Henbury three miles from Macclesfield is a fascinating village, mentioned in the Domesday Book. The name has varied frequently through the centuries.
Broken Cross, with its assortment of small shops and its clock of considerable age, has been at the centre of the village for over a thousand years. It is thought that at one time there may have been a cross in the village centre, or perhaps its name arose from the nature of the crossroads, which did not form a regular intersection, though now they are joined by a modern roundabout.
The church of St Thomas, built in 1844 as a daughter church of Prestbury, was only licensed for marriages in 1870 when the local squire’s daughter was married. It is beautified by the engraved glass doors in memory of Sir Vincent de Ferranti of Henbury Hall, founder of the electronics firm. The slender broach spire can be seen from quite a distance across the fields. A recent signature in the visitor’s book is that of Sarah, Duchess of York, when she attended a baptism service in 1989. Plaques in the entrance hall show that Henbury has won a number of Best Kept Village awards.
The present Henbury Hall built between 1984-86 on the site of the 18th century hall in the Palladian style, planned by Sir Vincent, but it was not built until after his death. By the gate of the lodge, now a private house, stands a famous tree, believed to be the largest sycamore in Cheshire. The plaque Stone, originally in a rather unpleasant spot known as Sugar Pit Dump, has now been moved nearer to a gate leading to the Hall. Legend has it that the stone used to turn over at midnight! The grey squirrel was successfully introduced to Britain in Henbury Park as a game animal, but little thought seems to have been given to the damage it might cause in years ahead.
The Henbury high School, which is situated at Broken Cross, helps to combine the two villages and maintain the continuity of this pleasant rural area as it moves steadily unto the modern world.
Whirley County Primary School
Cheshire SK10 3JL
Tel. 611399Henbury County High School