Situated in the ancient Hundred of Hamestan,[4] the Domesday Book records the town as “Maclesfeld” and in 1183 it was referred to as “Makeslesfeld”.[5] The English Place-Name Society gives its name as being derived from the Old English name, Maccel and field meaning `Maccels’ open country’.[6]

Although “Silk Town” seems to be its preferred nickname, the traditional nickname of Macclesfield is “Treacle Town”. This is reference to an historical incident when a horse-drawn wagon overturned and split its load of treacle onto the street, whereby the poor scooped this off the road.