Wilmslow (/wɪlmsˈl/) is a town and civil parish in Cheshire, England, it is small town that is 11 mi (18 km) south of Manchester. It is one of the most sought-after places to live in the UK after central London, and falls within the Cheshire Golden Triangle.[2][3]

The population of Wilmslow was 30,326 in the 2001 Census,[4] reducing to 24,497 at the 2011 Census due to the separation of Handforth to form its own parish.[5] The town is in the parliamentary constituency of Tatton, represented by Esther McVey MP.



Wilmslow derives its name from Anglo-Saxon Wīghelmes hlāw = "mound of a man called Wīghelm."

Lindow Man

Much about the local Iron Age history of Wilmslow was uncovered with the discovery of Lindow Man, in Lindow Moss. Preserved in the peat bogs for 2,000 years, Lindow Man is one of the most important Iron Age finds in the country. Despite a campaign to keep Lindow Man in the area, he was transferred to the British Museum and is a central feature of the Iron Age exhibition. Lindow Man returned to Manchester Museum in April 2008 for a year-long exhibition.


Wilmslow was in the international media in March 1997, when an IRA bomb exploded near the railway station damaging signalling equipment. The original IRA message was confusing and led to the evacuation of the Wilmslow Police Station to the local leisure centre not far from the explosion. Nobody was hurt.[6]

In the general election of the same year, the parliamentary constituency of Tatton, in which Wilmslow falls, made headlines as part of the "sleaze" accusations levelled against the then Conservative Government. Tatton MP, Neil Hamilton, was accused of accepting cash for tabling Parliamentary questions, and subsequently defeated in the election by independent candidate Martin Bell. Bell was supported in his door to door canvasing for votes by David Soul and served a single term as MP.

Wilmslow held its first Scarecrow Festival in July 2010 with 85 local businesses taking part and 93 different scarecrows. Organised by the Rotary Club of Wilmslow Dean and the members of the Wilmslow Business Group, the week-long festival has transformed the town centre and received a tremendous response.[7]

Administrative history

Wilmslow was one of the eight ancient parishes of the Macclesfield Hundred of Cheshire. It was subdivided into the townships of Bollinfee, Chorley, Fulshaw and Pownall Fee. Under the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 the townships became civil parishes in their own right. Wilmslow was recreated as a civil parish on 30 September 1894[8] when Pownall Fee and Fulshaw were abolished. Wilmslow gained the whole of Fulshaw and part of Pownall Fee; the other 1,523 acres (6.16 km2) of Pownall Fee were used to create the new Styal civil parish. The Wilmslow Urban District Council came into being in 1895 consisting only of the previous civil parish of Wilmslow.[9] On 21 June 1951 it was granted its own Coat of Arms.[10] On 1 April 2009 it became part of the Cheshire East unitary authority.


On 1 April 1936, Wilmslow lost 19 acres (77,000 m2) to Alderley Edge. However it gained 3 acres (12,000 m2) from Chorley and on the abolition of Bollinfee, Handforth and Styal civil parishes it gained 1, 1,080 and 1,521 acres (6.16 km2) respectively.

Wilmslow along with other towns such as Whitworth, Poynton and Alderley Edge successfully objected to being part of the metropolitan county Greater Manchester when it was formed in 1974 although the town does form part of the Greater Manchester Urban Area.


Wilmslow Compared
2001 UK Census Wilmslow Cheshire England
Total population 25,498 673,781 49,138,831
White 95.9% 98.4% 90.9%
Asian 1.8% 0.5% 4.6%
Black 0.3% 0.2% 2.3%

Population and ethnicity

According to the United Kingdom Census 2001 the wards of Wilmslow North and Wilmslow South have a combined population of 25,498, of which 13,400 (52.5%) are females and 12,098 (47.5%) are males. In addition, 5197 (20.4%) are aged 16 and under while 4780 (18.8%) are aged 65 and over.[11]

Ethnic white groups (British, Irish, other) account for 95.9% of the population, with ethnic minority groups accounting for 4.1% of the population.


St Bartholomew's Church

A breakdown of religious groups and denominations:

  • Christian – 76.7% (19,567 people)
  • Muslim – 1.4% (363 people)
  • Jewish – 0.7% (182 people)
  • Hindu – 0.7% (168 people)
  • Buddhist – 0.4% (94 people)
  • Sikh – 0.2% (39 people)
  • Any Other Religion – 0.2% (58 people)
  • No Religion – 13.3% (3,390 people)
  • Religion Not Stated – 6.1% (1,555 people)

Places of worship

There are three Church of England churches in Wilmslow, St. Bartholomew's, St Anne's and St John's. St Bartholomew's is a 16th-century building, which was modified in the 19th century. It has a turreted bell tower. The first rector of the church was a Thomas Dale, who is buried beneath a headstone presumably engraved by him outside the entrance to the church.

Wilmslow Methodist Church occupies a modern building close to the town centre, replacing an 1886 building which itself replaced the original 1798 church, built 7 years after John Wesley's death.

The Sacred Heart & St Teresa's Church is the Roman Catholic church and dates from the late 19th century.[12]

Dean Row Chapel, 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the town centre, is a Grade II* listed building built around the end of the 17th century. Initially Presbyterian, it is now a Unitarian chapel.[13]


Situated in the North of England, 11 miles (18 km) from Manchester city centre and 7 miles (11 km) from Macclesfield, Wilmslow town centre is focused upon Bank Square, Grove Street and Water Lane. Although Bank Square has traditionally provided the location for many of the town's banks, the name in fact originates from the bank, or slope, leading down to the Carrs recreational fields and up towards the railway station. The River Bollin flows through the Carrs and once provided the power source for nearby Quarry Bank Mill, now a National Trust site, and enjoyment for the local population.

Before the railway came in 1842, Wilmslow comprised only a few farms and a church.

For purposes of the Office for National Statistics, Wilmslow forms part of the Greater Manchester Urban Area.


The town is part of the Golden Triangle together with Alderley Edge and Prestbury. It grew in popularity in the Victorian era as a most desirable area for wealthy North West businessmen to move out to once the railways arrived and connected the towns.

Wilmslow is the founding location of clothing giant Umbro who have their headquarters in the area.[14]

The town is a key location for Royal London, the mutual financial services company. The Information Commissioner's Office, one of the government's executive agencies, is also based in Wilmslow.

The UK headquarters of Waters Corporation, an American manufacturer of analytical laboratory instruments, is located on Altrincham Road in Wilmslow, at the site of Huntingdon Life Sciences' Stamford Lodge facility, which was demolished in 2012.[15].

The town's Aston Martin dealership sells the highest number of Aston Martins in the UK; a high demand stimulated largely by the high level of affluence in the town.[3]


Wilmslow railway station is situated where the electrified line from Crewe to Manchester Piccadilly divides. One line continues to Manchester via Handforth, Cheadle Hulme and Stockport, the other continues to Manchester Piccadilly via Styal, Manchester Airport and Heald Green. The latter route is commonly known as the Styal Line. There are frequent services to Manchester, Alderley Edge, Crewe and Manchester Airport, plus an frequent service operated by Arriva Trains Wales to Milford Haven, via Shrewsbury and Cardiff. In addition, there is an infrequent daily service to Bournemouth via Birmingham, operated by CrossCountry. There is also a regular hourly service direct to London Euston, operated by Virgin Trains.

The town is served by a number of bus services, with the main bus interchange being at Bank Square:

88 Knutsford - Alrincham via Wilmslow (Monday - Saturday half-hourly)
130 Manchester - Macclesfield (Monday - Saturday half hourly & Sunday hourly)
200 Manchester Airport - Wilmslow (Monday - Sunday hourly)
378 Stockport - Wilmslow (Monday - Saturday daytime hourly)

The A34 Manchester to Newcastle-under-Lyme and Winchester road now bypasses the town centre to the east. Manchester Airport lies just four miles (6 km) along the A538 to the north west, but Wilmslow lies away from the approach and departure routes and therefore does not suffer from aircraft noise as Hale Barns and Heald Green do.

The A34 bypass is the main road network that serves the town of Wilmslow. This was extended beyond neighbouring Alderley Edge in Winter 2010/11. The A34 Bypass joins the A555 at Handforth Dean and this road is currently being extended to Manchester Airport, due for completion in 2018.

Wilmslow and its close surroundings are served by several car showrooms of notable marque. These include Aston Martin, Porsche, Ferrari, Jaguar, Maserati, Land Rover, Bentley, McLaren, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini and others.

Notable residents

Business and commerce
  • Ian Powell, chairman and senior partner of PwC UK[26] lives in a London flat during the week but returns to his main family home in Wilmslow at weekends.[27]
  • Peter Jones, the owner of the Emerson Group (a property business, whose 2012 letting of Sandfield House to law firm Roberts Jackson was reportedly Wilmslow's biggest office deal in five years[28]) lives in Wilmslow.[29]
  • Iqbal Ahmed (OBE), the owner of the Seamark group's Asian food business is based in Manchester but he lives in Wilmslow with his family.

See also


  1. ^ "Coordinate Distance Calculator". boulter.com. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  2. ^ road is streets ahead on price
  3. ^ a b whatsin-wilmslow :: wilmslow, cheshire
  4. ^ "Wilmslow's official 2001 Census profile". 
  5. ^ "Town population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  6. ^ Ryan, Fiona. "After the last ceasefire ended". Irish News Online. Irishnews.com. 
  7. ^ Wilmslow Scarecrow Festival
  8. ^ Wilmslow CP/AP/CP through time Census tables with data for the Parish-level Unit
  9. ^ National Archives Wilmslow Urban District Council records accessed 10.8.14
  11. ^ "Check Browser Settings". statistics.gov.uk. 
  12. ^ "Web site of the Sacred Heart & St Teresa's Church, Wilmslow". 
  13. ^ The Unitarian Movement: Manchester District Association. The Unitarian and Free Christian Churches. Retrieved 23 October 2007. 
  14. ^ "Umbro – History". Retrieved 7 January 2007. 
  15. ^ http://www.wilmslow.co.uk/news/article/5403/waters-commence-construction-of-60m-headquarters
  16. ^ "Alan Turing: a short biography – 8". Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  17. ^ "Should Alan Turing be pardoned?". BBC. 19 August 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  18. ^ "Alan Turing Scrapbook – Memorials to Alan Turing". Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  19. ^ Peter, Jagger (1991). Gladstone: The Making of a Christian Politician: The Personal Religious Life and Development of William Ewart Gladstone, 1809-1832. Wipf and Stock Publishers. pp. 107–110. ISBN 978-1556350122. 
  20. ^ "Stuart Hall admits girl's sex assault". BBC News. 
  21. ^ McKeever, Katrina (9 August 2006). "Street star caught drink driving in Prestbury". Macclesfield Express News. Macclesfield Express. 
  22. ^ Jackson, Jamie (1 March 2009). "Park Ji-sung: the true player's player". The Observer. London. 
  23. ^ http://thequietus.com/articles/03128-michael-rother-of-neu-and-kraftwerk-interview
  24. ^ "BBC Four - Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany". BBC. 
  25. ^ McKeever, Katrina (16 March 2005). "Doves fly to top". Wilmslow Express News. Wilmslow Express. 
  26. ^ PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Executive Board - PwC UK". PwC. 
  27. ^ "The Andrew Davidson Interview Ian Powell of PWC". The Times. London. 6 September 2009. 
  28. ^ "Roberts Jackson Solicitors agrees Wilmslow relocation". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 5 Jun 2013. 
  29. ^ "Wilmslow". macclesfield. 

External links