There had been a market on that spot since 1284, and a number of crosses have stood there over the years. A small cross is known to have been erected there in 1723, but that would have replaced an even older cross. That cross was replaced in 1763, probably to enable road widening for the construction of the turnpike road to Mossley and Doctor Lane Head. This, in turn, was replaced in 1798 by the cross in this photo that survives today in Stamford Park!
In 1829 the market was moved to the new Market Place (now the open market) and the old market place just became a busy street. The old cross was eventually moved to its present location when Stamford Park was opened in 1873 in the extensive grounds of Highfield Hall, on the border of Ashton and Stalybridge.
The pillar bears the inscription "Erected by Thomas Walker, Jack Knight, Robert Lees, Constables, 1798"
See Birds Eye View of this location.
"Market Cross" is my contribution to this week's "My World" feature. Please check out the other blogs participating in this week's My World.