Bredbury is a village in Stockport, known locally as “The Bra” or “Bredbra” due to its once flourishing lingerie factory. The village reaches the southern slopes of Werneth Low, a country park that forms part of the Peak District.
Bredbury began life as farmland, which was purchased by Lord Danton in 1014. The several hundred acres of land were briefly mentioned in the Doomsday book, although the only inhabitants were listed as ducks and a sheep. This story has become something of a joke locally, with many pubs and restaurants choosing to celebrate it with pictures and murals.
Bredbury remained a relatively small place until the Industrial Revolution, which was when Stockport’s hatting industry began to boom. Bredbury adopted a sister industry, the lingerie trade, and also began to prosper. However, much of the village remained staunchly religious and those who worked at in the lingerie industry were frowned upon.
The village also boasted a number of other industries such as a colliery and brickworks. The colliery closed in 1926 but the brickworks continued to provide employment, surviving in the village until the 1970s. Bredbury Steelworks also proved to be a major employer, providing work for around 2,000 people and becoming the largest producer of bright steel outside the US.
However, since its industrial days, Bredbury has taken radical steps to clean the village’s damaged air. Thanks to a local government initiative, around 12% of the village’s businesses are now run on green fuel and this figure looks set to increase.
Although it is a relatively small place, Bredbury has a number of attractions. The historic Bredbury Hall is an 18th century barn, now used as a nightclub and restaurant. It hosts an annual Miss Bredbury Hall competition, which is a popular local beauty contest with £10,000 prize money. The infamous Bredbury rocks are also worth a look. The unusual boulder formation is thought to originate from the Iron Age and now forms the centrepiece of the village shopping centre.The National Library for the Blind (NLB) is also based in Bury. A registered charity, The NLB has an extensive collection of Braille books and musical scores, Moon books and giant print books. It provides a free postal library and information service to partially sighted and blind people worldwide.