 58,000 to 62,000 years. Raw, i.e. uncalibrated, radiocarbon ages are usually reported in radiocarbon years "Before Present" ,...

 revealed that it dated from 1,320–970 BC.

The eastern terminus of the early medieval linear earthwork Nico Ditch
Nico Ditch
Nico Ditch is a six mile long linear earthwork running between Ashton-under-Lyne and Stretford in Greater Manchester, England. It may have been dug as a defensive fortification, but more likely it was intended to be a boundary marker...

 is in Ashton Moss ; it was probably used as an administrative boundary and dates from the 8th or 9th century. Legend claims it was built in a single night in 869 or 870 as a defence against Viking invaders. Further evidence of Dark Age activity in the area comes from the town's name. The "Ashton" part probably derives from the Anglo-Saxon meaning "settlement by ash trees", the origin of the "under-Lyne" element is less clear: it could derive from the British lemo meaning elm
Elm
Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the genus Ulmus in the plant family Ulmaceae. The dozens of species are found in temperate and tropical-montane regions of North America and Eurasia, ranging southward into Indonesia. Elms are components of many kinds of natural forests...

, or may refer to Ashton being "under the line" of the Pennines
Pennines
The Pennines are a low-rising mountain range, separating the North West of England from Yorkshire and the North East.Often described as the "backbone of England", they form a more-or-less continuous range stretching from the Peak District in Derbyshire, around the northern and eastern edges of...

. This means that Ashton probably became a settlement some time after the Romans left Britain in the 5th century. An early form of the town's name, which included a burh element, indicates that in the 11th century Ashton-under-Lyne and Bury
Bury
Bury is a town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies on the River Irwell, east of Bolton, west-southwest of Rochdale, and north-northwest of the city of Manchester...

 were two of the most important towns in Lancashire. The "under-Lyne" suffix was not widely used until the mid-19thcentury when it became useful for distinguishing the town from other places called Ashton.
The Domesday Survey of 1086 does not directly mention Ashton, perhaps because only a partial survey of the area had been taken. However, it is thought that St Michael's Church
St Michael and All Angels' Church, Ashton-under-Lyne
St. Michael's Church in Ashton-under-Lyne is a Grade I Listed Building. It is one of 116 surviving medieval parish churches in the North West. The church dates back to at least 1262, and a church on the site was mentioned in the Domesday Book...

, mentioned in the entry for the ancient parish of Manchester
Manchester (ancient parish)
Manchester was an ancient ecclesiastical parish of the hundred of Salford, in Lancashire, England. It encompassed several townships and chapelries, including the then township of Manchester...

 in the Domesday Survey, was in Ashton. The town itself was first mentioned in the 12th century when the manor
Manorialism
Manorialism, an essential element of feudal society, was the organizing principle of rural economy that originated in the villa system of the Late Roman Empire, was widely practiced in medieval western and parts of central Europe, and was slowly replaced by the advent of a money-based market...

 was part of the barony of Manchester. By the late 12th century, a family who adopted the name Assheton held the manor on behalf of the Barons of Manchester. Ashton Old Hall was a manor house
Manor house
A manor house is a country house that historically formed the administrative centre of a manor, the lowest unit of territorial organisation in the feudal system in Europe. The term is applied to country houses that belonged to the gentry and other grand stately homes...

, the administrative centre of the manor, and the seat of the Assheton family. With three wings, the hall was "one of the finest great houses in the North West" of the 14th century. It has been recognised as important for being one of the few great houses in south-east Lancashire and possibly one of the few halls influenced by French design in the country. The town was granted a Royal Charter
Royal Charter
A royal charter is a formal document issued by a monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organizations such as cities or universities. Charters should be distinguished from warrants and...

 in 1414, which allowed it to hold a fair twice a year, and a market on every Monday, making the settlement a market town
Market town
Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the medieval period, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city...

.

According to popular tradition, Sir Ralph de Assheton
Ralph de Ashton
Sir Ralph de Ashton , was an officer of state under Edward IV of England.-Early life:Ashton was the half-brother of Sir Thomas de Ashton the alchemist [see Ashton or Assheton, Sir Thomas de, fl. 1446], and the son of the Ashton mentioned by Froissart [see Ashton, Sir John de, fl. 1370]. His mother...

, who was Lord of the Manor
Lord of the Manor
The Lordship of a Manor is recognised today in England and Wales as a form of property and one of three elements of a manor that may exist separately or be combined and may be held in moieties...

 in the mid-14th century and known as the Black Knight
Black Knight
The black knight is a literary stock character, often contrasted with the white knight. The character famously appeared in Arthurian literature and has been adapted and adopted by various authors, in cinema and popular culture...

, was an unpopular and cruel lord. After his death, his unpopularity led the locals to parade an effigy of him around the town each Easter Monday and collect money. Afterwards the effigy would be hung up, shot, and set on fire, before being torn apart and thrown into the crowd. The first recorded occurrence of the event was in 1795, although the tradition may be older; it continued into the 1830s.

The manor remained in the hands of the Assheton family until 1514 when the line ended; Sir George Booth
Baron Delamer
Baron Delamer is a title that has been created twice in British history, in 1661 and 1796 respectively. For information on the 1661 creation, see Booth Baronets. For information on the 1796 creation, see Earl of Stamford....

 later acquired the manor and it descended with the Booth family until 1758 when the Earls of Stamford
Earl of Stamford
Earl of Stamford was a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1628 for Henry Grey, 2nd Baron Grey of Groby. This Grey family descended through Lord John Grey, of Pirgo, Essex, younger son of Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset, and younger brother of Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk Earl...

 inherited it through marriage. The earls held the manor until the 19th century. The lords' consistent absence was probably the stimulus for Ashton's growth of a large-scale domestic-based textile industry in the 17th century. Pre-industrial Ashton-under-Lyne was centred around four roads: Town Street, Crickets Lane, Old Street, and Cowhill Lane. In the late-18th and early-19th centuries, the town was re-planned, with a grid pattern of roads. As a result, very little remains of the previous town. In 1730 a workhouse
Workhouse
In England and Wales a workhouse, colloquially known as a spike, was a place where those unable to support themselves were offered accommodation and employment...

 was established which consisted of a house and two cottages; it later came to be used as a hospital. The Ashton Canal
Ashton Canal
The Ashton Canal is a canal built in Greater Manchester in North West England.-Route:The Ashton leaves the Rochdale Canal at Ducie St. Junction in central Manchester, and climbs for through 18 locks, passing through Ancoats, Holt Town, Bradford-with-Beswick, Clayton, Openshaw, Droylsden,...

 was constructed in the 1790s to transport coal from the area to Manchester, with a branch to the coal pits at Fairbottom
Fairbottom Branch Canal
The Fairbottom Branch Canal was a canal near Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, England.-Route:The canal left the Hollinwood Branch Canal at Fairbottom Junction immediately above lock 22. It was just over one mile long and it was lock free...

.
Domestic fustian
Fustian
Fustian is a term for a variety of heavy woven, mostly cotton fabrics, chiefly prepared for menswear. It is also used to refer to pompous, inflated or pretentious writing or speech, from at least the time of Shakespeare...

 and woollen weaving
Weaving
Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The other methods are knitting, lace making and felting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling...

 have a long history in the town, dating back to at least the Early Modern period
Early Modern Britain
Early modern Britain is the history of the island of Great Britain, roughly corresponding to the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Major historical events in Early Modern British history include the English Renaissance, the English Reformation and Scottish Reformation, the English Civil War, the...

. Accounts dated 1626 highlight that Humphrey Chetham
Humphrey Chetham
Sir Humphrey Chetham was an English merchant, responsible for the creation of Chetham's Hospital and Chetham's Library, the oldest public library in the English-speaking world.- Life :...

 had dealings with cloth-makers in Ashton-under-Lyne. However, the introduction of the factory system
Factory system
The factory system was a method of manufacturing first adopted in England at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 1750s and later spread abroad. Fundamentally, each worker created a separate part of the total assembly of a product, thus increasing the efficiency of factories. Workers,...

 in the 19th century, during the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, changed Ashton from a market town to a mill town
Mill town
A mill town, also known as factory town or mill village, is typically a settlement that developed around one or more mills or factories .- United Kingdom:...

. Having previously been one of the two main towns in the Tame Valley, Ashton-under-Lyne became one of the "most famous mill towns in the North West". From 1773 to 1905, 75 cotton mills were established in the town. On his tour of northern England
Northern England
Northern England, also known as the North of England, the North or the North Country, is a cultural region of England. It is not an official government region, but rather an informal amalgamation of counties. The southern extent of the region is roughly the River Trent, while the North is bordered...

 in 1849, Scottish publisher Angus Reach said:

The cotton industry in the area grew rapidly from the start of the 19th century until the Lancashire Cotton Famine of 1861–1865. The growth of the town's textile industry led to the construction of estates specifically for workers. Workers' housing in Park Bridge
Park Bridge
Park Bridge is an area of Ashton-under-Lyne, in the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, in Greater Manchester, England. It is situated in the Medlock Valley, by Ashton-under-Lyne's border with Oldham. Park Bridge anciently lay within medieval manor of Ashton, however there is no record of Park Bridge...

, on the border between Ashton and Oldham, was created in the 1820s. The iron works were founded in 1786 and were some of the earliest in the north west. The Oxford Mills settlement was founded in 1845 by local industrialist and mill-owner Hugh Mason
Hugh Mason
Hugh Mason was an English mill owner, social reformer and Liberal politician. He was born in Stalybridge and raised in Stalybridge and Ashton-under-Lyne until he entered the family cotton business in 1838 after a seven year period working in a bank...

 who saw it as a model industrial community. The community was provided with a recreational ground, a gymnasium, and an institute containing public baths, a library, and a reading room. Mason estimated that establishing the settlement cost him around £10,000 and would require a further £1,000 a year to maintain (about £600,000 and £60,000 respectively as of ), and that its annual mortality rate
Mortality rate
Mortality rate is a measure of the number of deaths in a population, scaled to the size of that population, per unit time...

 was significantly lower than in the rest of the town.

A poor supply of fresh water and dwellings without adequate drainage led to a cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 outbreak in the town in 1832. The Ashton Poor Law Union
Poor Law Union
A Poor Law Union was a unit used for local government in the United Kingdom from the 19th century. The administration of the Poor Law was the responsibility of parishes, which varied wildly in their size, populations, financial resources, rateable values and requirements...

 was established in 1837 and covered most of what is now Tameside. A new workhouse was built in 1850 which provided housing for 500 people. It later became part of Tameside General Hospital
Tameside General Hospital
Tameside General Hospital is an National Health Service hospital situated in Ashton-under-Lyne. Run by Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, it serves the surrounding area of Tameside in Greater Manchester, and the town of Glossop in Derbyshire...

. Construction on the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway
Sheffield, Ashton-Under-Lyne and Manchester Railway
The Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway was an early British railway company which opened in stages between 1841 and 1845 between Sheffield and Manchester via Ashton-under-Lyne...

 (SA&MR) began in 1837 to provide passenger transport between Manchester and Sheffield
Sheffield
Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough of South Yorkshire, England. Its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and with some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely...

. Although a nine-arch viaduct
Viaduct
A viaduct is a bridge composed of several small spans. The term viaduct is derived from the Latin via for road and ducere to lead something. However, the Ancient Romans did not use that term per se; it is a modern derivation from an analogy with aqueduct. Like the Roman aqueducts, many early...

 in Ashton collapsed in April 1845, the line was fully opened on 22 December 1845. The SA&MR was amalgamated with the Sheffield and Lincolnshire Junction Railway, the Great Grimsby & Sheffield Railway, and the Grimsby Docks Company in 1847 to form the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway
Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway
The Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway was formed by amalgamation in 1847. The MS&LR changed its name to the Great Central Railway in 1897 in anticipation of the opening in 1899 of its London Extension.-Origin:...

 (MS&LR). In 1890, the MS&LR bought the Old Hall and demolished it to make way for the construction of new sidings
Rail siding
A siding, in rail terminology, is a low-speed track section distinct from a running line or through route such as a main line or branch line or spur. It may connect to through track or to other sidings at either end...

.

In the late 19th century, public buildings such as the market hall, the town hall, the public library, and public baths were built. A donation from Hugh Mason funded the construction of the baths constructed in 1870–1871. The Ashton-under-Lyne Improvement Act was passed in 1886 which gave the borough influence over housing and allowed the imposition of minimum standards such as drainage. Coal mining not as important to the town as the textile industry, but in 1882 the Ashton Moss Colliery had the deepest mine shaft in the world at 870 metres (2,854.3 ft). Ashton's textile industry remained constant between 1865 and the 1920s. Although some mills closed or merged, the number of spindles
Spindle (textiles)
A spindle is a wooden spike used for spinning wool, flax, hemp, cotton, and other fibres into thread. It is commonly weighted at either the bottom middle or top, most commonly by a circular or spherical object called a whorl, and may also have a hook, groove or notch, though spindles without...

 in use increased. With the collapse of the overseas market in the 1920s, the town's cotton industry went into decline, and by the 1930s most of the firms and mills in the area had closed.

Ashton became a part of the newly formed Metropolitan Borough
Metropolitan borough
A metropolitan borough is a type of local government district in England, and is a subdivision of a metropolitan county. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972, metropolitan boroughs are defined in English law as metropolitan districts, however all of them have been granted or regranted...

 of Tameside in 1974. In May 2004, a massive fire ravaged the Victorian market hall, and a temporary building called "The Phoenix Market Hall" was built on Old Cross Street on the opposite side of the old market hall. Described as the "heart of Ashton", the market was rebuilt and officially opened on 1 December 2008.

Governance

Lying within the historic county boundaries
Historic counties of England
The historic counties of England are subdivisions of England established for administration by the Normans and in most cases based on earlier Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and shires...

 of Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

 since the early 12th century
History of Lancashire
The History of Lancashire begins with its establishment as a county of England in 1182, making it one of the youngest of the historic counties of England.-Early history:In the Domesday Book, some of its lands had been treated as part of Yorkshire...

, Ashton-under-Lyne anciently constituted a "single parish-township", but was divided into four divisions (sometimes each styled townships): Ashton Town, Audenshaw
Audenshaw
Audenshaw is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, in Greater Manchester, England. It is located on the east side of the River Tame, along the course of both the M60 motorway and the Ashton Canal, southwest of Ashton-under-Lyne and east of the city of Manchester...

, Hartshead, and Knott Lanes. Ashton Town was granted a Royal Charter
Royal Charter
A royal charter is a formal document issued by a monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organizations such as cities or universities. Charters should be distinguished from warrants and...

 in 1414, making it a market town
Market town
Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the medieval period, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city...

. All four divisions lay within the hundred of Salford
Salford (hundred)
The hundred of Salford was an ancient division of the historic county of Lancashire, in Northern England. It was sometimes known as Salfordshire, the name alluding to its judicial centre being the township of Salford...

, an ancient division of the county of Lancashire.

In 1827, police commissioners were established for Ashton Town, tasked with bringing about social and economic improvement. In 1847, this area was incorporated under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835
Municipal Corporations Act 1835
The Municipal Corporations Act 1835  – sometimes known as the Municipal Reform Act, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed local government in the incorporated boroughs of England and Wales...

, as a municipal borough
Municipal borough
Municipal boroughs were a type of local government district which existed in England and Wales between 1835 and 1974, in Northern Ireland from 1840 to 1973 and in the Republic of Ireland from 1840 to 2002...

 with the name "Ashton-under-Lyne", giving it borough status
Borough status in the United Kingdom
Borough status in the United Kingdom is granted by royal charter to local government districts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The status is purely honorary, and does not give any additional powers to the council or inhabitants of the district...

. When the administrative county
Administrative counties of England
Administrative counties were a level of subnational division of England used for the purposes of local government from 1889 to 1974. They were created by the Local Government Act 1888 as the areas for which county councils were elected. Some large counties were divided into several administrative...

 of Lancashire was created by the Local Government Act 1888
Local Government Act 1888
The Local Government Act 1888 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which established county councils and county borough councils in England and Wales...

, the borough fell under the newly created Lancashire County Council
Lancashire County Council
Lancashire County Council is the upper-tier local authority for the non-metropolitan county of Lancashire, England. It currently consists of 84 councillors, and is controlled by the Conservative Party, who won control of the council in the local council elections in June 2009, ending 28 years of...

. The borough's boundaries changed during the late 19th century through small exchanges of land with the neighbouring districts of Oldham, Mossley, Dukinfield, and Stalybridge. In the early 20th century, the Borough of Ashton-under-Lyne grew; Hurst Urban District was added in 1927, parts of Hartshead and Alt civil parishes in 1935, and parts of Limehurst Rural District
Limehurst Rural District
Limehurst was, from 1894 to 1954, a rural district in the administrative county of Lancashire, England.-History:Ashton-under-Lyne Rural Sanitary District was created in 1872 and included parishes in both Cheshire and Lancashire. The Local Government Act 1894 redesignated rural sanitary districts as...

 in 1954. Since 1956, Ashton has been twinned with Chaumont
Chaumont, Haute-Marne
Chaumont is a commune of France, and the capital of the Haute-Marne department. , it has a of 24,039.The city stands on the Marne River and is situated on the railway linking Paris and Basel, which runs over a 52 m tall and 600 m long viaduct built in 1856.- History :Historically the...

, France.

Under the Local Government Act 1972
Local Government Act 1972
The Local Government Act 1972 is an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom that reformed local government in England and Wales on 1 April 1974....

, the town's borough status was abolished, and Ashton has, since 1 April 1974, formed part of the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, within the metropolitan county
Metropolitan county
The metropolitan counties are a type of county-level administrative division of England. There are six metropolitan counties, which each cover large urban areas, typically with populations of 1.2 to 2.8 million...

 of Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 2.6 million. It encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom and comprises ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the...

. Ashton-under-Lyne is divided into four wards
Wards of the United Kingdom
A ward in the United Kingdom is an electoral district at sub-national level represented by one or more councillors. It is the primary unit of British administrative and electoral geography .-England:...

: Ashton Hurst, Ashton St. Michaels, Ashton St Peters and Ashton Waterloo. As of the 2008 local elections
Tameside Council election, 2008
Elections to Tameside Council were held on 1 May 2008. One third of the council was up for election and the Labour Party stayed in overall control of the council.After the election the composition of the council was*Labour 44*Conservative 10*Independent 3...

, Ashton has ten Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 and two Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 councillors.

Since the Reform Act 1832
Reform Act 1832
The Representation of the People Act 1832 was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system of England and Wales...

 the town has been represented in Parliament
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

 as part of the Ashton-under-Lyne parliamentary constituency
Ashton-under-Lyne (UK Parliament constituency)
Ashton-under-Lyne is a constituency centred on the town of Ashton-under-Lyne that is represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election...

. During its early years the constituency was represented in the House of Commons by members of the Liberal Party
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 until the late 19th century, when it was broadly held by the Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

. It has been held by the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 since 1935; David Heyes
David Heyes
David Alan Heyes is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Ashton under Lyne since 2001.-Early life:...

 has been the constituency's member of parliament since 2001.

Geography

At 53°29′38"N 2°6′11"W (53.4941°, −2.1032°), and 160 miles (257 km) north-northwest of London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, Ashton-under-Lyne stands on the north bank of the River Tame
River Tame, Greater Manchester
The River Tame flows through Greater Manchester, England.-Source:The Tame rises on Denshaw Moor in Greater Manchester, close to the border with West Yorkshire but within the historic West Riding of Yorkshire.-Course:...

, about 35 feet (11 m) above the river. Described in Samuel Lewis's A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848) as situated on "on a gentle declivity", Ashton-under-Lyne lies on undulating ground by the Pennines
Pennines
The Pennines are a low-rising mountain range, separating the North West of England from Yorkshire and the North East.Often described as the "backbone of England", they form a more-or-less continuous range stretching from the Peak District in Derbyshire, around the northern and eastern edges of...

, reaching a maximum elevation of about 1000 feet (305 m) above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

. It is 6.2 miles (10 km) east of Manchester city centre
Manchester City Centre
Manchester city centre is the central business district of Manchester, England. It lies within the Manchester Inner Ring Road, next to the River Irwell...

, and is bound on all sides by other towns: Audenshaw
Audenshaw
Audenshaw is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, in Greater Manchester, England. It is located on the east side of the River Tame, along the course of both the M60 motorway and the Ashton Canal, southwest of Ashton-under-Lyne and east of the city of Manchester...

, Droylsden
Droylsden
Droylsden is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, in Greater Manchester, England. It is to the east of Manchester city centre, and west-southwest of Ashton-under-Lyne, it has a population of 23,172....

, Dukinfield
Dukinfield
Dukinfield is a small town within the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, in Greater Manchester, England. It lies in central Tameside on the south bank of the River Tame, opposite Ashton-under-Lyne, and is east of the city of Manchester...

, Mossley
Mossley
Mossley is a small town and civil parish within the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, in Greater Manchester, England. The town is located in the upper section of the Tame valley in the foothills of the Pennines, northeast of Ashton-under-Lyne and east of Manchester.Mossley has the distinction of...

, Oldham
Oldham
Oldham is a large town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies amid the Pennines on elevated ground between the rivers Irk and Medlock, south-southeast of Rochdale, and northeast of the city of Manchester...

 and Stalybridge
Stalybridge
Stalybridge is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 22,568. Historically a part of Cheshire, it is east of Manchester city centre and northwest of Glossop. With the construction of a cotton mill in 1776, Stalybridge became one of...

, with little or no green space
Green belt
A green belt or greenbelt is a policy and land use designation used in land use planning to retain areas of largely undeveloped, wild, or agricultural land surrounding or neighbouring urban areas. Similar concepts are greenways or green wedges which have a linear character and may run through an...

 between them. Ashton experiences a temperate
Temperate
In geography, temperate or tepid latitudes of the globe lie between the tropics and the polar circles. The changes in these regions between summer and winter are generally relatively moderate, rather than extreme hot or cold...

 maritime climate
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

, like much of the British Isles
British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

, with relatively cool summers and mild winters.

Generally the bedrock
Bedrock
In stratigraphy, bedrock is the native consolidated rock underlying the surface of a terrestrial planet, usually the Earth. Above the bedrock is usually an area of broken and weathered unconsolidated rock in the basal subsoil...

 of the west of the town consists of coal measures, which were exploited by the coal mining industry, while the east is mainly millstone grit
Gritstone
Gritstone or Grit is a hard, coarse-grained, siliceous sandstone. This term is especially applied to such sandstones that are quarried for building material. British gritstone was used for millstones to mill flour, to grind wood into pulp for paper and for grindstones to sharpen blades. "Grit" is...

. Overlying the bedrock are deposits of glacial sand and gravel, clay, and some alluvial deposits. Ashton Moss, a peat bog, lies to the west of the town and was originally much larger. The River Tame forms part of the southern boundary, dividing the town from Stalybridge and Dukinfield, and the River Medlock
River Medlock
The River Medlock is a river of Greater Manchester in North West England. It rises near Oldham and flows, south and west, for ten miles to join the River Irwell in the extreme southwest of Manchester city centre.-Source:...

 runs to the west. The Peak Forest Canal
Peak Forest Canal
The Peak Forest Canal, is a narrow locked artificial waterway in northern England. It is long and forms part of the connected English/Welsh inland waterway network.-General description:...

 terminates at Dukinfield Junction
Dukinfield Junction
Dukinfield Junction is the name of the canal junction where the Peak Forest Canal terminates and meets the Ashton Canal near Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, England...

 on the Ashton Canal
Ashton Canal
The Ashton Canal is a canal built in Greater Manchester in North West England.-Route:The Ashton leaves the Rochdale Canal at Ducie St. Junction in central Manchester, and climbs for through 18 locks, passing through Ancoats, Holt Town, Bradford-with-Beswick, Clayton, Openshaw, Droylsden,...

, which passes through the town.

Ashton's built environment
Built environment
The term built environment refers to the human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from personal shelter and buildings to neighborhoods and cities that can often include their supporting infrastructure, such as water supply or energy networks.The built...

 is similar to the urban structure
Urban structure
Urban structure is the arrangement of land use in urban areas. Sociologists, economists, and geographers have developed several models, explaining where different types of people and businesses tend to exist within the urban setting. Three models are described in this article...

 of most towns in England, consisting of residential dwellings centred around a market square
Market square
The market square is a feature of many European and colonial towns. It is an open area where market stalls are traditionally set out for trading, commonly on one particular day of the week known as market day....

 and high street in the town centre
Town centre
The town centre is the term used to refer to the commercial or geographical centre or core area of a town.Town centres are traditionally associated with shopping or retail. They are also the centre of communications with major public transport hubs such as train or bus stations...

, which is the local centre of commerce. There is a mixture of low-density urban areas, suburb
Suburb
The word suburb mostly refers to a residential area, either existing as part of a city or as a separate residential community within commuting distance of a city . Some suburbs have a degree of administrative autonomy, and most have lower population density than inner city neighborhoods...

s, semi-rural and rural
Rural
Rural areas or the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described, country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture...

 locations in Ashton-under-Lyne, but overwhelmingly the land use
Land use
Land use is the human use of land. Land use involves the management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as fields, pastures, and settlements. It has also been defined as "the arrangements, activities and inputs people undertake in a certain land cover...

 in the town is residential; industrial areas and terraced house
Terraced house
In architecture and city planning, a terrace house, terrace, row house, linked house or townhouse is a style of medium-density housing that originated in Great Britain in the late 17th century, where a row of identical or mirror-image houses share side walls...

s give way to suburbs and rural greenery as the land rises out of the town in the east. The older streets are narrow and irregular, but those built more recently are spacious, lined by "substantial and handsome houses". Areas and suburbs of Ashton-under-Lyne include Ashton Moss, Cockbrook, Hartshead, Hazelhurst, Heys, Hurst, Limehurst, Luzley, Park Bridge
Park Bridge
Park Bridge is an area of Ashton-under-Lyne, in the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, in Greater Manchester, England. It is situated in the Medlock Valley, by Ashton-under-Lyne's border with Oldham. Park Bridge anciently lay within medieval manor of Ashton, however there is no record of Park Bridge...

, Ryecroft, Taunton, and Waterloo.

Demography

Ashton-under-Lyne compared
2001 UK census Ashton-under-Lyne Tameside England
Total population 43,236 213,043 49,138,831
White 82.3% 91.2% 91%
Asian 11.2% 5.6% 4.6%
Black 0.3% 1.2% 2.3%

As of the 2001 UK census
United Kingdom Census 2001
A nationwide census, known as Census 2001, was conducted in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 29 April 2001. This was the 20th UK Census and recorded a resident population of 58,789,194....

, Ashton-under-Lyne had a population of 43,236. The 2001 population density was 12,374 per mi² (4,777 per km²), with a 100 to 96.1 female-to-male ratio. Of those over 16 years old, 30.9% were single (never married) and 50.0% married. Ashton-under-Lyne's 18,347 households included 33.2% one-person, 33.0% married couples living together, 8.9% were co-habiting
Cohabitation
Cohabitation usually refers to an arrangement whereby two people decide to live together on a long-term or permanent basis in an emotionally and/or sexually intimate relationship. The term is most frequently applied to couples who are not married...

 couples, and 12.4% single parents with their children; these figures were similar to those of Tameside, however both Tameside and Ashton have higher rates of single parents than England (9.5%). Of those aged 16–74, 37.0% had no academic qualifications, similar to that of 35.2% in all of Tameside but significantly higher than the 28.9% in all of England, and 11.9% had an educational qualification such as first degree, higher degree, qualified teacher status, qualified medical doctor, qualified dentist, qualified nurse, midwife, health visitor, etc. compared to 20% nationwide.

In 1931, 10.2% of Ashton's population was middle class
Middle class
The middle class is any class of people in the middle of a societal hierarchy. In Weberian socio-economic terms, the middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the working class and upper class....

 compared with 14% in England and Wales, and by 1971, this had increased steadily to 17.3% compared with 24% nationally. In the same time frame, there was the decline of the working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

 population. In 1931, 33.8% were working class compared with 36% in England and Wales; by 1971, this had decreased to 29.2% in Ashton and 26% nationwide. The rest of the population was made up of clerical workers and skilled manual workers.

Population change

In 1700, the population of Ashton-under-Lyne, the Tame Valley's main urban area, was an estimated 550. The town's 18th-century growth was fuelled by an influx of people from the countryside attracted by the prospect of work in its new industries, mirroring the rest of the region. In the early 19th century, Irish immigrants escaping from the Great Irish Famine were also drawn to the area by the new jobs created, The availability of jobs created by the growth of the textile industry in the town led to Ashton's population increasing by more than 400% between 1801 and 1861, from 6,500 to 34,886. The population dropped by 9% during the 1860s as a consequence of the cotton famine caused by the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. The table below details the population change since 1851, including the percentage change since the last census.
Population growth
Population growth
Population growth is the change in a population over time, and can be quantified as the change in the number of individuals of any species in a population using "per unit time" for measurement....

 in Ashton-under-Lyne since 1851
Year 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1939 1951 1961 1971 1991 2001
Population 29,790 34,886 31,984 36,399 40,486 43,890 45,172 43,335 51,573 46,534 46,794 50,154 48,974 44,385 43,263
% change +17.1 −8.3 +13.8 +11.2 +8.4 +2.9 −4.1 +19.0 −9.8 +0.6 +7.2 −2.4 −9.4 −2.5
Source:A Vision of Britain through Time

Religion

St Michael and All Angels' Church
St Michael and All Angels' Church, Ashton-under-Lyne
St. Michael's Church in Ashton-under-Lyne is a Grade I Listed Building. It is one of 116 surviving medieval parish churches in the North West. The church dates back to at least 1262, and a church on the site was mentioned in the Domesday Book...

 is a Grade I listed building
Grade I listed buildings in Greater Manchester
-See also:*Architecture of Manchester*Conservation in the United Kingdom*Grade II* listed buildings in Greater Manchester*List of tallest buildings in Manchester*Scheduled Monuments in Greater Manchester-Bibliography:...

 that dates back to at least 1262, although it was rebuilt in the 15th, 16th and 19th centuries. In 1795 it was the only church in the town, and one of only two in Tameside. There was a great increase in the number of chapels and religious buildings in the area during the 19th century, and by the end of the century there were 44 Anglican churches and 138 chapels belonging to other denominations. The most common denomination amongst the chapels were Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

, Congregationalist
Congregational church
Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing Congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs....

, and Methodist
Methodism
Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

.

The 19th-century evangelist
Evangelism
Evangelism refers to the practice of relaying information about a particular set of beliefs to others who do not hold those beliefs. The term is often used in reference to Christianity....

 John Wroe
John Wroe
John Wroe was a British evangelist who founded the Christian Israelite Church in the 1820s after having what he believed were a series of visions.- Biography :...

 attempted to turn Ashton-under-Lyne into a "new Jerusalem". He founded the Christian Israelite Church
Christian Israelite Church
The Christian Israelite Church was founded in 1822 by the prophet John Wroe in England. From 1822 to 1831, the church had its headquarters in the town of Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, which the church wanted to turn into a "new Jerusalem". Wroe's followers intended to build a wall around the town...

, and from 1822 to 1831 Ashton-under-Lyne was the religion's headquarters. Wroe intended to build a wall around the town with four gateways, and although the wall was never constructed, the four gatehouses were. Popular opinion in the town turned against Wroe when he was accused of indecent behaviour in 1831, but the charges were dismissed. The Church spread to Australia, where it is still active.

As of the 2001 UK census, 68.5% of Ashton residents reported themselves as being Christian, 6.1% Muslim, 5.0% Hindu, and 0.2% Buddhist. The census recorded that 11.4% had no religion, 0.2% had an alternative religion, and 8.7% did not state their religion. The proportion of Hindus in the town was much higher than the average for the borough and the whole of England 1.4% and 1.1% respectively. The percentage of Muslims in Ashton-under-Lyne was nearly double the national average of 3.1%, and was higher than the average of 2.5% for Tameside. The Markazi Jamia Mosque is based in the town.

Economy

Ashton-under-Lyne compared
2001 UK Census
United Kingdom Census 2001
A nationwide census, known as Census 2001, was conducted in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 29 April 2001. This was the 20th UK Census and recorded a resident population of 58,789,194....

Ashton-under-Lyne Tameside England
Population of working age 30,579 152,313 35,532,091
Full time employment 41.0% 43.5% 40.8%
Part time employment 11.3% 11.5% 11.8%
Self employed 5.9% 6.5% 8.3%
Unemployed 4.1% 3.3% 3.3%
Retired 12.2% 13.3% 13.5%

In the medieval period, farming was important in Ashton, particularly arable
Agronomy
Agronomy is the science and technology of producing and using plants for food, fuel, feed, fiber, and reclamation. Agronomy encompasses work in the areas of plant genetics, plant physiology, meteorology, and soil science. Agronomy is the application of a combination of sciences like biology,...

 farming. By the 18th century, textiles had also become more to the town's economy; in the 1700s, 33.2% of those with jobs worked in textiles and 36% in agriculture. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the second half of the 18th century, the textile industry in the town boomed. It continued to expand until the cotton famine of 1861–1865, after which the industry was steady until it collapsed after the overseas markets shut down in the 1920s.

Coal has been mined in Ashton since at least the 17th century. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries demand for coal increased, which led to an expansion of the town's coal industry. The produce of the collieries was transported by canal to Manchester. The industry began to decline during the late 19th century, and by 1904 only the Ashton Moss Colliery was still operational, the last colliery to be opened in the area.

Ashton town centre, which is the largest in Tameside, developed in the Victorian period. Many of the original buildings have survived, and as a result, the town centre is protected by Tameside Council as a conservation area. As well as being populated by leading high-street names, Ashton has an outdoor market which was established in the medieval period. It is made up of about 180 stalls, and is open six days a week. The farmers' market
Farmers' market
A farmers' market consists of individual vendors—mostly farmers—who set up booths, tables or stands, outdoors or indoors, to sell produce, meat products, fruits and sometimes prepared foods and beverages...

, with over 70 stalls, is the largest in the region, as is the weekday flea market
Flea market
A flea market or swap meet is a type of bazaar where inexpensive or secondhand goods are sold or bartered. It may be indoors, such as in a warehouse or school gymnasium; or it may be outdoors, such as in a field or under a tent...

. Ashton Market Hall underwent a £15M restoration after it was damaged by fire. The Ashton Renewal Area project has attracted investment in the town centre, encouraging conservation and economic development.

The 140000 square feet (13,006.4 m²), two-floored Ashton Arcades
Ashton Arcades
The Ashton Arcades, also known locally as just Arcades, is a medium sized shopping centre located in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, England.It currently has over 40 stores over two floors and a multi-storey car park for customers...

 shopping centre opened in 1995. Permission has been granted for a £40 million extension yet no work on this project has begun, on the nearby Lord Sheldon Way development of the new Golf Course is in its early stages, Tameside Hospital is under regeneration and there are preliminary stages being took to welcome the Metrolink to Ashton. These four projects are currently the biggest in Ashton.
In 2006, after failing twice to gain permission, IKEA
IKEA
IKEA is a privately held, international home products company that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture such as beds and desks, appliances and home accessories. The company is the world's largest furniture retailer...

 announced plans to build its first town centre-store in Ashton-under-Lyne. The store is expected to create 500 new jobs as well as attract other businesses to the area. The store opened on 19 October 2006 and covers 296000 square feet (27,499.3 m²). At the time of its creation, the store was the tallest in Britain.

Amongst the facilities provided by Ashton Leisure Park are a 14-screen cinema, a bowling alley, and several restaurants. The St Petersfield area of Ashton underwent a £42M redevelopment and provided 2,000 jobs. The aim of the investment was to create a business district in the town and bring life to a neglected area of Ashton. The development provided 280000 square feet (26,012.9 m²) of office space and 400000 square feet (37,161.2 m²) of retail and leisure space. Pennine Care NHS Trust relocated its headquarters to the St Petersfield area in 2006. Until then a popular nightspot, in 2002 several night clubs were brought to the brink of closure after a downturn in trade caused by four murders in three months.

According to the 2001 UK census, the industry of employment of residents aged 16–74 was 22.7% manufacturing, 18.6% retail and wholesale, 11.3% health and social work, 9.8% property and business services, 6.7% construction, 6.5% transport and communications, 5.8% education, 5.6% public administration, 4.3% hotels and restaurants, 3.8% finance, 0.4% agriculture, 0.7% energy and water supply, and 3.9% other. Compared with national figures, the town had a relatively low percentage working in agriculture, public administration, and property which was also below the national average, and high rates of employment in construction at more than triple the national rate (6.8%). The census recorded the economic activity of residents aged 16–74, 2.0% students were with jobs, 3.8% students without jobs, 6.4% looking after home or family, 9.5% permanently sick or disabled, and 3.9% economically inactive for other reasons. Ashton's 4.1% unemployment rate was above the national rate of 3.3%.

Sports

The most prominent football teams are Ashton United F.C.
Ashton United F.C.
Ashton United Football Club is an English football club, based in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester.-History:The club was originally founded in 1878 as Hurst F.C. and the earliest known match report dates back to March 1879. By 1880 the club were playing at Hurst Cross, their current ground....

 and Curzon Ashton F.C.
Curzon Ashton F.C.
Curzon Ashton F.C. are a football club who currently play in the Northern Premier League Division One North. Nicknamed "The Blues", the club play their home games at the Tameside Stadium in Ashton-under-Lyne.-History:...

 Of the teams who formed the Manchester Football Association
Manchester Football Association
The Manchester Football Association is the governing body for association football in and around Manchester, England...

 Ashton United, under the name Hurst, were the first to win an FA Cup tie, when they beat Turton
Turton F.C.
Turton F.C. are an association football club based in Edgworth, in the North Turton district of Blackburn with Darwen, Lancashire, England.They are members of the Lancashire Football Association, and in the 2011–12 season their senior team is playing in the West Lancashire League Division One,...

 3–0 in 1883. In 1885 they were the first winners of the Manchester Senior Cup
Manchester Senior Cup
The Manchester FA Senior Cup is an annual football tournament held between the clubs of the Manchester Football Association which was first played in 1885...

, beating Newton Heath (who later became Manchester United
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

) in the final. Ashton United play at Hurst Cross stadium and Curzon Ashton at the Tameside stadium on Richmond Street. The Richmond Park Athletics Stadium, also on Richmond Street, has an all-weather running track with facilities for all field events and is home to the East Cheshire Harriers & Tameside Athletics Club and the Ashton Cricket Club
Ashton C.C.
Ashton Cricket Club are an English cricket team, based in the town of Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside, Greater Manchester. The club plays its home games at Rayner Lane, and competes in the Central Lancashire League...

. This team has won the Central Lancashire Cricket League
Central Lancashire Cricket League
The Central Lancashire League is a fifteen team cricket league, traditionally based in Lancashire, England. It is now based around Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire. The league runs competitions at First Team, Second Team, Third Team, Under 18, Under 15, Under 13 and Under 11 levels.The...

's first and second division twice each, and the Wood Cup, four times.

Landmarks

After the Ashton Canal closed in the 1960s, it was decided to turn the Portland Basin
Portland Basin
The Portland Basin is a roughly topographic and structural depression in the central Puget-Willamette Lowland. The Portland Basin isapproximately long and wide, with its long axis oriented northwest. Studies indicate that as much as of late Miocene and younger sediments have accumulated in the...

 warehouse into a museum. In 1985, the first part of the Heritage Centre and Museum opened on the first floor of the warehouse. The restoration of building was complete in 1999; the museum details Tameside's social, industrial, and political history. The basin next to the warehouse is the point at which the Ashton Canal
Ashton Canal
The Ashton Canal is a canal built in Greater Manchester in North West England.-Route:The Ashton leaves the Rochdale Canal at Ducie St. Junction in central Manchester, and climbs for through 18 locks, passing through Ancoats, Holt Town, Bradford-with-Beswick, Clayton, Openshaw, Droylsden,...

, the Huddersfield Narrow Canal
Huddersfield Narrow Canal
The Huddersfield Narrow Canal is an inland waterway in northern England. It runs just under from Lock 1E at the rear of the University of Huddersfield campus, near Aspley Basin at Huddersfield to the junction with the Ashton Canal at Whitelands Basin in Ashton-under-Lyne...

 and the Peak Forest Canal
Peak Forest Canal
The Peak Forest Canal, is a narrow locked artificial waterway in northern England. It is long and forms part of the connected English/Welsh inland waterway network.-General description:...

 meet. It has been used several times as a filming location for Coronation Street
Coronation Street
Coronation Street is a British soap opera set in Weatherfield, a fictional town in Greater Manchester based on Salford. Created by Tony Warren, Coronation Street was first broadcast on 9 December 1960...

, including a scene where the character Richard Hillman drove into the canal.

The earliest parts of Ashton Town Hall, which was the first purpose-built town hall in what is now Tameside, date to 1840 when it was opened. It has classical features such as the Corinthian columns
Corinthian order
The Corinthian order is one of the three principal classical orders of ancient Greek and Roman architecture. The other two are the Doric and Ionic. When classical architecture was revived during the Renaissance, two more orders were added to the canon, the Tuscan order and the Composite order...

 on the entrance facade
Facade
A facade or façade is generally one exterior side of a building, usually, but not always, the front. The word comes from the French language, literally meaning "frontage" or "face"....

. Enlarged in 1878, the hall provides areas for administrative purposes and public functions. It is a Grade II listed building. After the Ashton-under-Lyne municipal borough was abolished in 1974, the town hall was no longer required and became the home of the Museum of the Manchester Regiment. The museum exhibits relics related to the Manchester Regiment including five Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

es awarded to its members.
There are five parks in the town, three of which have Green Flag Award
Green Flag Award
The Green Flag Award is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the United Kingdom. The scheme was set up in 1996 to recognise and reward green spaces in England and Wales that met the laid down high standards...

s. The first park opened in Ashton-under-Lyne was Stamford Park on the border with Stalybridge. The park opened in 1873, following a 17 year campaign by local cotton workers; the land was bought from a local mill-owner for £15,000 (£ as of ) and further land was donated by George Grey, 7th Earl of Stamford
George Grey, 7th Earl of Stamford
George Harry Grey, 7th Earl of Stamford, 3rd Earl of Warrington was an English peer.George Harry Grey was born in Enville, Staffordshire, the son of George Harry Grey, Baron Grey of Groby . He succeeded his father as 9th Baron Grey of Groby in 1835...

. A crowd of between 60,000 and 80,000 turned out to see the Earl of Stamford formally open the new facility on 12 July 1873. It now includes a boating lake, and a memorial to Joseph Rayner Stephens
Rayner Stephens
Joseph Rayner Stephens was a Methodist minister who offended the Wesleyan Conference by his support for separating the Church of England from the State....

, commissioned by local factory workers to commemorate his work promoting fair wages and improved working conditions. A conservatory was opened in 1907, and Coronation gates installed at both the Ashton-under-Lyne and Stalybridge entrances in 1953.

Hartshead Pike
Hartshead Pike
Hartshead Pike is a hill in Tameside in Greater Manchester, England. The name is however more commonly associated with the monument on its summit. It overlooks Ashton-under-Lyne, Mossley and Oldham.-History:...

 is a stone tower on top of Hartshead Hill overlooking Ashton and Oldham
Oldham
Oldham is a large town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies amid the Pennines on elevated ground between the rivers Irk and Medlock, south-southeast of Rochdale, and northeast of the city of Manchester...

. The current building was constructed in 1863 although there has been a building on the site since at least the mid-18th century, although the original purpose is obscure. The pike may have been the site of a beacon in the late 16th century. It has a visitor centre and from the top of the hill it is possible to see the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, the Welsh hills, and the Holme Moss transmitter in West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county within the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England with a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972....

.

The Witchwood
The Witchwood
The Witchwood is a public house and live music venue in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, England. Located in Ashton-under-Lyne's town centre, The Witchwood has been a hub for live indie and rock music since the 1960s, and features on North West England's pub music circuit.Bands that have...

 public house
Public house
A public house, informally known as a pub, is a drinking establishment fundamental to the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. There are approximately 53,500 public houses in the United Kingdom. This number has been declining every year, so that nearly half of the smaller...

, in the St Petersfield area of the town, has been a music venue since the 1960s, hosting acts such as Muse
Muse (band)
Muse are an English alternative rock band from Teignmouth, Devon, formed in 1994. The band consists of school friends Matthew Bellamy , Christopher Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard...

, The Coral
The Coral
The Coral are an English band formed in 1996 in Hoylake on the Wirral Peninsula in England. The band first emerged during the early 2000s and found success with their debut album The Coral and follow up Magic and Medicine...

, and Lost Prophets. In 2004 The Witchwood came under threat when the area was being redeveloped, but was saved from demolition after a campaign by locals and led by Tom Hingley
Tom Hingley
Tom Hingley is a musician best known as the lead vocalist of the English rock band Inspiral Carpets.-Life:...

, drawing support from musicians such as Bert Jansch
Bert Jansch
Herbert "Bert" Jansch was a Scottish folk musician and founding member of the band Pentangle. He was born in Glasgow and came to prominence in London in the 1960s, as an acoustic guitarist, as well as a singer-songwriter...

, The Fall, and The Chameleons
The Chameleons
The Chameleons were an English post-punk band that formed in Middleton, Greater Manchester, England in 1981. They consisted of singer and bassist Mark Burgess, guitarist Reg Smithies, guitarist Dave Fielding, and drummer John Lever...

.

The main Ashton-under-Lyne War Memorial, in Memorial Gardens, consists of a central cenotaph on plinth, surmounted by sculpted wounded soldier and the figure of "Peace who is taking the sword of honour" from his hand. It commemorates the 1,512 people from the town who died in the First World War and the 301 who died in the Second World War. The cenotaph is flanked on both sides by two bronze lions. The plinth is decorated with military equipment representing the services, as well as bronze tablets listing the Roll of Honour from World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Commissioned by the Ashton War Memorial Committee, the statue was sculpted between 1919 and 1922 by John Ashton Floyd, and unveiled on 16 September 1922 by General Sir Ian Hamilton
Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton
General Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton GCB GCMG DSO TD was a general in the British Army and is most notably for commanding the ill-fated Mediterranean Expeditionary Force during the Battle of Gallipoli....

.

The tablet on the front of the memorial reads:

Erected in honour of the men of Ashton-under-Lyne and district who fought for King and Empire in The Great War, especially those who sacrificed their lives, and whose names are recorded hereon
1914–1919

Transport

In 1732, an Act of Parliament
Act of Parliament
An Act of Parliament is a statute enacted as primary legislation by a national or sub-national parliament. In the Republic of Ireland the term Act of the Oireachtas is used, and in the United States the term Act of Congress is used.In Commonwealth countries, the term is used both in a narrow...

 was passed which permitted the construction of a turnpike
Turnpike trust
Turnpike trusts in the United Kingdom were bodies set up by individual Acts of Parliament, with powers to collect road tolls for maintaining the principal highways in Britain from the 17th but especially during the 18th and 19th centuries...

 from Manchester, then in Lancashire, to Salters Brook in Cheshire. The road passed through Ashton-under-Lyne as well as Audenshaw
Audenshaw
Audenshaw is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, in Greater Manchester, England. It is located on the east side of the River Tame, along the course of both the M60 motorway and the Ashton Canal, southwest of Ashton-under-Lyne and east of the city of Manchester...

, Mottram-in-Longdendale, and Stalybridge
Stalybridge
Stalybridge is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 22,568. Historically a part of Cheshire, it is east of Manchester city centre and northwest of Glossop. With the construction of a cotton mill in 1776, Stalybridge became one of...

. A Turnpike Trust was responsible for collecting tolls from traffic; the proceeds were used for road maintenance. The Trust for Manchester to Salters Brook was one of over 400 established between 1706 and 1750, a period in which turnpikes became popular. It was the first turnpike to be opened in Tameside
Turnpike trusts in Greater Manchester
Turnpike trusts were bodies set up by Acts of Parliament in the United Kingdom during the 18th and 19th centuries. The trusts had powers to collect road tolls for the maintenance of principal highways...

, and driven by economic growth, more turnpikes were opened in the area in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Acts of Parliaments were passed in 1765, 1793, and 1799 permitting the construction turnpikes from Ashton-under-Lyne to Doctor Lane Head in Saddleworth, Standedge in Saddleworth, and Oldham respectively. Towards the end of the 19th century, many Turnpike Trusts were wound up as they were superseded by local government; the last in Tameside to close was the Ashton-under-Lyne to Salters Brook road in 1884.

The town of Ashton-under-Lyne became the focus of three canals which were constructed in Tameside in the 1790s because it was an important centre of coal mining in the Lancashire coalfield. The 1790s has been characterised as a period of mania for canal building in England. The first of the three to be built was the Ashton Canal
Ashton Canal
The Ashton Canal is a canal built in Greater Manchester in North West England.-Route:The Ashton leaves the Rochdale Canal at Ducie St. Junction in central Manchester, and climbs for through 18 locks, passing through Ancoats, Holt Town, Bradford-with-Beswick, Clayton, Openshaw, Droylsden,...

, which was constructed between 1792 and 1797. Connecting Manchester to Ashton-under-Lyne, with a branch to Oldham, it cost about £170,000 (£ as of ). The Peak Forest Canal
Peak Forest Canal
The Peak Forest Canal, is a narrow locked artificial waterway in northern England. It is long and forms part of the connected English/Welsh inland waterway network.-General description:...

 was constructed from 1794 to 1805, and was originally planned as a branch of the Ashton Canal. It connected the Portland Basin
Portland Basin
The Portland Basin is a roughly topographic and structural depression in the central Puget-Willamette Lowland. The Portland Basin isapproximately long and wide, with its long axis oriented northwest. Studies indicate that as much as of late Miocene and younger sediments have accumulated in the...

 with the Peak District
Peak District
The Peak District is an upland area in central and northern England, lying mainly in northern Derbyshire, but also covering parts of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, and South and West Yorkshire....

 and cost £177,000 (£ as of ). The Huddersfield Narrow Canal
Huddersfield Narrow Canal
The Huddersfield Narrow Canal is an inland waterway in northern England. It runs just under from Lock 1E at the rear of the University of Huddersfield campus, near Aspley Basin at Huddersfield to the junction with the Ashton Canal at Whitelands Basin in Ashton-under-Lyne...

 was built between 1794 and 1811, to enable cross-Pennine trade between Manchester and Kingston upon Hull
Kingston upon Hull
Kingston upon Hull , usually referred to as Hull, is a city and unitary authority area in the ceremonial county of the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It stands on the River Hull at its junction with the Humber estuary, 25 miles inland from the North Sea. Hull has a resident population of...

; the cost of construction was £400,000.

The advent of the railways in the 19th century signalled the decline of the canal system. The Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway Company
Sheffield, Ashton-Under-Lyne and Manchester Railway
The Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway was an early British railway company which opened in stages between 1841 and 1845 between Sheffield and Manchester via Ashton-under-Lyne...

 was founded in 1836 with the purpose of building a line linking Manchester and Sheffield. The line was opened in stages and by 1845 was complete. It included a branch to the nearby town of Stalybridge. The new railways were quicker and more economical than the canals, and the waterways declined. The Huddersfield Canal was bought by the Huddersfield and Manchester Railway in 1844. Along with the Ashton and Peak Forest canals, the Huddersfield canal was later bought by the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway Company. The company was amalgamated with the Sheffield and Lincolnshire Junction Railway
Sheffield and Lincolnshire Junction Railway
The Sheffield and Lincolnshire Junction Railway was an early British railway company which opened in 1849 between Sheffield and Gainsborough and Lincoln...

 and the Great Grimsby and Sheffield Junction Railway
Great Grimsby and Sheffield Junction Railway
The Great Grimsby and Sheffield Junction Railway was an early British railway company which existed between 1845 and 1847 with the intention of providing rail services between Grimsby, New Holland and Gainsborough in the county of Lincolnshire...

 in 1847 to become the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway Company
Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway
The Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway was formed by amalgamation in 1847. The MS&LR changed its name to the Great Central Railway in 1897 in anticipation of the opening in 1899 of its London Extension.-Origin:...

. The canals remained in use throughout the 19th century on a smaller scale than in their heyday, but by the mid-20th century all commercial traffic had ceased. They were used for leisure craft and are still maintained and in good condition.

In 1881, a tram
Tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

way with horse-drawn tramcars was opened between Stalybridge and Audenshaw, through Ashton-under-Lyne. The first tramway of its kind in Tameside, it was later extended to Manchester. The Oldham, Ashton and Hyde Electric Tramway Company, founded in 1899, operated 13 km (8 mi) of tram lines with electric tramcars. It was the first line around Manchester to use electricity. A line from Stalybridge to Ashton-under-Lyne was opened in 1903 and operated by the Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield Tramways and Electricity Board. The first bus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

 service from Ashton-under-Lyne ran in 1923 and the 1920s saw a period of decline for the tramways as they suffered from the competition from buses. The last electric tram service in the town ran in 1938.

The M60 motorway
M60 motorway
The M60 motorway, or Manchester Orbital, is an orbital motorway circling Greater Manchester, a metropolitan county in North West England. It passes through all Greater Manchester's metropolitan boroughs except for Wigan and Bolton...

 cuts through the west end of Ashton (Junction 23). Regular rail services on the Huddersfield Line
Huddersfield Line
The Huddersfield Line is the name given to one of the busiest rail services on the West Yorkshire MetroTrain network in northern England. Local services are operated by Northern Rail with longer distance services operated by TransPennine Express...

 between Manchester (Victoria
Manchester Victoria station
Manchester Victoria station in Manchester, England is the city's second largest mainline railway station. It is also a Metrolink station, one of eight within the City Zone...

) and Huddersfield
Huddersfield
Huddersfield is a large market town within the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, in West Yorkshire, England, situated halfway between Leeds and Manchester. It lies north of London, and south of Bradford, the nearest city....

 stop at Ashton-under-Lyne railway station
Ashton-under-Lyne railway station
Ashton-under-Lyne railway station serves Ashton-under-Lyne, in Greater Manchester, England. It lies on the Huddersfield Line 10 km east of Manchester Victoria and is operated by Northern Rail.- History :...

 in the town centre. An extension of the Manchester Metrolink
Manchester Metrolink
Metrolink is a light rail system in Greater Manchester, England. It consists of four lines which converge in Manchester city centre and terminate in Bury, Altrincham, Eccles and Chorlton-cum-Hardy. The system is owned by Transport for Greater Manchester and operated under contract by RATP Group...

 to Ashton will now go ahead, paid for through the Greater Manchester Transport Fund, after previous funding difficulties. Ashton also has one of the busiest bus stations in Greater Manchester. It is planned to be developed and extended in the coming years. Many buses from Ashton go to the surrounding areas of Tameside, including Mossley, Stalybridge, Droylsden, Hyde and Dukinfield. There are also services to many parts of Manchester city centre, and also to many parts of Oldham including Saddleworth, Oldham itself, Royton, Shaw and Rochdale.

Education

There are eight nursery school
Nursery school
A nursery school is a school for children between the ages of one and five years, staffed by suitably qualified and other professionals who encourage and supervise educational play rather than simply providing childcare...

s, fifteen primary schools, and two secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

s in Ashton-under-Lyne. In 2006, the council began a scheme to develop education in the borough by opening six new secondary schools. Among the changes proposed as part of the £160M scheme was the closure of Hartshead Sports College
Hartshead Sports College
Hartshead Sports College was a mixed, comprehensive 11–16 school in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, England which was awarded specialist Sports College status. The school was oversubscribed, accepting 210 students each year...

 and Stamford Community High School, to be replaced by a 1,350-pupil academy with 300 members of sixth form. The new academy was named New Charter after its sponsor, the New Charter Housing Trust. In 2007, Hartshead Sports College was placed on "special measures" after it failed to achieve its targets for General Certificate of Secondary Education
General Certificate of Secondary Education
The General Certificate of Secondary Education is an academic qualification awarded in a specified subject, generally taken in a number of subjects by students aged 14–16 in secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is equivalent to a Level 2 and Level 1 in Key Skills...

 results and was criticised by Ofsted
Ofsted
The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills is the non-ministerial government department of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools In England ....

 for its teaching standard. Originally expected to open in September 2009, the academy opened in September 2008. It is the only academy in Tameside, and one of seven in Greater Manchester.

The other secondary school in the town is St Damian's R.C. Science College, which was founded in 1963, and provides education for 800 pupils aged 11–16. As part of the BSF Project, they created plans for a new school building (built by Carillion) and the pupils moved into this new building in May 2011. Dale Grove School has 60 students and offers education for pupils aged 5–16 with special needs. Ashton Sixth Form College
Ashton Sixth Form College
Ashton-under-Lyne Sixth Form College is a sixth form college located in Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, England.-Admissions:The college mostly accepts students graduating from the two secondary schools in Ashton-under-Lyne, as well as from the larger Tameside area...

 is a centre for further education
Further education
Further education is a term mainly used in connection with education in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is post-compulsory education , that is distinct from the education offered in universities...

 with 1,650 pupils aged 16–18. Tameside College
Tameside College
Tameside College is a further education college located in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, England.The college offers a range of courses for students from Ashton-under-Lyne and the surrounding area. These courses include NVQs, BTECs, Apprenticeships and Access courses...

 also provides opportunities for further education and operates in Ashton-under-Lyne, Droylsden, and Hyde. Founded in 1954 and expanded in 1957 and 1964, it was originally called Ashton College.

Public services

In the early 19th century, Ashton-under-Lyne's growth made it necessary to find a new water supply. Before the introduction of piped water the town's inhabitants drew water from wells and the nearby River Tame. Industrial processes had polluted the river however, and the wells could not sustain a rapidly expanding population. From 1825, a private company was responsible for piping water from reservoirs, but there were still many homes without proper drainage or water supply. Today, waste management is co-ordinated by the local authority via the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority
Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority
The Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority is a waste disposal authority created under the Local Government Act 1985 to carry out the waste management functions and duties of the Greater Manchester County Council after its abolition in 1986....

.
The first power station in Tameside was built in 1899, providing power for the area. Ashton's Distribution Network Operator
Distribution Network Operator
Distribution network operators are companies licensed to distribute electricity in Great Britain by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets....

 for electricity is United Utilities
United Utilities
United Utilities Group PLC is the UK's largest listed water business. The Group owns and manages the regulated water and waste water network in the north west England, through it subsidiary United Utilities Water PLC , which is responsible for the vast majority of the group's assets and...

; there are no power stations in the town. United Utilities also manages the drinking and waste water.

Home Office
Home Office
The Home Office is the United Kingdom government department responsible for immigration control, security, and order. As such it is responsible for the police, UK Border Agency, and the Security Service . It is also in charge of government policy on security-related issues such as drugs,...

 policing in Ashton-under-Lyne is provided by the Greater Manchester Police
Greater Manchester Police
Greater Manchester Police is the police force responsible for law enforcement within the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester in North West England...

. The force's Tameside Division have their divisional headquarters for policing Tameside in the town. Public transport is co-ordinated by the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive
Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive
Transport for Greater Manchester is the public body responsible for co-ordinating public transport services throughout Greater Manchester, in North West England. The organisation traces its origins to the Transport Act 1968, when the SELNEC Passenger Transport Executive was established to...

. Statutory emergency fire and rescue service
Fire service in the United Kingdom
The fire services in the United Kingdom operate under separate legislative and administrative arrangements in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales...

 is provided by the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory emergency fire and rescue service for the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester, England.Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service covers an area of approximately...

, which has one station on Slate Lane. The Tameside General Hospital
Tameside General Hospital
Tameside General Hospital is an National Health Service hospital situated in Ashton-under-Lyne. Run by Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, it serves the surrounding area of Tameside in Greater Manchester, and the town of Glossop in Derbyshire...

 is a large NHS
National Health Service (England)
The National Health Service or NHS is the publicly funded healthcare system in England. It is both the largest and oldest single-payer healthcare system in the world. It is able to function in the way that it does because it is primarily funded through the general taxation system, similar to how...

 hospital on the outskirts of the town, administrated by Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The North West Ambulance Service
North West Ambulance Service
The North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust was formed on 1 July 2006 as part of Health Minister Lord Warner's plans to reduce the number of NHS ambulance service trusts operating in the United Kingdom....

 provides emergency patient transport. Other forms of health care are provided for locally by several small clinics and surgeries.

See also

  • List of mills in Tameside‎
  • List of people from Tameside
  • St Peter's Church, Ashton-under-Lyne
    St Peter's Church, Ashton-under-Lyne
    St Peter's Church, Ashton-under-Lyne, is located in Manchester Road, Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, England. It is an active Anglican parish church in the deanery of Ashton-under-Lyne, the archdeaconry of Rochdale, and the diocese of Manchester. With four other local churches, it is part...


External links

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