| Stockport College|| 11,937 per mi² |
| Hat Works, Staircase House, Plaza Cinema - Stockport, Bramall Hall, Reddish|
Stockport is a large town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies on elevated ground 7 miles (11 km) south-east of Manchester city centre, at the point where the rivers Goyt and Tame merge to create the River Mersey. Stockport is the largest settlement in the metropolitan borough of the same name. As of the 2001 census the town had a population of 136,082 and the wider borough 284,528. By the 2011 Census the overall population had decreased to 283,275.
Historically, most of the town was in Cheshire, but the area to the north of the Mersey was in Lancashire. Stockport in the 16th century was a small town entirely on the south bank of the Mersey, and known for the cultivation of hemp and rope manufacture. In the 18th century the town had one of the first mechanised silk factories in the British Isles. However, Stockports predominant industries of the 19th century were the cotton and allied industries. Stockport was also at the centre of the countrys hatting industry, which by 1884 was exporting more than six million hats a year; the last hat works in Stockport closed in 1997.
Dominating the western approaches to the town is the Stockport Viaduct. Built in 1840, the viaducts 27 brick arches carry the mainline railways from Manchester to Birmingham and London over the River Mersey. This structure featured as the background in many paintings by L. S. Lowry.
Stockport was recorded as "Stokeport" in 1170. The currently accepted etymology is Old English stoc, a market place, with port, a hamlet (but more accurately a minor settlement within an estate); hence, a market place at a hamlet. Older derivations include stock, a stockaded place or castle, with port, a wood, hence a castle in a wood. The castle probably refers to Stockport Castle, a 12th-century motte-and-bailey first mentioned in 1173.
Other derivations are based on early variants such as Stopford and Stockford. There is evidence that a ford across the Mersey existed at the foot of Bridge Street Brow. Stopford retains a use in the adjectival form, Stopfordian, for Stockport-related items, and pupils of Stockport Grammar School style themselves Stopfordians. By contrast, former pupils of Stockport School are known as Old Stoconians. Stopfordian is the general term used for people from Stockport, much as someone from London would be a Londoner.
Stockport has never been a sea or river port. The Mersey is not navigable to anything much above canoe size; in the centre of Stockport it has been culverted and the main shopping street, Merseyway, built above it.
At 53°24?30?N 2°8?58?W (53.408°, ?2.149°) Stockport stands on elevated ground, 6.1 miles (9.8 km) south-east of Manchester city centre, at the confluence of the rivers Goyt and Tame, creating the River Mersey. It shares a common boundary with the City of Manchester.
Stockport is located on Permian sandstones and red Triassic sandstones and mudstones, mantled by thick deposits of till and pockets of sand and gravel deposited by glaciers at the end of the last glacial period, some 15,000 years ago. To the extreme east is the Red Rock fault, and the older rocks from the Upper Carboniferous period surface. An outcrop of Coal Measures extends southwards down through Tameside and into Hazel Grove. To the east, the sandstones and shales of Millstone Grit are present as outcrops on the upland moors of Dark Peak and South Pennines, and to the south, are the limestones of the White Peak.
Stockports principal commercial district is located in the town centre, with branches of most high-street stores to be found in the Merseyway Shopping Centre or The Peel Centre. Grand Central Leisure has an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a ten-screen cinema, bars, a bowling alley, health complex, and several restaurants. Stockport is six miles (10 km) from Manchester, making it convenient for commuters and shoppers. In 2008, the councils £500M plans to redevelop the town centre were cancelled. The construction company, Lend Lease Corporation, pulled out of the project, blaming the credit crunch. Stockport Town Centre is to change in the next few years with Grand Central getting a multi-storey car park, cafés and restaurants. Merseyway will see changes as well, with new shops, a cinema, restaurants and bars.
Stockports museums include the "Hat Works", based in Wellington Mill, was a thriving hat factory in Victorian times and Stockport Air Raid Shelters based around the underground tunnels dug during the Second World War to protect local inhabitants during air raids. Staircase House is a Grade II* listed medieval townhouse which is probably the towns oldest secular building housing the Stockport Story Museum.
The Plaza is a Grade II* listed Super Cinema and Variety Theatre built in 1932. It is the last venue of its kind operating in its original format making it of international significance.
Local writer Simon Stephens play Port is set in and around Stockport. The play has been performed at the National Theatre, London.