A mini-guide to a day out in Macclesfield
PUBLISHED: 00:00 06 January 2014
Silk, Treacle, Barnaby are just some of the things you’ll find in this historic location
This is a buzzy town with bags of character and some great shopping. There are galleries, gift shops and independent boutiques all waiting to be explored on a day trip - and while you’re here buy a loaf of bread! Macclesfield is the original home of Hovis which was produced in Publicity Works Mill (commonly referred to as “the Hovis Mill”) on the canal close to Buxton Road.
Hovis is said to derive from the Latin “homo-vitalis” (strength for man) as a way of providing a cheap and nutritious food for poor mill workers and was a very dry and dense wholemeal loaf completely different from the modern version
The town which is situated in the ancient Hundred of Hamestan is recorded in the Domesday Book as “Maclesfeld”. In 1183 it was referred to as “Makeslesfeld”. derived from the old English for Maccel and field meaning `Maccels’ open country’.
It also has two nicknames - Silk Town and Treacle Town — supposedly from an incident when a load of treacle was spilt on Hibel Road and the poor scooped it off the cobbles.
Why not explore Macclesfield’s heritage? It was once the world’s biggest producer of finished silk with 71 silk mills operating in 1832. Paradise Mill is a working mill museum which demonstrates the art of silk throwing and Jacquard weaving to the public. The four Macclesfield Silk Museums display a range of information and products from that period.
Stop off at a cafe for some refreshments and enjoy the buzz of the place before heading into town.
Hit the shops. Macclesfield is the home to Cheshire favourite, Arighi Bianchi furniture store and also a wealth of small boutiques such as Arabella, a designer boutique filled with collections from designers such as Nicole Fahri, Crea, Oska and Annette Gortz and Deja Vu, A quirky shop on three floors selling antiques and bric-a-brac and was recently recommended in the Civic Society Awards for its sympathetic building restoration.
Celebrate. If you come here in June then you’ll be able to enjoy Barnaby 2014. An annual Festival of contemporary arts, culture and fun celebrating Macclesfield’s rich heritage. Now approaching its fifth year, it has become an eagerly anticipated fixture in the town’s calendar, reinventing the centuries old tradition of marking St Barnabas feast day. . Each year the Festival has a theme to reflect and inspire: for 2014 it will be Industry! The festival is now looking for volunteers so contact them at www.barnabyfestival.org.uk
Dine out at one of Macclesfield’s restaurants such as Fina which offers modern Italian cuisine ain a lovely contemporary environment or visit Treacle Tap a small cosy European-style bar a stone’s throw from Macclesfield railway station, serving coffee, teas, fine wine, world beers but main specialities are local real ale and yummy pies.