From Cocks Bank to Coxbank

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Canal at Coxbank
Coxbank garden

John Mclaughlin, on 18th July, posed this question: "I'm curious about the history of Coxbank. 

"There's something about the village", he wrote, "which is different to the typical Cheshire village. Did it grow up around a particular cottage industry?

"It's easy to see why Audlem grew, around the crossroads and the canal and later the railway. But what was the reason for Coxbank's existence?"

Local residents, and others, have forwarded views. Most indicate that Coxbank's location on the border of Cheshire and Shropshire — the brook that passes through the settlement is the boundary — helped it become a major cock fighting and cock breeding location.

The county boundary meant two different police forces and activity could easily slip from one county to the other as the need arose.

The plentiful presence of cocks, it is suggested, led originally to the name Cocks Bank. Indeed, so we are reliably informed, an old map displayed in the Combermere Arms in Burleydam, gives this spelling of the name.

We are also told that the alternative, and more ribald, use of the word 'cock' led to more puritanical residents in the Victorian age urging the name be changed to the less suggestive Coxbank. The date of the change is unknown although maps from the 1880s use the current spelling.

That's as much as Audlem Online has been told to date. If you have further information, or can refute what's been published here, we would very much like to hear from you.

 

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