DISCOVER KEY SITES IN AND AROUND CONGLETON
As part of the Congleton Heritage and Antiques Festival, 8th – 23rd September, Congleton Town Council, with the help of local historians has put together a Heritage Trail through the town. For more information on each of the sites, see below.
Congleton developed in Anglo-Saxon times and is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. It was granted a Charter in 1272 by Henry de Lacy, the Lord of the Manor. This allowed Congleton to appoint a Mayor, hold a market, regulate the sale of food and ale and to use its own corn mill. Disaster struck in 1452 when the river flooded and washed away half the timber built town, which was then rebuilt on higher ground, around the present day High Street. The plague ravaged the town from 1603-1641. In the early 17th Century, Congleton was accused of using money for a new Town Bible to pay for a new Town Bear instead, when the old one died just before the Wakes. This is the reason for Congleton’s nickname “Beartown”. During the later 18th Century, from being a market town serving the surrounding agricultural area, Congleton also became a centre for manufacturing textiles, especially silk. The River Dane and its tributaries supplied water power for the numerous mills.