Visit Knutsford and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Knutsford, Cheshire. Knutsford is a pleasant town with an old-world atmosphere and with good hotels and guest-houses from which to explore the countryside or the great Tatton Hall estate to the North Manchester is accessible by road or a quick rail service. Knutsford is essentially residential and has interesting associations and buildings. It makes a special event of May Day celebrations, which are among the oldest in the country and on two occasions have had Royal patronage. A procession precedes the crowning ceremony, with such characters as “Highwayman Higgins” and “Jack-in-the-Green”. Carriages carry the May Queen, with the Lord Chamberlain, judge and courtiers. A sedan chair is carried by chairmen in livery. The queen is crowned on the heath, where there is dancing round the may-pole.
Tradition links Knutsford with King Cnut, or more strictly with Knut, another Dane said to have forded the stream. It has had a charter since 1292 and was once the capital of mid-Cheshire. For the last two centuries it has had associations with many interesting people. Edward Penny, R.A., a founder member of the Royal Academy and its first professor of painting, was born in Silkmill Street in 1714. In about 1760, Thomas Gaskell, maker of the famous long-case clocks, had premises in King Street. Sir Henry Holland (1788—1873), physician to William IV and Queen Victoria and also a writer, was born in the house that is now a stationer's shop, opposite the Royal George Hotel. His sisters, the Misses Mary and Lucy Holland, were the originals of Miss Deborah and Miss Matty Jenkyns, the heroines of Cranford, written by Knutsford's greatest figure, Mrs Gaskell. Sir Henry's son, Henry Thurston, became the 1st Lord Knutsford, and later Secretary of State for the colonies. Frank Boyd Merriman, who became Solicitor-General, was born in Knutsford in 1880 and it was his father who bought from the Hollands Church House, associated with Mrs Gaskell's book, Wives and Daughters. It was while Sir Henry Royce was living in Legh Road in 1904 that he met Charles Stewart Rolls, a meeting which led to the great Rolls-Royce partnership.
Knutsford is very proud of Mrs Gaskell (1810— 65), née Elizabeth Cleghorn Stevenson. Her mother, one of the Hollands, died a few months after Elizabeth was born and the girl lived with an aunt in what is now 17 Gaskell Avenue, Knutsford. In 1832 she married William Gaskell at the parish church, and they lived in Manchester. But the names of Mrs Gaskell and Knutsford became inseparable, and Cranford is considered a portrayal of the town and its personalities. Mrs Gaskell was a close friend of Charlotte Brontë, whose biography she wrote. The Unitarian chapel in Knutsford is where Mrs Gaskell taught in the Sunday School, and she and her husband were buried in the chapelyard. Edward Higgins, the highwayman, lived at 19 Gaskell Avenue; he appears in Mrs Gaskell's Squire's Tale and in Dc Quincey's Reminiscences. In Mrs Gaskell's Wives and Daughters Tatton Hall appears as Cumnor Towers, and in Cranford she mentions the Royal George Hotel. This is the town's chief hotel, an ancient hostelry that was once the White Swan.
Drury Lane, Legh Road and the King's Coffee House were designed by Richard Harding Watt. He was influenced by continental travels and his Ruskin Rooms show Italian influences in the tiled roofs and little tower. The Coffee House is a striking building with a principal tower and a subsidiary tower. Round a pillar are inscribed names and dates of English monarchs. The parish church, 1744, is early Georgian and replaced earlier chapels of ease. Parochial registers go back to 1581. Princess Street runs parallel with the trunk road on the edge of the town, and is interesting architecturally. King Street has a number of timbered buildings of historic interest, some well-preserved, and in parts of this narrow street old porches and steps cover the pavement.
Nearby cities: Manchester
Nearby towns: Altrincham, Holmes Chapel, Northwich, Warrington, Wilmslow
Nearby villages: Alderley Edge, Allostock, Appleton Thorn, Ashley, Baguley, Bowdon, Broadheath, Budworth, Cheadle, Comberbach, Gatley, Great Budworth, Hale, Handforth, Heald Green, Lower Peover, Lymm, Marston, Meadowbank, Mere, Millington, Mobberley, Northenden, Ollerton, Over Peover, Pickmere, Plumley, Ringway, Styal, Swettenham, Tabley, Thelwall, Timperley, Warburton, Wincham, Wythenshawe
Have you decided to visit Knutsford or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Knutsford bed and breakfast (a Knutsford B&B or Knutsford b and b)
- a Knutsford guesthouse
- a Knutsford hotel (or motel)
- a Knutsford self-catering establishment, or
- other Knutsford accommodation