Coordinates: 53°28′58″N 2°09′30″W / 53.4828°N 2.1582°W / 53.4828; -2.1582

Droylsden Town Centre
Droylsden is located in Greater Manchester

 Droylsden shown within Greater Manchester
Population 23,172 (2001 Census)
OS grid reference SJ8998
    - London  161 miles (259 km) SSE 
Metropolitan borough Tameside
Metropolitan county Greater Manchester
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district M43
Dialling code 0161
Police Greater Manchester
Fire Greater Manchester
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Ashton-under-Lyne
List of places: UK • England • Greater Manchester

Droylsden is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, in Greater Manchester, England. It is 4.1 miles (6.6 km) to the east of Manchester city centre, and 2.2 miles (3.5 km) west-southwest of Ashton-under-Lyne, it has a population of 23,172.

Historically a part of Lancashire, Droylsden grew as a mill town around the cotton mills established in the mid-19th century, and the Ashton and Peak Forest canals. Beginning in the early 1930s, Droylsden's population expanded rapidly, as it became a housing overflow area for neighbouring Manchester.

Since 1785, the Fairfield area of Droylsden has been home to the Fairfield Moravian Church, a Moravian community which continues to function in Droylsden today.[1]



The Ashton Canal through Droylsden

Droylsden was settled around 900AD. Before Droylsden became a part of Greater Manchester, it was popularly referred to by Mancunians as "The Silly Country".[2] One suggestion as to the source of that nickname is that once a year, some of the town's folk used to watch an annual carnival by bringing a pig and sitting it on a wall to watch the passing entertainment with them. The Pig on the Wall public house, converted from a farm in 1978, takes its name from that story.

The first machine woven towel in the world – the terry towel – was produced by W.M. Christy and Sons Ltd, of Fairfield Mills, in Droylsden, in 1851. William's son, Henry, had brought back a looped towel from Turkey in the 1840s, which Christy's managed to copy on an adapted loom. Their Royal Turkish towels became famous, with Queen Victoria having a regular order. The mill closed at the end of the 1980s, and in 1997 Tesco opened a supermarket on the site.[3]

Construction of a marina began in March 2007, it is expected to be complete in 2012. The marina will have 92 three and four bedroom houses, and 291 one and two bedroom apartments as well as waterside offices, restaurants, and shops.[4]


A welcome sign at Droyslden's boundary.

Droylsden is located at 53°28′58″N 2°9′30″W / 53.48278°N 2.15833°W / 53.48278; -2.15833 (53.4826, −2.1582), about 4 miles (6 km) to the east of Manchester city centre, close to Ashton-under-Lyne, Clayton, Openshaw and Newton Heath.


In January 2009, the closure of Droylsden School Mathematics and Computing College for Girls and Littlemoss High School for Boys was approved by Tameside Council. This was conditional on the Secretary of State signing an Academy Funding Agreement by 30 April 2009 for the two schools to be replaced by Droylsden Academy. The co-educational Academy, sponsored by Tameside College, opened on 1 September 2009, and is currently based in the existing buildings of the two former schools. A new Academy building for 1200 students aged 11–18 will be constructed on the girls' school site, scheduled for completion in 2011. Fairfield High School for Girls was unaffected by these changes and has been granted Specialist Science College status.

Tameside College also operates a Local Learning Centre for adult learners in Droylsden.


Arms of the former Droylsden Urban District Council

Droylsden was anciently a chapelry in the parish of Manchester, within the historic county boundaries of Lancashire.[5] It became an urban district of the administrative county of Lancashire under the Local Government Act 1894, and was granted its arms on the 16th October 1950.[6] In 1974, as a result of the Local Government Act 1972, Droylsden became a part of the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside within the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester.

Droylsden was once a large township, including Big Droylsden, Little Droylsden, and Clayton. In 1889 Little Droylsden was subsumed into Openshaw, and in 1890 Clayton was ceded from Droylsden's control to become part of Manchester.[3]

From 1918 until 1950, Droylsden was represented by the parliamentary constituency of Mossley. Manchester's expansion to the east and the increase in the electorate, resulted in the seat being divided in the 1950 boundary change. The areas adjacent to Manchester, including Droylsden, formed the new Droylsden constituency, with the remainder forming part of Ashton-under-Lyne. The Droylsden constituency was abolished in 1955, when Droylsden itself became part of the Ashton-under-Lyne constituency.

David Heyes MP has represented the constituency of Ashton-under-Lyne since 2001. He is a member of the Labour Party.


The Droylsden Little Theatre has been running amateur productions since 1931.[7]

Population change

Population growth in Droylsden since 1801
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1939 1951 1961 1971 2001
Population 1,552 2,201 2,855 2,996 4,933 6,280 8,798 8,973 8,679 9,482 11,087 13,259 13,878 13,274 25,279 26,363 25,461 24,167 23,172
Source:A Vision of Britain through Time[8]


Robertson's Jam Factory

During the 1930s, Droylsden's population expanded rapidly, as it became a housing overflow area for Manchester. Today the area is predominately occupied by employed home owners.

Robertson's Jam was a significant employer in the area. The factory was established in 1891, on the banks of the Ashton Canal, on Ashton Hill Lane. At its peak it employed around 1,000 workers; that number was reduced to around 400 before closing during 2008. The factory was demolished during the early part of 2010.


Droylsden is home to Droylsden F.C. who won the Conference North league in 2006–07, gaining promotion to the Conference National for the 2007–08 season, although they were relegated back to Conference North for 2008–09.

Droylsden is one of a number of locations which are promoted as the birthplace of speedway racing in the UK. Britain's first ever Speedway meeting was staged in Droylsden on 25 June 1927, billed as dirt track racing.[citation needed]

Notable people

England's rugby union captain from 1956 to 1958, Eric Evans MBE, was born in Droylsden in 1921.

Harry Pollitt, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain was born in the town.[9]

Other famous people who grew up in the town include pop stars Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits, 10cc's Eric Stewart, Howard Donald of Take That, The Monkees' Davy Jones, cult author Jeff Noon, actress Stephanie Bishop who starred in the Ken Loach movie Looking for Eric, professional boxer Prince Arron, singer & actor Damian (musician) and Manchester United Forward Daniel Welbeck.


  1. ^ "Moravian Atlas UK Congregation Locations 2003". Moravian Church in the British Province. http://www.moravian.org.uk/pages/locations_UK.html. Retrieved 2007-05-16. 
  2. ^ "Memories of the Hollinwood Branch Canal (2)". Hollinwood Canal Society. http://www.hollinwoodcanal.co.uk/memories2.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-16. 
  3. ^ a b "Facts about Droylsden". Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council. http://www.tameside.gov.uk/eandp/new/droyls2.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-17. 
  4. ^ David Thame (22 November 2007). "Ashton's mall on the up". Manchester Evening News. http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1025306_100m_marina_transformation.  Retrieved on 4 September 2008.
  5. ^ "Droylsden". GENUKI. http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/LAN/Droylesden/. Retrieved 2007-06-17. 
  6. ^ "Civic Heraldry of England & Wales". http://www.civicheraldry.co.uk/lancs_ob.html. Retrieved 2007-05-20. 
  7. ^ "Droylesden Little Theatre", Droylsden Little Theatre list of productions, http://www.droylsdenlittletheatre.co.uk/Past-Productions.php, retrieved 25 July 2011 
  8. ^ Nevell (1993), p. 12.
  9. ^ "A Tribute to Harry Pollitt, 1890–1960". Tameside.gov.uk. 12 September 2007. http://www.tameside.gov.uk/blueplaque/harrypollitt.  Retrieved on 5 October 2008.
  • Nevell, Mike (1993). Tameside 1700–1930. Tameside Metropolitan Borough and University of Manchester Archaeological Unit. ISBN 1-871324-08-4. 

Twin Town

External links

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