Marple - Is Agatha Christie's character named after this Cheshire village?
PUBLISHED: 15:04 30 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:59 20 February 2013
It's thought that mystery writer Agatha Christie was inspired by Marple, near Stockport, when she named her female detective PAINTINGS BY GORDON WILKINSON WORDS BY POLLY BERKELEY
The print version of this article appeared in the February 2012 issue of Cheshire Life
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Marple has forever been immortalised in one of the most enduring characters in detective fiction. We are talking here of Jane Marple the colourful heroine of so many of Agatha Christies novels who apparently got her name from the railway station.
Rumours still abound as to why the queen of crime fiction came to be in Marple, although it is thought she may have visited around the time she mysteriously disappeared for a few days when she was at the height of her fame.
Whatever her reason, the writer would still recognise many of the features of the area, from the lovely stone-built houses on the Banks of the River Goyt to its impressive Grade II listed churches.
Marple Bridge is the village conservation area where the handful of shops, pubs and the local post office could very easily be featured in an Agatha Christie murder mystery film.
However there is nothing fictitious about the role the town played in the textile industry, as cotton magnates Samuel Oldknow and William Radcliffe built mills here. The location has historical significance as a bridging point on the route between Stockport and Derbyshire and from the 18th century it became a small but thriving urban centre.
Its mills may eventually have declined but it remained an attractive area to live with its listed buildings including the Church of St Martin, the Norfolk Arms and Marple Bridge, the bridge that crosses the Rover Goyt.
The Church of St Martin is notable as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood of artists were involved in its original construction and its Arts and Crafts features have earned it the reputation as Marples Hidden Gem.
Other parts of the village in a designated conservation area include Brabyns Park, once the grounds of Brabyns Hall which features an original Georgian bridge.
This is a glorious area in striking distance of stunning countryside on the Cheshire/Derbyshire border providing opportunities for local walks, bike rides and other outdoor pursuits but it also combines a town area of busy shops, restaurants and bars, making it a sought after place to both live and work.
Where is Marple? Marple lies on the River Goyt, southeast of Stockport and has two railway stations, Marple and Rose Hill Marple.
Where to park: Chadwick street has 107 places.