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Stockport is a historic and large town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies on elevated ground on the River Mersey at the confluence of the rivers River Goyt and River Tame, Greater Manchester, southeast of the city of Manchester. Stockport is the largest settlement of the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, and has a population of List of English cities by population, the wider borough having 281,000.
Historic counties of England a part of Cheshire, Stockport in the 16th century was a small town entirely on the southbank of the Mersey, and known for the cultivation of hemp and rope manufacture and in the 18th century the town had one of the first mechanised silk factories in the United Kingdom. However, Stockport's predominant industries of the 19th century were the cotton and allied industries. Stockport was also at the centre of the country's hatting industry which by 1884 was exporting more than six million hats a year. In December 1997 the last Stockport hat works closed. The town's hatting heritage is preserved at 'Hat Works – the Museum of Hatting'.
Dominating the western approaches to the town is the Stockport Viaduct. Built in 1840, the viaduct's 27 brick arches over the River Mersey carry the mainline railways from Manchester to Birmingham and London. This structure featured as the background in many paintings by L.S. Lowry. Lowry often visited the Stockport War Memorial Gallery on Greek Street especially during the annual Stockport Art Guild exhibition of paintings and sculpture.