Stockport sits on elevated ground 7 miles south-east of the city centre of Manchester. No part of Stockport is recorded in the Domesday Book but there are records that show a castle was built in the area in the late twelfth century and the first borough charter was granted around 1220. The town developed in size during the Industrial Revolution when its site at the confluence of the rivers Tame, Goyt and Mersey provided the water sources needed for the development of a number of mills. Today a walk around the narrow streets and passages of Hillgate provides evidence of Stockport's rich history with the fifteenth-century Staircase House and the quaint cobbled streets surrounding the market sitting in the shadow of the historic Church of St Mary.
Venture out of the centre, however, and you will find Stockport is rich in myth and legend. From the witch of Reddish Vale and ghosts of Bramall Hall to the beautifully restored, Art Deco Plaza Theatre, there is always something to catch the imagination of those visitors who wish to uncover the hidden secrets of this fascinating town.
Ian Littlechilds is a professional photographer and author. Phil Page is a part-time English lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University and a working professional photographer. He is a volunteer at Stockport Image Library and has participated in exhibitions at The Heaton's Library. He has lived in Heaton Mersey for 30 years.