Leek is an old Peakland textile town perfectly situated for exploring the surrounding moorland and valleys, as well as a great place for shopping.
The fortunes of the town began in the seventeenth century by Huguenots who developed the fashionable silk industry, although Macclesfield can relate more to the silk trade. Leek continued to grow around textiles during the boom years and has now become a busy market town far less dependent on its traditional industry. Not being an over-commercialised tourist hot-spot, its attractions are straightforward and generally unpretentious; with variety in its streets, its butter market and historical connections to please every visitor.
Buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries dominate the scene, and many from Victorian times were influenced by local architects, Sugdens. There are almshouses dating from the 17th century and later. It is pleasing to see the Butter Cross of 1671 back in its rightful place since being removed to the cemetery in the last century.
The eight pinnacled tower of St Edmund 's church is early 14th century, but Saxon relics from 10th and 11th centuries exist in the churchyard and in the south chapel of the church. Look inside this airy building where two circular rose windows transmit beautiful colours to the eye.
History is preserved at the old corn mill of James Brindley, which includes the life story of that famous canal engineer who lived in Leek.
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