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Things to do in Middleton (Gt Mcr), Greater Manchester

Middleton is more than just another 19th century industrial Lancashire town; it is an ancient place and has much that remains from an illustrious past. Middleton's conservation area is based around St. Leonard's Church, the Old Grammar School and the Old Boar's Head Inn. Some of the houses in this area date back to the times when Middleton was famous for its silk industry. The influence of one of the town's most famous sons, architect Edgar Wood, is still apparent in the form of many of his buildings.

St Leonard's Parish Church dates from 1524, but you can still see the tower and porch from cardinal Langley's church built in 1412. It has one of the three remaining wooden church towers in Britain. An interesting feature is the stained glass window dedicated to the Middleton Archers, who fought at the battle of Flodden Field, which is thought to be the oldest war memorial in existence.

Edgar Wood an architect of international repute, lived and worked almost entirely in his native Middleton. Wood designed almost 100 buildings in the town, among his finest creations are the Methodist Church and Almshouses.

Visitors can also see the legacies of its other famous resident, Cardinal Thomas Langley, Prince Bishop of Durham and Chancellor of England. In 1412 Thomas Langley had the Parish Church of Middleton, his home town, rebuilt and he also endowed a charity school. This was the original foundation of Middleton Grammar School. The school has recently been beautifully restored and is open to the public Tuesday-Saturday 1.30pm. - 4pm.

The town centre includes a spacious indoor shopping centre with a wide range of high street names and smaller, independent retailers as well as an outdoor market.

Middleton Leisure Centre offers facilities for swimming, squash and a sauna suite.

Nearby are Alkrington Woods, a Nature Reserve at Hopwood Clough, a Sculpture Trail and delightful parks.

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