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ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE is a market town in Tameside
Tameside
, Greater Manchester , England. The population was 45,198 at the 2011 census. Historically in Lancashire
Lancashire
, it is on the north bank of the River Tame , in the foothills of the Pennines
Pennines
, 6.2 miles (10.0 km) east of Manchester.

Evidence of Stone Age
Stone Age
, Bronze Age
Bronze Age
, and Viking
Viking
activity has been discovered in Ashton-under-Lyne. The "Ashton" part of the town's name probably dates from the Anglo-Saxon period , and derives from Old English meaning "settlement by ash trees". The origin of the "under-Lyne" suffix is less clear; it possibly derives from the British lemo meaning elm or from Ashton's proximity to the Pennines. In the Middle Ages , Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
was a parish and township and Ashton Old Hall was held by the de Asshetons, lords of the manor . Granted a Royal Charter
Royal Charter
in 1414, the manor spanned a rural area consisting of marshland, moorland, and a number of villages and hamlets.

Until the introduction of the cotton trade in 1769, Ashton was considered "bare, wet, and almost worthless". The factory system , and textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution triggered a process of unplanned urbanisation in the area, and by the mid-19th century Ashton had emerged as an important mill town at a convergence of newly constructed canals and railways. Ashton-under-Lyne's transport network allowed for an economic boom in cotton spinning , weaving , and coal mining , which led to the granting of municipal borough status in 1847.

In 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 Ashton Market is one of the largest outdoor markets in the United Kingdom. The 140,000-square-foot (13,000 m2), two-floored Ashton Arcades shopping centre opened in 1995 and an IKEA
IKEA
store in 2006.

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Governance * 3 Geography

* 4 Demography

* 4.1 Population change

* 5 Religion * 6 Economy

* 7 Culture

* 7.1 Sports * 7.2 Landmarks

* 8 Transport

* 8.1 Roads * 8.2 Canals * 8.3 Railways * 8.4 Trams

* 9 Education * 10 Public services * 11 See also * 12 References * 13 External links

HISTORY

Evidence of prehistoric activity in the area comes from Ashton Moss – a 107-hectare (260-acre) peat bog – and is the only one of Tameside's 22 Mesolithic
Mesolithic
sites not located in the hilly uplands in the north east of the borough. A single Mesolithic
Mesolithic
flint tool has been discovered in the bog, along with a collection of nine Neolithic flints. There was further activity in or around the bog in the Bronze Age . In about 1911, an adult male skull was found in the moss; it was thought to belong to the Romano-British period – similar to the Lindow Man
Lindow Man
bog body – until radiocarbon dating revealed that it dated from 1,320–970 BC.

The eastern terminus of the early medieval linear earthwork Nico Ditch is in Ashton Moss (grid reference SJ909980); 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
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 , or may refer to Ashton being "under the line" of the Pennines
Pennines
. 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 and Bury
Bury
were two of the most important towns in Lancashire. The "under Lyne" suffix was not widely used until the mid-19th century when it became useful for distinguishing the town from other places called Ashton. Ashton Old Hall, demolished in 1890

The Domesday Survey
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 , mentioned in the Domesday entry for the ancient parish of Manchester
Manchester
, was in Ashton (also spelt ASHETON, ASSHTON and ASSHETON). The town itself was first mentioned in the 12th century when the manor 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 Gresleys , barons of Manchester. Ashton Old Hall was a manor house , the administrative centre of the manor , and the seat of the de Ashton or de 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
Lancashire
and possibly one of the few halls influenced by French design in the country. The town was granted a Royal Charter
Royal Charter
in 1414, which allowed it to hold a fair twice a year, and a market on every Monday, making the settlement a market town .

According to popular tradition, Sir Ralph de Assheton , who was lord of the manor in the mid-14th century and known as the Black Knight, was an unpopular and cruel feudal 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 possession of the Assheton family until 1514 when its male line terminated. The lordship of the manor passed to Sir George Booth , great-great grandson of Sir Thomas Ashton , devolving through the Booth family until the Earls of Stamford inherited it through marriage in 1758. The Booth-Greys then held the manor until the 19th century, whose patronage, despite being absentee lords, was probably the stimulus for Ashton's growth of a large-scale domestic-based textile industry in the 17th century. Pre-industrial Ashton was centred on 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 was established which consisted of a house and two cottages; it later came to be used as a hospital. The Ashton Canal was constructed in the 1790s to transport coal from the area to Manchester, with a branch to the coal pits at Fairbottom . Following the Industrial Revolution , Ashton became a mill town at the centre of a network of canals and railways. Ashton Town Library was built in the second half of the 19th century.

Domestic fustian and woollen weaving have a long history in the town, dating back to at least the Early Modern period . Accounts dated 1626 highlight that Humphrey Chetham
Humphrey Chetham
had dealings with clothworkers in Ashton. However, the introduction of the factory system in the 19th century, during the Industrial Revolution , changed Ashton from a market town to a mill town . Having previously been one of the two main towns in the Tame Valley, Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
became one of the "most famous mill towns in the North West". On Christmas Day 1826, workers in the town formed the Ashton Unity, a sickness and benefits society that was later renamed the Loyal Order of Ancient Shepherds . From 1773 to 1905, 75 cotton mills were established in the town. On his tour of northern England
England
in 1849, Scottish publisher Angus Reach said:

In Ashton, too, there lingers on a handful of miserable old men, the remnants of the cotton hand-loom weavers. No young persons think of pursuing such an occupation. The few who practice it were too old and confirmed in old habits, when the power-loom was introduced, to be able to learn a new way of making their bread. — Angus Reach, Morning Chronicle , 1849

The cotton industry in the area grew rapidly from the start of the 19th century until the Lancashire
Lancashire
Cotton
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
, 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 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 2017), and that its annual mortality rate 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 outbreak in the town in 1832. The Ashton Poor Law Union 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
Tameside
General Hospital . Construction on the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
and Manchester Railway (SA&MR) began in 1837 to provide passenger transport between Manchester
Manchester
and Sheffield
Sheffield
. Although a nine-arch viaduct in Ashton collapsed in April 1845, the line was fully opened on 22 December 1845. The SA&MR was amalgamated with the Sheffield
Sheffield
and Lincolnshire Junction Railway, the Great Grimsby & Sheffield
Sheffield
Railway, and the Grimsby Docks Company in 1847 to form the Manchester, Sheffield
Sheffield
and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR). In 1890, the MS"> Ashton-under-Lyne in 2010

In the late 19th century, public buildings such as the market hall, town hall, 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
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
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 (2,850 ft). Ashton's textile industry remained constant between 1865 and the 1920s. Although some mills closed or merged, the number of spindles 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.

At about 4.20 pm on Wednesday 13 June 1917, a fire in an ammunition factory producing TNT caused an explosion that demolished much of the west end of the town. Two gasometers exploded and the explosion destroyed the factory and threw heavy objects long distances. At least 41 people died and about 100 were injured. Sylvain Dreyfus, managing director of the works, helped to fight the fire but died in the subsequent explosion.

Ashton became a part of the newly formed Metropolitan Borough
Metropolitan Borough
of Tameside
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

The coat of arms of the former Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
Municipal Borough Council View on Tameside
Tameside
Metropolitan Borough
Metropolitan Borough
offices View after Tameside
Tameside
Metropolitan Borough
Metropolitan Borough
building demolished in 2016

Lying within the historic county boundaries of Lancashire
Lancashire
since the early 12th century , Ashton anciently constituted a "single parish-township", but was divided into four divisions (sometimes each styled townships): Ashton Town, Audenshaw
Audenshaw
, Hartshead, and Knott Lanes. Ashton Town was granted a Royal Charter
Royal Charter
in 1414, granting it the right to hold a market . All four divisions lay within the Hundred 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 , as a municipal borough with the name "Ashton-under-Lyne", giving it borough status . When the administrative county of Lancashire
Lancashire
was created by the Local Government Act 1888
Local Government Act 1888
, the borough fell under the newly created Lancashire
Lancashire
County Council . 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
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
Rural
District in 1954. Since 1956, Ashton has been twinned with Chaumont , France
France
.

Under the Local Government Act 1972
Local Government Act 1972
, the town's borough status was abolished, and Ashton has, since 1 April 1974, formed part of the Metropolitan Borough
Metropolitan Borough
of Tameside
Tameside
, within the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester . Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
is divided into four wards : Ashton Hurst, Ashton St. Michaels, Ashton St Peters and Ashton Waterloo. As of the 2012 local elections , all twelve seats are held by Labour councillors .

Since the Reform Act 1832
Reform Act 1832
the town has been represented in Parliament as part of the Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
parliamentary constituency . During its early years the constituency was represented in the House of Commons by members of the Liberal Party until the late 19th century, when it was broadly held by the Conservative Party . It has been held by the Labour Party since 1935; Angela Rayner has been the constituency's Member of Parliament since 2015.

GEOGRAPHY

Further information: Geography of Greater Manchester

NEIGHBOURING TOWNS, VILLAGES AND PLACES

Failsworth
Failsworth
Oldham
Oldham
Mossley
Mossley

Droylsden
Droylsden
ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE Hartshead

Audenshaw
Audenshaw
Dukinfield
Dukinfield
Stalybridge
Stalybridge

At 53°29′38″N 2°6′11″W / 53.49389°N 2.10306°W / 53.49389; -2.10306 (53.4941°, −2.1032°), and 160 miles (257 km) north-northwest of London
London
, Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
stands on the north bank of the River Tame , about 35 feet (11 m) above the river. Described in Samuel Lewis 's A Topographical Dictionary of England
England
(1848) as situated "on a gentle declivity", Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
lies on undulating ground by the Pennines
Pennines
, reaching a maximum elevation of about 1,000 feet (305 m) above sea level . It is 6.2 miles (10.0 km) east of Manchester city centre
Manchester city centre
, and is bound on all sides by other towns: Audenshaw
Audenshaw
, Droylsden
Droylsden
, Dukinfield
Dukinfield
, Mossley
Mossley
, Oldham
Oldham
and Stalybridge
Stalybridge
, with little or no green space between them. Ashton experiences a temperate maritime climate , like much of the British Isles . Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
and neighbouring Oldham
Oldham
viewed from Werneth Low
Werneth Low

Generally the bedrock 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 . 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
Stalybridge
and Dukinfield, and the River Medlock
River Medlock
runs to the west.

Ashton's built environment is similar to the urban structure of most towns in England
England
, consisting of residential dwellings centred on a market square and high street in the town centre , which is the local centre of commerce. There is a mixture of low-density urban areas , suburbs , semi-rural and rural locations in Ashton-under-Lyne, but overwhelmingly the land use in the town is residential; industrial areas and terraced houses 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
Ashton-under-Lyne
include Hartshead, Hazelhurst, Hurst, Taunton, and Waterloo.

DEMOGRAPHY

Further information: Demography of Greater Manchester

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 , Ashton-under-Lyne
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 couples, and 12.4% single parents with their children; these figures were similar to those of Tameside, however both Tameside
Tameside
and Ashton have higher rates of single parents than England
England
(9.5%). Of those aged 16–74, 37.0% had no academic qualifications , similar to that of 35.2% in all of Tameside
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 compared with 14% in England
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 population. In 1931, 33.8% were working class compared with 36% in England
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, 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 table below details the population change since 1851, including the percentage change since the last census.

POPULATION GROWTH 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

See also: List of churches in Greater Manchester St Michael and All Angels\' Church is a Grade I listed building. Masjid Hamza Mosque in West End on Katherine Street

St Michael and All Angels\' Church is a Grade I listed building 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
, Congregationalist , and Methodist .

The 19th-century evangelist John Wroe attempted to turn Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
into a "new Jerusalem". He founded the Christian Israelite Church , and from 1822 to 1831 Ashton-under-Lyne
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
England
1.4% and 1.1% respectively. The percentage of Muslims in Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
was nearly double the national average of 3.1%, and was higher than the average of 2.5% for Tameside. In Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
are located 6 mosques (October 2013), including on Hillgate Street in Penny Meadow (Ashton Central Mosque, formerly known as Markazi Jamia Mosque) and on Katherine Street in West End (Masjid Hamza Mosque).

ECONOMY

ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE COMPARED

2001 UK CENSUS 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 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. IKEA
IKEA
's store in Ashton-under-Lyne, which opened in 2006, was their first in a town centre. Ashton Market Hall in October 2011

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
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 , with over 70 stalls, is the largest in the region, as is the weekday flea market . 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 140,000-square-foot (13,000 m2), two-floored Ashton Arcades 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
Tameside
Hospital is under regeneration and there are preliminary stages being taken 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
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 296,000 square feet (27,500 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 280,000 square feet (26,000 m2) of office space and 400,000 square feet (37,000 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%.

CULTURE

SPORTS

The most prominent football teams are Curzon Ashton F.C.
Curzon Ashton F.C.
and Ashton United F.C. Curzon Ashton play at the Tameside
Tameside
Stadium on Richmond Street. They are currently playing in the National League North
National League North
, the highest level in the club's history following two consecutive promotions, beating town rivals Ashton United in the playoffs. Of the teams who formed the Manchester Football Association
Manchester Football Association
Ashton United, under the name Hurst, were the first to win an FA Cup tie, when they beat Turton 3–0 in 1883. In 1885 they were the first winners of the Manchester Senior Cup , beating Newton Heath (who later became Manchester
Manchester
United ) in the final. Ashton United play at Hurst Cross stadium. Other sporting venues include the Richmond Park Athletics Stadium, also on Richmond Street, which has an all-weather running track with facilities for all field events and is home to the East Cheshire Harriers "> The Corinthian columns on the facade of Ashton Town Hall

After the Ashton Canal closed in the 1960s, it was decided to turn the Portland Basin
Portland Basin
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 , the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and the Peak Forest Canal
Peak Forest Canal
meet. It has been used several times as a filming location for Coronation Street
Coronation Street
, 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 on the entrance facade . 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
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
Manchester
Regiment. The museum exhibits relics related to the Manchester Regiment including five Victoria Crosses awarded to its members. Meanwhile the Old Street drill hall was completed in 1887. Over 60,000 people turned out to the opening of Stamford Park in 1873; it had taken 17 years of campaigning and fundraising by local cotton workers

There are five parks in the town, three of which have Green Flag Awards . The first park opened in Ashton-under-Lyne
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 (£1.3 million as of 2017) and further land was donated by George Grey, 7th Earl of Stamford
Earl of Stamford
. 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
, 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
Ashton-under-Lyne
and Stalybridge
Stalybridge
entrances in 1953.

Hartshead Pike is a stone tower on top of Hartshead Hill overlooking Ashton and Oldham
Oldham
. 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 . Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
War Memorial, in Memorial Gardens

The Witchwood
The Witchwood
public house , in the St Petersfield area of the town, has been a music venue since the 1960s, hosting acts such as Muse , The Coral
The Coral
, and Lost Prophets
Lost Prophets
. In 2004 The Witchwood
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
, drawing support from musicians such as Bert Jansch
Bert Jansch
, The Fall , and The Chameleons .

The main Ashton-under-Lyne
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
. Commissioned by the Ashton War Memorial Committee, the statue was sculpted between 1919 and 1922 by John Ashton Floyd
John Ashton Floyd
, and unveiled on 16 September 1922 by General Sir Ian Hamilton .

The tablet on the front of the memorial reads: Erected in honour of the men of Ashton-under-Lyne
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

ROADS

Ashton is served by the M60 motorway
M60 motorway
, which cuts through the west end of Ashton (Junction 23).

In 1732, an Act of Parliament was passed which permitted the construction of a turnpike from Manchester, then in Lancashire, to Salters Brook in Cheshire. The road passed through Ashton-under-Lyne as well as Audenshaw
Audenshaw
, Mottram-in-Longdendale , and Stalybridge
Stalybridge
. A Turnpike Trust was responsible for collecting tolls from traffic; the proceeds were used for road maintenance. The Trust for Manchester
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
Tameside
, 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
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
Tameside
to close was the Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
to Salters Brook road in 1884.

CANALS

The Portland Basin
Portland Basin
warehouse is now a museum

The town of Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
became the focus of three canals which were constructed in Tameside
Tameside
in the 1790s because it was an important centre of coal mining in the Lancashire
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 , which was constructed between 1792 and 1797. Connecting Manchester
Manchester
to Ashton-under-Lyne, with a branch to Oldham, it cost about £170,000 (£15 million as of 2017). The Peak Forest Canal
Peak Forest Canal
was constructed from 1794 to 1805, and was originally planned as a branch of the Ashton Canal. It connected the Portland Basin
Portland Basin
with the Peak District and cost £177,000 (£13 million as of 2017). The Huddersfield Narrow Canal was built between 1794 and 1811, to enable cross-Pennine trade between Manchester
Manchester
and Kingston upon Hull
Kingston upon Hull
; the cost of construction was £400,000.

The advent of the railways in the 19th century signalled the decline of the canal system. The new railways were quicker and more economical than the canals, and the waterways declined. The Huddersfield
Huddersfield
Canal was bought by the Huddersfield
Huddersfield
and Manchester
Manchester
Railway in 1844. Along with the Ashton and Peak Forest canals, the Huddersfield
Huddersfield
canal was later bought by the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
and Manchester Railway Company. 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. Following an extended period of closure "> Ashton-under-Lyne railway station
Ashton-under-Lyne railway station

RAILWAYS

Ashton-under-Lyne railway station
Ashton-under-Lyne railway station
sees regular services on the Huddersfield Line between Manchester
Manchester
(Victoria ) and Huddersfield
Huddersfield
.

The present station, known historically as Ashton (Charlestown) as was opened by the Ashton, Stalybridge
Stalybridge
and Liverpool Junction Railway (AS&LJR) on 13 April 1846. The AS&LJR was absorbed by the Manchester and Leeds Railway in 1847, which was then renamed the Lancashire
Lancashire
and Yorkshire Railway (LYR). The LYR renamed it Ashton (Charlestown) in 1874. The LYR amalgamated with the London
London
and North Western Railway at the start of 1922, and these in turn amalgamated with several other companies on 1 January 1923, to form the London, Midland and Scottish Railway during the 1923 Grouping . It then passed to the London Midland Region of British Railways on nationalisation in 1948. The station was renamed Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
on 6 May 1968.

There were once three stations in the town: Charlestown, Park Parade (closed 1956) and Oldham
Oldham
Road (closed 1959) on the Oldham, Ashton and Guide Bridge Railway . Also, Guide Bridge , a few miles away, was known as Ashton "> Ashton-under-Lyne tram stop
Ashton-under-Lyne tram stop

In 1881, a tramway with horse-drawn tramcars was opened between Stalybridge
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
Manchester
to use electricity. A line from Stalybridge
Stalybridge
to Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
was opened in 1903 and operated by the Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley
Mossley
& Dukinfield
Dukinfield
Tramways there are no power stations in the town. United Utilities also manages the drinking and waste water.

Home Office
Home Office
policing in Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashton-under-Lyne
is provided by the Greater Manchester
Manchester
Police . The force's Tameside
Tameside
Division have their divisional headquarters for policing Tameside
Tameside
in the town. Public transport in the area is co-ordinated by Transport for Greater Manchester
Manchester
. Statutory emergency fire and rescue service is provided by the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service , which has one station on Slate Lane. The Tameside
Tameside
General Hospital is a large NHS hospital on the outskirts of the town, administrated by Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The North West Ambulance Service provides emergency patient transport.

SEE ALSO

* Greater Manchester portal

* List of mills in Tameside
Tameside
* List of people from Tameside
Tameside
* Listed buildings in Ashton-under-Lyne
Listed buildings in Ashton-under-Lyne
* Ashton-under-Lyne munitions explosion

REFERENCES

NOTES

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Ashton-under-Lyne
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Manchester
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* ^ Parks in Tameside: Tameside
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BIBLIOGRAPHY

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and University of Manchester
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– Introduction, manor & boroughs, British-history.ac.uk * Frangopulo, N. J. (1977), Tradition in Action: The Historical Evolution of the Greater Manchester County, Wakefield: EP, ISBN 0-7158-1203-3 * Griffith, Kate (1898), "The Black Lad of Ashton-under-Lyne", Folklore, Folklore Society, 8 (4): 379–382, doi :10.1080/0015587x.1898.9720476 * Hartwell, Clare; Hyde, Matthew; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2004), Lancashire
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1066–1700, Tameside
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Metropolitan Borough and University of Manchester
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Archaeological Unit , ISBN 1-871324-02-5 * Nevell, Mike (1992), Tameside
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Before 1066, Tameside
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Metropolitan Borough
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Council with the University of Manchester
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Archaeological Unit , ISBN 1-871324-18-1 * Nevell, Mike; Walker, John (2001), Portland Basin
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Metropolitan Borough
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with University of Manchester
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Archaeological Unit , ISBN 1-871324-25-4 * Powell, Rob (1986), In the Wake of King Cotton, Rochdale
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EXTERNAL LINKS

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE .

Wikimedia Commons has media related to ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE .

* Ashton-under-Lyne.com

* v * t