Knutsford Cheshire Family History Guide

Knutsford is an Ecclesiastical Parish and a market town in the county of Cheshire, created in 1741 from chapelry in Rostherne Ancient Parish.

Other places in the parish include: Knutsford Inferior, Knutsford Nether, Knutsford Superior, Nether Knutsford, Over Knutsford, Ollerton, Toft, Bexton, Cross Town, and Knutsford Over.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1582
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1581

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Independent/Congregational, Presbyterian Unitarian, Primitive Methodist, Protestant Dissenters, and Wesleyan Methodist. 

Adjacent Parishes

  • Over Peover
  • Rostherne
  • Great Budworth
  • Lower Peover
  • Marthall
  • Mobberley

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

KNUTSFORD, a town, two townships, a parish, and a sub-district in Altrincham district, Cheshire. The town stands on high ground, adjacent to the Northwich and Altrincham railway, adjacent also to Tatton Park, amid a charming country, near the river Birken, 14¾ miles SW by S of Manchester; dates from a remote period; is said to have been called Canute's-ford, corruptedly Knutsford, from the passing of King Canute and his army over a neighbouring ford; contains several old quaint houses, of brick and timber; consists chiefly of two main streets, both of them narrow, but with some good houses and shops; is a seat of quarter sessions, and a polling-place; and h-as a head post-office, a railway station, a banking-office, two chief inns, a house of correction, a sessions' house, two churches, four dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a free grammar school, several other public schools, a literary institute and working men's library, a horticultural society, a freemasons' lodge, a workhouse, and charities £170. The house of correction stands on the Toft road; is a very large and well constructed edifice, surrounded by a lofty wall; and has capacity for 308 male and 112 female prisoners. The sessions' house stands in front of the house of correction, and is a handsome stone structure. The parish church, or church of St. John Baptist, stands above King-street; is a neat brick building of 1744; consists of nave and aisles, with embattled tower; and has a fine stained window of 1861, in honour of the then vicar, the Rev. R. Clowes, and a beautiful octagonal font of 1865, in memory of James and Hannah Roscoe. The church of St. Cross stands at Cross-town; is a neat modern brick edifice, with tower and spire; and contains a font formed out of an ancient stone cross, found in the old churchyard. The Independent chapel was built in 1865, in lieu of an old previous one in Swinton-square. The Wesleyan chapel, in Princess-street, was built in 1864-5; and is in the early English style. The grammar school is in King-street, and dates prior to the Reformation. The workhouse stands in Love-lane, serves for Altrincham district, and has accommodation for about 300 inmates. Markets are held on Saturdays; and fairs on Whit-Tuesday, 23 April, 10 July, and 8 Nov. Races take place in July, on a flat course of about a mile; and a grand stand was erected in 1865. There are gas-works at Heath-side, and water-works at Booths-mill. Pop. of the town, in 1851, 3,127; in 1861, 3,575. Houses, 660.

The townships are K.-Inferior and K.-Superior; they jointly include all the town, and extend beyond it; and they are divided by a streamlet, which runs to the Birken. Acres of K.-I., 756. Real property, £8,448. Pop., 3,485. Houses, 633. Acres of K.-S., 942. Real property, £1,669. Pop., 204. Houses, 49. The parish contains also the townships of Ollerton, Toft, and Bexton, and comprises 4,832 acres. Real property, £15,465. Pop., 4,194. Houses, 785. The parish was disjoined from Rostherne in 1741. The manor of Knutsford belonged once to Nigel of Tatton; passed to the Tableys and the Ellesmeres; and belongs now to Lord Egerton of Tatton. The parochial living is a vicarage in the diocese of Chester. Value, £350. Patron, alternately Lord Egerton, Lord De Tabley, R. O. Leycester, Esq., and John P. Legh, Esq. The p. curacies of Crosstown and Toft are separate benefices. The sub-district contains also six townships of Rostherne, and four of Great Budworth. Acres, 22,174. Pop., 7,377. Houses, 1,403.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].


Vision of Britain historical maps


County: Cheshire
Civil Registration District: Altrincham
Probate Court: Pre-1541 - Court of the Bishop of Lichfield (Episcopal Consistory), Post-1540 - Court of the Bishop of Chester (Episcopal Consistory)
Diocese: Pre-1541 - Lichfield and Coventry, Post-1540 - Chester
Rural Deanery: Frodsham
Poor Law Union: Altrincham
Hundred: Bucklow
Province: York