Handforth is a village situated between Wilmslow, Heald Green, and Styal in Cheshire, England. According to the 2001 Census data, the Handforth Ward has an area 496 ha, population 8014 (48% male, 97% white, 79% Christian) living in 3692 households.
It is served by 3 Primary Schools, the Wilmslow Grange, Dean Oaks Primary and St Benedict's RC Primary. The nearest High School is in Wilmslow.
The main street is Wilmslow Road. In early 2006, this street, which houses most of Handforth's shops, was restructured. Road-side car parking was increased, and a further pedestrian crossing (traffic lights) was added.
There are currently five pubs: The Waggon and Horses on the edge of Cheadle, The Bulls Head, the Mermaid, The Freemasons and The Railway. A fifth, The Greyhound (formerly a pub/steak-house) closed in the late 1990's. It was demolished and is now a block of flats.
There are three places of worship: Saint Mary's Methodist Church, Saint Benedict's Roman Catholic Church and Saint Chad's Parish Church of England (website: http://www.stchadshandforth.org.uk ).
Meriton Road Park, opened in 1935, is situated to the rear of the Paddock shopping centre in the middle of the village. Despite suffering from a woeful underfunding by the local council it provides the community with a fairly large recreation area which until the mid 1980's was the site for the locally famed Handforth Gala - an event which drew thousands from the surrounding area, mainly to see the Piccadilly 261 roadshow, sign up for the Cheshire Regiment or try to win a goldfish. Friends of Meriton Road Park is a community group formed in 2005 in response to concerns about the deterioration of the amenity. The group has a website - http://www.handforth.net - and works closely with the local community and Council to restore the fortunes of the park. The group is also researching the history of the park and have appealed to present and former residents for photos, cuttings and recollections.
Handforth is affectionately known as "the gateway to Cheshire". This derives from the fact that for those travelling South from Manchester, Handforth is the first settlement in Cheshire they pass through.
Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Bhs are situated off the A34 at Handforth Dean which is a major centre for shopping in the local area. The Tesco store is open 24 hours and the M&S has recently been expanded. In early 2007, Handforth Dean Tesco announced that there was going to be a massive renovation program carried out. The shop now includes a second floor housing a sport and entertainment department, and there is an on-site opticians as well as many more new features.
Handforth railway station has won awards in the past, and is largely maintained by the Friends of Handforth Station group (who launch a website - http://www.handforthstation.org.uk - in spring 2008). The double-track electrified line, opened in 1842, runs from Manchester Piccadilly through to Crewe via Levenshulme, Cheadle Hulme, Stockport and Wilmslow.
Situated in Hall Road, Handforth Hall dates back to 1562 and is a beautiful black and white timber Tudor building. It had fallen into ruin but has now been restored. Originally named Honford Hall after the local feudal family the De Honfords.
The village green was built-over the the early 1970's to create the health centre, library and car-park.
Handforth hasn't produced many famous types, although apparently half of Brit guitar group Doves hail from the village. Daniel Gordon, previously a sports presenter on Sky, now a documentary producer, and world famous Sheffield Wednesday expert/fanatic lived out his early years here and attended Wilmslow County High.
There is a large Manchester overspill council estate in Handforth, Spath Lane, built in the early 1960's to house people from Victorian slums and areas of Hulme in Manchester.