The town is widely famed for
its Thursday market and its charter was granted by
Elizabeth I in 1579. Every week the market
attracts traders and shoppers from a wide area and
their various regional accents bear witness to the
town's extensive territorial appeal as a market
Sandbach is also widely
known as the home of one of the finest Saxon
memorials to Christianity in Britain - The
Ancient Crosses. These attract hundreds of
serious students and tourists each year.
Sandbach is also widely known as the home of one of the finest Saxon memorials to Christianity in Britain - The Ancient Crosses. These attract hundreds of serious students and tourists each year.
The two sandstone obelisks bearing engravings which tell the story of life of Christ and Peada's return to Mercia, were smashed by Puritan iconoclasts in the 17th century.
They were seen as relics of Popery. But, after a county-wide search to collect the widely dispersed fragments, the monument was restored in 1816 under the direction of Dr. George Ormerod, the Cheshire historian.
In the 7th century A.D. Sandbach was an Anglo-Saxon settlement, established on an old Roman road. It was contained in the pagan Kingdom of Mercia which was then more powerful than the other Saxon kingdoms of Northumbria and Wessex.
Legend has it that in about 653 A.D. the pagan
warrior King Penda of Mercia arranged a marriage
between his son Peada and the daughter of Oswy,
the Christian King of Northumbria.
As a condition of the marriage, Penda allowed four Christian priests to accompany Peada on his return to Mercia. The ancient Crosses of Sandbach are believed to commemorate the event and the establishment of a Minster at Sandbach. Above all, they are held to represent the introduction of Christianity to central England.
In the early 19th century, Sandbach was an important coaching halt on the road from London and Birmingham to Liverpool and Manchester. Famous coaches such as ''The Royal Sovereign", "Rocket" and "Nettle" were regular callers at local hostelries which served their needs. Coaching importance faded with the advent of the railway and Sandbach warranted a station on the Manchester-Crewe main line.
Today Sandbach, with its delightful historical attraction, stands pre-eminent on main road and rail routes. It is served by the M6 Motorway and junction 17 is conveniently situated near the town centre. The Manchester-Crewe electrified line and a number of bus services provide further links with the adjoining areas. The Trent and Mersey Canal also passes through the beautiful countryside.
Old structures at the heart of Sandbach include
the Old Hall Hotel built in 1656 and magnificently
timber framed and striking in appearance, the
half-timbered Black Bear of 1634, and other Tudor
dwellings flanking St. Mary's. There is evidence,
too, of early industrial architecture.
The town's Leisure Centre incorporates a large sports hall, swimming pool, squash courts and licensed bar. There are attractive parks and open spaces, cricket, rugby union, tennis and bowling clubs, a golf course and many other sporting and social facilities privately administered.