Heaton Chapel

Heaton Chapel is an area in the northern part of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. It borders the Manchester districts of Levenshulme to the north, the Stockport districts of Heaton Moor to the west, Reddish and Heaton Norris to the east and Heaton Mersey to the west and south. Heaton Chapel and its neighbouring areas are collectively known as the Four Heatons.

Heaton Chapel
Heaton Chapel is located in Greater Manchester
Heaton Chapel
Heaton Chapel
Location within Greater Manchester
Population(2001 Census)
OS grid referenceSJ880925
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtSK4
Dialling code0161
PoliceGreater Manchester
FireGreater Manchester
AmbulanceNorth West
EU ParliamentNorth West England
UK Parliament


HeatonChapel StThomas4474
St Thomas' Church

Before 1758, Heaton Chapel did not exist but was simply part of the Lancashire parish of Heaton Norris.[1] The need for a chapel was identified in Parliamentary Commission "Lancashire and Cheshire church surveys" (1649–1655) but it was a further hundred years before Mr A. Colier raised money by public subscription and Mr Sidebotham petitioned the bishop of Chester for a license to worship in 1758. It was dedicated 28 October 1758. It is speculated that the need for the chapel was stimulated by the preaching of Charles Wesley who visited Stockport in 1745. The Church was built on a field known as Yarn Croft of 1,712 square yards. The building was plain brick, with three rounded windows on the North side and three on the South side, and a small projecting chancel, which served as a place for the communion table, which was lit by means of a long round-headed window, with two long rectangular windows on each side.[2] The church is 'miswent'; that is not built on a true east–west axis. In 2015, the Diocese of Manchester changed the official address of the church from Heaton Norris to Heaton Chapel - 250 years after its establishment.

The principal road from Manchester to Stockport and the south ran through Heaton Chapel along the line of the present Manchester Road. It was turnpiked in 1724.[3] There was a toll gate opposite the church. It entered Stockport down Lancashire Hill. In 1826 a new turnpike was built.[4]

HeatonChapel Station4530
Heaton Chapel station with an EMU train

In 1837 Parliamentary approval was given for the railway to be built by the Manchester and Birmingham Railway, and the first section from Heaton Norris to Manchester Travis Street opened in 1841, but a viaduct needed to be built at Stockport. The London and North Western Railway completed the Crewe to Manchester Line from Manchester, London Road to Crewe, the rector, Mr Jackson used personal influence, to have a station built in 1851, close to the rectory in Heaton Moor Road. The Station was built in a cutting. There was already a Heaton Norris station(on Georges Road),so the new station was named Heaton Chapel. The subsequent growth of the Heaton Moor area led to a temporary change of the railway station name, Heaton Chapel for Heaton Moor, then Heaton Chapel AND Heaton Moor - but it has again returned to Heaton Chapel.[1] This line was electrified in 1959. A second line passes though Heaton Chapel but there is no station.

In the inter-war years there was a tram service along Wellington Road operated jointly by Manchester and Stockport corporation. Stockport used 460v DC and Manchester 400 volts so the Manchester trams would need another resistance in the circuit. The Stockport trams would probably have been able to manage without swapping, they would just be on a slightly lower voltage. The trams stopped at the Levenshulme/ Heaton Chapel border so the resistances could be changed and the collectors manually changed from one set of wires to the others.

A number of mansions were built close to the border with Heaton Moor during the early 20th century. This part of Heaton Chapel today has some of the most palatial and expensive housing in Greater Manchester. Though the SK4 postcode which includes Heaton Chapel is together regarded as rich.[5] Heaton Chapel was in 2018 ranked by The Times best places to live 2018, higher than Didsbury.[6]

Local economy

HeatonChapel WestonGr4453
Heaton Chapel is largely residential, characterised by substantial well detailed early 20th century houses

A large biscuit works was opened in 1918 by McVitie and Price, later McVitie's, part of United Biscuits. In this location chocolate covered biscuits such as Penguin biscuits and Jaffa Cakes are manufactured.[1]

Crossley Bros. Ltd commenced motor car production in 1906 after several years experience of building engines and by the end of 1916 had already supplied large numbers of tenders to the Royal Flying Corps. In addition, production of Beardmore and Bentley Aero engines was undertaken. Wartime expansion of production had led to the acquisition of premises at High Lane, Heaton Chapel. This subsequently was renamed Crossley Road, and marked the spot where Stockport became Manchester.

In 1917 the factory was adapted to produce De Havilland DH.9 single-engined and DH.10 twin-engined bombers. It was known as the National Aircraft Factory No. 2, employed 2,500 people and was managed by Crossley Motors Limited. About 450 DH9s and seven DH10s were completed before production ceased after the Armistice.[7]

In 1934 the factory was acquired by Mr (later Sir) Richard Fairey, who wanted additional factory space to produce aircraft ordered under the UK's re-armament programme. Thus Fairey Aviation was based on Crossley Road next to the railway line.

The factory manufactured 14 Fairey Hendon,[7] 1,154 Battle, 600 Fulmar and 675 Barracuda aircraft and also reconditioned Swordfishes. Fairey's also built, under sub-contract, over 660 Handley Page Halifaxes and nearly 500 Bristol Beaufighters. Heaton Chapel had design staff and manufacturing capacity. Assembly was at Barton Aerodrome for a short period then at RAF Ringway from June 1937 onwards.[8]

In 1951 the FD1, Fairey Delta 1, was built here. On 10 March 1956, the Fairey Delta 2, with Heaton Chapel components, broke the World Air Speed Record at 1820 km/h (1132 mph).[8]

From 1954, the Gannet was also built here although production of the 338 aircraft was shared with the company's other factory at Hayes, Middlesex.

In 1946 the company diversified into the Nuclear industry, forming Fairey Stainless.

In 1986 Fairey Engineering was taken over by Williams Holdings and became Williams Fairey Engineering Ltd.[8] It is now known as WFEL. The Air Portable Ferry Bridge (APFB) is a lightweight 40 metre bridge that can be transported to site in a C130 aircraft, and erected by 8 engineers in 90 minutes. It is in use in Iraq and Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Fairey Aviation sponsored the Fairey Brass Band, who hold rehearsals in Heaton Chapel.

Popular culture

Sir John Alcock, who with Arthur Whitten Brown, made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in 1919, was raised in Heaton Chapel and attended St. Thomas' Primary School alongside the church.

Heaton Chapel was the home of the Poco-a-Poco Club, many a big name star performed here including David Bowie 27 April 1970. Sited at the junction of Denby Lane and Manchester Road, and formerly, the Empress Cinema, this has now been demolished and has been home to The Hinds Head pub for a number of years.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b c The History of St Thomas', Heaton Norris, pub privately by the author, deposited with The British Library Copyright Receipt Office on 1 August 1979 under receipt 68519, and now released on line http://shawweb.myzen.co.uk/stephen/thomas0.htm
  2. ^ The Stockport Advertiser 1874
  3. ^ http://www.manchester2002-uk.com/districts/levenshulme.html Levenshulme:Districts and suburbs of Manchester
  4. ^ Townships: Heaton Norris', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4 (1911), pp. 323–326.
  5. ^ http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadHome.do?m=0&s=1378904512622&enc=1&nsjs=true&nsck=false&nssvg=false&nswid=1440
  6. ^ https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-heatons-cheshire-best-places-to-live-fzjlmd2l7
  7. ^ a b R.A.Scholefield, "Manchester Airport", 1998, Sutton Publishing page 35, ISBN 0-7509-1954-X
  8. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 March 2007. Retrieved 26 May 2008.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) History of Fairey Engineering
  9. ^ Shaw, Stephen. "Poco a Poco, Stockport". Retrieved 24 June 2012.

External links


Burnage is a suburb of the city of Manchester in North West England, about 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Manchester city centre and bisected by the dual carriageway of Kingsway. The population of the Burnage Ward at the 2011 census was 15,227. It lies between Withington to the west, Levenshulme to the north, Heaton Chapel to the east and Didsbury and Heaton Mersey to the south.

Fairey Aviation Company

The Fairey Aviation Company Limited was a British aircraft manufacturer of the first half of the 20th century based in Hayes in Middlesex and Heaton Chapel and RAF Ringway in Lancashire. Notable for the design of a number of important military aircraft, including the Fairey III family, the Swordfish, Firefly, and Gannet, it had a strong presence in the supply of naval aircraft, and also built bombers for the RAF.

After World War II the company diversified into mechanical engineering and boat-building. The aircraft manufacturing arm was taken over by Westland Aircraft in 1960. Following a series of mergers and takeovers, the principal successor businesses to the company now trade as FBM Babcock Marine Ltd, Spectris plc, and WFEL (formerly Williams Fairey Engineering Limited), the latter manufacturing portable bridges.

Fairey Band

The Fairey Band is a brass band based in Heaton Chapel in Stockport, Greater Manchester. The band has achieved fame in modern music circles with its appearances playing Acid Brass although they still play traditional brass band music and participate each year in the Whit Friday Brass Band contests.

Its name comes from Sir Richard Fairey and the Fairey Aviation Company, famous in later years for the Fairey Delta 2 aircraft - the first aircraft in level flight to exceed 1,000 mph, and had an important contribution to the shape of Concorde and its droop nose. An early signature tune for the band was Beaufighters, after a fighter aircraft Bristol Beaufighter made at Fairey in Heaton Chapel (and elsewhere) for "Ministry of Aircraft Production".

Fairey Spearfish

The Fairey Spearfish was a British carrier-based, single-engined, torpedo bomber/dive bomber that was ordered from Fairey Aviation for the Fleet Air Arm during World War II. Designed during the war, the prototype did not fly until July 1945. Much larger than earlier naval bombers, it was designed for use aboard the large Malta-class aircraft carriers that were cancelled after the war and was itself cancelled thereafter. Seven prototypes were ordered, but only five were built, of which four actually flew. They were mostly used for experimental work until the last aircraft was scrapped in 1952.

Four Heatons

Four Heatons is the name of four neighbourhoods, Heaton Chapel, Heaton Mersey, Heaton Moor and Heaton Norris, which form a suburban area of Stockport bordering the city of Manchester, England. It is a commuter zone, with greenbelt and a conservation area, and is coterminous with the SK4 postcode district.

The opening of railway stations, first at Heaton Norris in 1840 and then at Heaton Chapel in 1853, resulted in the suburbanisation of the Four Heatons.

The four neighbourhoods each have their own high street and centre, but share a common retailing theme, with bars, delis and independent music and cinema.In 2009, local businesses and traders formed a voluntary organisation in the area called the Four Heatons Traders Association. This organisation is partly funded and supported by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, and has become a focal point for community regeneration projects.A Friends of Heaton Chapel Station group (FofHCS) was formed in August 2011 to improve the station, by looking after the gardens and through various award-winning projects and art projects. FofHCS also want to encourage greater use of the station by promoting the facilities, services and destinations served, and by lobbying for improvements where necessary.

Heaton Chapel railway station

Heaton Chapel railway station serves the Heaton Chapel and Heaton Moor districts of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England.

The station is 4½ miles (7 km) south of Manchester Piccadilly towards Stockport

Opened as Heaton Chapel & Heaton Moor in 1852 by LNWR [1846 to 1922] then by LMS until 1948 when British Railways was formed, the station was renamed Heaton Chapel on 6 May 1974.

Heaton Mersey

Heaton Mersey is a suburb of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England, on the north-western border of Stockport adjacent to Didsbury and Burnage in Manchester.Heaton Mersey is a mostly residential area and commuter zone for Manchester. Heaton Mersey and its neighbouring areas (Heaton Norris, Heaton Chapel and Heaton Moor) are collectively known as the Four Heatons. Part of Heaton Mersey has been designated a conservation area.

Heaton Moor

Heaton Moor is a suburb of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. It is one of the Four Heatons and borders Heaton Chapel, Heaton Norris and Heaton Mersey. Heaton Moor has Victorian housing, built between 1852 and 1892 along tree-lined streets which follow the field patterns of a former agricultural economy.

Heaton Norris

Heaton Norris is a suburb in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. It is part of the Four Heatons, and neighbours Heaton Chapel, Heaton Mersey and Heaton Moor. Formerly a parish of Lancashire, in 1835 part of Heaton Norris was annexed to Stockport in Cheshire; Heaton Chapel and Heaton Moor remained in Lancashire, but further territory was ceded in 1894 and the remnant in 1913.

Heatons North (Stockport electoral ward)

Heatons North is an electoral ward in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. It elects three Councillors to Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council using the first past the post electoral method, electing one Councillor every year without election on the fourth.

Together with Brinnington & Central, Davenport and Cale Green, Edgeley and Cheadle Heath, Heatons South and Manor, the ward lies in the Stockport Parliamentary Constituency. The ward contains Heaton Chapel Station as well as Priestnall School. Stockport Council closed the leisure centre at Peel Moat in 2012, which stood in Heatons North.

Levenshulme railway station

Levenshulme railway station is in Levenshulme, Manchester, England. The station is 3.1 miles (5 km) south east of Manchester Piccadilly towards Stockport.

Four tracks go through the station with the centre tracks used by fast trains and the outer by stopping trains.

List of places in Greater Manchester

Map of places in Greater Manchester compiled from this list

This is a partial list of places in Greater Manchester, in North West England.

List of schools in Stockport

This is a list of schools in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport in the English county of Greater Manchester.


McVitie's is a British snack food brand owned by United Biscuits. The name derives from the original Scottish biscuit maker, McVitie & Price, Ltd., established in 1830 on Rose Street in Edinburgh, Scotland. The company moved to various sites in the city before completing the St. Andrews Biscuit Works factory on Robertson Avenue in the Gorgie district in 1888. The company also established one in Glasgow and two large manufacturing plants south of the border, in Heaton Chapel, Stockport, and Harlesden, London. Under United Biscuits McVitie's holds a Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth II.

The best-selling biscuit manufacturer in the United Kingdom, McVitie's produces chocolate digestives, Hobnobs and Rich tea (ranked the three favourite biscuits to dunk into tea), and Jaffa Cakes (the best selling cake in the UK).

National Aircraft Factory No. 2

National Aircraft Factory No. 2 (NAF No.2) was a World War I UK government owned aircraft factory located at Heaton Chapel, Stockport. It produced over 450 warplanes during 1918/19.

Reddish South (Stockport electoral ward)

Reddish South is an electoral ward in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport. It elects three councillors to Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council using the first past the post electoral method, electing one councillor every year without election on the fourth.

It covers the southern part of Reddish, including parts of Heaton Norris and Heaton Chapel. Together with Reddish North it forms part of the Denton and Reddish Parliamentary Constituency. It is also the seat of Stockport Labour Leader Andrew Verdeille.

St Anne's Roman Catholic High School

St Anne's Roman Catholic High School is a Catholic secondary school in Heaton Chapel, Stockport, England.In 2009, the school achieved arts (media) specialist school status. It is fed by St Winifred's RC Primary School in Heaton Mersey and St Josephs's Catholic Primary School in Reddish, and in turn feeds Aquinas College, Stockport. At the end of each year, to reward progress, all students visit Alton Towers; this has been the school's tradition for many years.

Stockport railway station

Stockport railway station in Stockport, Greater Manchester, England is 8 miles south-east of Manchester Piccadilly on the West Coast Main Line to London Euston.

Willys Overland Crossley

Willys Overland Crossley was a company jointly owned by Crossley Motors and Willys-Overland. They had factories in Stockport, England; Berlin, Germany; and Antwerp, Belgium. The company was formed in 1919 and continued until 1934. They manufactured cars, buses and trucks.

In 1919, Crossley Motors and John North Willys on behalf of Willys-Overland agreed to set up a British operation to import, manufacture and sell a high volume of cars based on the Overland 4 model. Crossley Motors provided the Heaton Chapel, Stockport aircraft factory they had recently bought from the government after the end of World War 1. This factory was large enough to include a covered test track. Production started in 1920 with the assembly of kits bought in from the Willys-Overland Canadian plant. WOC's first design contribution was to offer British bodies to fit the Model 4's chassis. The Willys-Knight sleeve-valve-engined car was also offered.

In 1925, a version of the Willys-Overland Model 91 called the Overland 13.9 was produced using a Morris engine. This was joined later in the year by the six-cylinder Model 93. Sales did not reach expectations, and the company reported a large loss for the year. The company structure meant that responsibility for this loss fell on Crossley Motors, who had to sell the AVRO aircraft company to keep going.

For 1926, the Whippet car was introduced, but like its forerunners, this car did not suit the British and European markets, and sales still failed to meet target. The company experimented with their own design of small car known as the X car. Prototypes were well received, but production was vetoed by John North Willys.

The company also produced commercial vehicles. First models were built on Model 4 chassis but in 1924 Heaton Chapel designed their own 1 ton model using mainly Overland parts. This was replaced in 1926 by an upgraded 30cwt version. In 1926 a new range using Lycoming engines was announced and these were launched under the Manchester name. Initial models were rated at 25 and 35 cwt but were soon joined by a 2-ton model. WOC also assembled Willys C101 trucks sold as Willys-Commercial but these soon gained a poor reputation for engine reliability.

In 1928, the Berlin factory opened under the ownership of Willys-Overland Crossley GmbH to assemble Whippets followed in 1930 by a plant in Antwerp. The depression caused both factories to close in 1930. The Berlin factory re-opened quickly to become an assembly plant for Austin 7's.John North Willys sold his shares in the company in 1929 and resigned from the board. Following continuing losses on car production this was stopped in 1929 to concentrate on the profitable commercials. In 1931, the car business of AJS was purchased but it was too late to turn the company into profitability and, in 1932, Crossley Motors dissolved the partnership with Willys-Overland and WOC went into voluntary liquidation in 1933. Production limped on for another two years with the final production coming in 1934. The factory was sold to Fairey aviation.

Areas and suburbs of Stockport

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