How we started – Staircase House

The Trust  originally formed in 1986 to save the unique Fifteenth Century Staircase House from demolition. After many years of hard work by Trust members, Stockport Council  took on the project, resulting in the award-winning museum you can visit today.

Having raised money over the years for Staircase House, we were delighted to provide a handcarved tester bed, now on display.

To complement this, we also funded the establishment of a local group of embroiderers – the ‘Staircase Stitchers’ who created beautiful crewel work bed hangings and other authentic replica items for the House. You can read more about the Stitchers here…

Red and blue pillows in front of the carved oak bed head

Heritage Centre

We have run a Heritage Centre in the historic St. Mary’s Parish Church on the Market Place since 1999. Parts of the church date back to the 14th century and provide a perfect setting for our work. Read more about this here…

Wood panelled doorway with leading into the Centre


Working with the Guinness Partnership we open up the old lock up and gaol on Mealhouse Brow for guided tours and displays. More information on this here…

People entering the doorway of the building on Mealhouse Brow

What else do we do?

We also lead guided walks on request, including around St. Mary’s Parish Church, graveyard, and Market Place. Public tours will be announced in the news section or can be booked by getting in touch with us through our contact form. We provide exhibitions around the town, and have published research projects which are available in the Heritage Centre or through our online bookshop.

Group of people on a tour around St. Mary's graveyard

Working with the council

We have always worked closely with Stockport Council on heritage initiatives:

  • In 2006 they approached us and asked if we could apply for a grant to get 10 new blue plaques put up in Stockport – we did.
  • Two years later they asked us for ideas on how Stockport’s Old Town could be improved and promoted. We produced an eight page report.
  • The Trust was asked to provide one of the judges for the bi-annual Architectural Awards Scheme – this we did on three occasions.
  • The Trust are members of the Conservation and Heritage  Forum and have given a presentation to the group about the Trust and what we can offer.
  • Attended Tourism Partnership meetings for fifteen or more years in an effort to work more cohesively to promote Stockport.
  • We are assisting the Council with the successful Underbanks Heritage Lottery Fund improvement scheme. The Trust helped with the presentation and has plans to promote the history and heritage of the Underbanks area.
George Chapman in 1851

Volunteer with us

You don’t have to be an expert in history or the town to join us – in fact we love to be able to nurture someone’s interest and help them to learn more. All volunteers are encouraged to follow their own particular area of interest and expertise. This results inthe Trust accumulating a wide range of projects and skills, all interpreting an aspect of our local heritage.

For example, different volunteers have produced displays on the Bridgefield dig, water tunnels, Cheshire Regiment, Wartime Home Front and Wedding Dresses. Published research includes books on the Market Place, train crash, Tin Brook,  water tunnels and the infamous John Bradshawe who sentenced Charles I to death.

Many volunteers have written walking trails or various Stockport themed research projects for our very successful range of £2 booklets (see the Bookshop). Of particular interest is the result of an extensive project to catalogue the gravestones in St. Mary’s churchyard. A copy of the complete index is available in the Heritage Centre for reference.

We also have a range of unique merchandise designed by volunteers, and produced to raise funds in our shop.

There are of course all the vital admin jobs that also need doing, along with staffing the Heritage Centre, so you see, there are a wide range of activities that need volunteers to keep going! If you are interested, please get in touch here…

Derek Town Crier, Jill in burgundy Victorian, Coral in black Edwardian and Tony in wiastcoat and bowler hat
Extensive collection of booklets produced by Trust members