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Things to do in Sale, Greater Manchester

Awaiting photographs of Sale

The town of Sale is part of the Borough of Trafford in Greater Manchester, five miles south west of Manchester city centre.

In the 4th century it is known that Romans were present as a hoard of Roman coins was found nearby at Ashton-under-Mersey.

First records were of the manor of Sale in the 12th century. Sale Old Hall was built in 1603 for James Massey and was one of the first buildings in the north west to be built of brick. It was demolished in 1920, outlived by its lodge and dovecote which are now part of Sale Golf Club.

At one time Sale was a rural area of cattle farms and agriculture and by the 17th century was well-known for manufacturing saddle girth webbing as a cottage industry.

In 1745 the Crossford Bridge across the River Mersey was destroyed on the orders of the government to impede the progress of the Jacobite rebellion. The Jacobites repaired the bridge as if they were heading for Chester but in fact it was a ruse. The main army marched to Cheadle and Stockport instead.

In 1765 the arrival of the Bridgewater Canal from Runcorn made the area far more accessible and triggered Sale's urbanization. A further extension of the canal allowed growers to deliver their produce right into Manchester.

Sale's development was further enhanced when the railway was built in 1849 and it became a desirable location for middle class Manchester commuters. Fancy houses were built to impress and real estate prices became some of the highest in the area.

As service industries developed and housing expanded, agriculture declined. During World War II Sale had 600 incendiary bombs dropped on it during the Manchester Blitz. The Town Hall was damaged in 1940, five months after opening.

The M60 motorway and the Manchester Metrolink light railway have continued to establish Sale's main purpose as a commuter town with some small businesses.

Present Day Sale

Sale has a population of around 55,000 residents. Situated on the south bank of the River Mersey it has some large detached and semi-detached villas although many larger houses have been converted into flats.

The oldest cottage is Eyebrow Cottage looking somewhat out of place today in Cross Street. It was built as a farmhouse in 1670 and has noteworthy decorative brickwork over the windows.

The Square Shopping Centre is the main area of retail shopping and services. The churches of St Martin and St John the Divine are listed buildings along with Ashton New Hall.

The cenotaph commemorates the hundreds of men from Sale who died in both world wars. It stands outside the town hall near the Waterside Arts Centre.

Physicist James Joule lived in Sale in the 1870s and a bust in his honour is in Worthington Park.

Things to Do Around Sale

Sale Water Park is an artificial lake used for watersports and as a wildlife reserve. It is in a flooded gravel pit which was excavated for material to build the motorway. The lake is popular with anglers and is used for windsurfing, kayaking, water skiing and dinghy sailing.

The Trafford Centre, a huge out-of-town retail park, is just 5 miles away and has many restaurants and entertainment.

Manchester's theatres, museums and architecture are within easy reach.

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