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Stretford is contiguous with the suburb of Chorlton-cum-Hardy to the east, and the towns of Urmston to the west, Salford to the north, and Sale to the south. Historically in Lancashire, during much of the 19th century Stretford was an agricultural village, with its own market, known locally as Porkhampton, a reference to the large number of pigs produced for the nearby Manchester market.It was also an extensive market gardening area, producing more than 500 long tons (508 t) of vegetables each week for sale in Manchester by 1845.The gates were designated a Grade II listed structure in 1987. The population in 1891 was 21,751, but by 1901 it had increased by 40% to 30,436 as people were drawn to the town by the promise of work in the new industries at Trafford Park.During the Second World War Trafford Park was largely turned over to the production of matériel, including the Avro Manchester heavy bomber, and the Rolls-Royce Merlin engines used to power both the Spitfire and the Lancaster.The gardens were also chosen as a site for the Royal Jubilee Exhibition of 1887, celebrating Queen Victoria's 50-year reign.

In about 1250, a later Hamon de Mascy gave the Stretford manor to his daughter, Margery.

except for a brief cameo role during the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, when Crossford Bridge was destroyed to prevent a crossing by Bonnie Prince Charlie's army during its abortive advance on London; the bridge was quickly rebuilt.

Until the 1820s one of Stretford's main cottage industries was the hand-weaving of cotton.

In more recent years, Lancashire Cricket Club's Old Trafford ground, next door, has provided a concert venue for bands such as Oasis, Foo Fighters, The Cure, Radiohead, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys and Take That.

Stretford's growth was fuelled by the transport revolutions of the 18th and especially the 19th century: the Bridgewater Canal reached Stretford in 1761, and the railway in 1849.

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