Macclesfield is a market town and civil parish in Cheshire, England. The town lies on the River Bollin, in the east of the county on the edge of the Cheshire Plain, with Macclesfield Forest to its east. It is around 16 miles (26 km) south of Manchester city centre and 38 miles (61 km) to the east of Chester.
Before the Norman Conquest, Macclesfield was held by Edwin, Earl of Mercia and was assessed at £8. The manor is recorded in the Domesday Book as “Maclesfeld”, meaning “Maccel’s open country”. The medieval town grew up on the hilltop around what is now St Michael’s Church. It was granted a charter by Edward I in 1261, before he became king. Macclesfield Grammar School was founded in 1502. The town had a silk-button industry from at least the middle of the 17th century, and became a major silk-manufacturing centre from the mid-18th century. The Macclesfield Canal was constructed in 1826–31. Hovis breadmakers were another Victorian employer. Modern industries include pharmaceuticals. Multiple mill buildings are still standing, and several of the town’s museums explore the local silk industry. Other landmarks include Georgian buildings such as the Town Hall and former Sunday School; St Alban’s Church, designed by Augustus Pugin; and the Arighi Bianchi furniture shop.
The population of Macclesfield at the 2011 census was 51,482. A person from Macclesfield is sometimes referred to as a “Maxonian”. Macclesfield, like many other areas in Cheshire, is a relatively affluent town.