The railway comes to Alderley Edge

A view showing the underneath of Manchester's railway viaduct

At the turn of the century, with neighbouring cities alive with the sound of cotton looms, there were very few places for people to relax and escape from the smog and pollution. The expansion of the railways changed that and transformed lives forever.

In 1842 Alderley Railway station was created by the Manchester and Birmingham Railway Company making access from the cities to the countryside much easier.

The lungs of Cheshire

Lord Stanley, a local industrialist, who lived in Nether Alderley, recognised the health benefits of visiting the countryside and enjoying ‘fresh air’. He planted a number of trees here, including the majestic Beech Cathedral and opened his estate during the 1840s to 1850s so that the general public could enjoy visits on certain days.

In 1938 acres of the estate were sold off and with the fear that the land would be used for housing, a campaign was launched to save the Edge.

Saving the Edge

In 1946 thanks to the efforts of Cheshire Council and The Pilkington Sisters, the Edge was saved from further development and in 1948 over 200 acres of woodland was generously donated by the Pilkington Sisters to the National Trust.

Conserving these woods for future generations

Today the woods are alive with bird song and you can explore at your leisure. Our small team of Rangers and dedicated group of conservation volunteers, work hard to maintain this site for your enjoyment but also, over a century later still recognise the benefits that fresh air and exercise can bring.

Stop and chat with them when you next visit, or better still, come and join in and help conserve this special place for future generations to enjoy.