Stockport is a town and principle settlement of the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport in Greater Manchester, England.
The town had a population of 136,182 according to the 2005 Census, with the whole borough having a population of 284,528. It forms the south eastern corner of the Manchester conurbation and was historically part of Cheshire.
The M60 motorway and A6 road cross over at Stockport. Stockport railway station is a mainline station on the Manchester spur of the West Coast Main Line. The River Mersey also begins in Stockport, at the confluence of the Rivers Goyt and Tame
Stockport was originally a Saxon village. Its name may be derived from two Saxon words: STOC - a stockaded place or castle, and PORT - a wood. Literally, a castle in a wood. There is sufficient evidence that a fortified stronghold existed in the vicinity in ancient British times, and that Agricola in AD79 recognised its strategical advantages and fortified Stockport to guard the passage of the Mersey. (Source: Local history page on Stockport Council's web site, March 3 2005)
An alternative theory put forward for the derivation of the town's name is that it is a corruption of Stopford, after a ford across the river at the bottom of what is now the town centre street named Market Street Brow. Pupils at the town's principal private secondary school, Stockport Grammar School (founded 1487) call themselves Stopfordians.
After the Norman Conquest, it became ruled by a hereditary Baron of Stockport.
Stockport has never been a sea or river port. The River Mersey, which starts in Stockport at the confluence of the Rivers Goyt and Tame, is not navigable to anything much above canoe size, and in the centre of Stockport has been culverted and the main shopping street Merseyway built above it. The town was connected to the national canal network by the 5 miles of the Stockport branch of the Ashton Canal opened in 1797 which continued in use until the 1930s. Much of it is now filled in, but there is an active campaign to re-open it.
The 1835 Municipal Corporation Act made Stockport a town divided into seven wards. In 1888, its status was raised to County Borough.
Due to its proximity to Manchester, Stockport rapidly expanded during the Industrial Revolution, helped particularly by the growth of the cotton manufacturing industries. However, economic growth took its toll, and 19th Century philosopher Friedrich Engels wrote in 1844 that Stockport was "renowned as one of the duskiest, smokiest holes in the whole of the industrial area".
In 1967 the Stockport air disaster occurred, when a British Midland Airways Argonaut crashed in the Hopes Carr area of the town, resulting in the deaths of 72 passengers.
In recent years, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council has embarked on an ambitious regeneration scheme, known as Future Stockport. The plan is to bring over 3,000 residents into the centre of the town, and revitalise its' residential property and retail markets, in a similar fashion to the nearby major city of Manchester. Many ex-industrial areas around the town's core will be brought back into productive use as mixed-use residential and commercial developments.
Furthermore, on the 18/10/2006, Manchester Metropolitan Police are investigating a mysterious missing child, a boy identified as 16 year old Jack Fowler, from Romiley, Stockport after he ran away from home during a dispute over Sunday dinner with his mother, has been seen sleeping under the River Mersey bridge near stockport bus station in a green Regetta sleeping bag, the search for Jack is still ongoing