Partington is a town and civil parish within the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford in Greater Manchester, England, situated around 10 miles to the south west of Manchester city centre. Historically part of Cheshire, Partington lies on the southern bank of the Manchester Ship Canal, opposite Cadishead on the northern bank. It has a population of 7,327.
Partington, first recorded in 1260, was in the medieval and post-medieval parish of Bowdon. The name derives from Old English. The first element may be a personal name, such as Pearta or Pærta, or part "land divided up into partitions". This is followed by ‘inga’, meaning "people of" and the suffix ‘tun’, which means "farmstead". The village consisted of dispersed farmsteads, with no nucleated centre. It was surrounded by wetlands on all sides, reducing the amount of land available for agriculture. According to the hearth tax returns of 1664, Partington had a population of 99.
In 1755, a paper mill on the River Mersey was opened in Partington - the first factory to be established in present-day Trafford. Erlam Farmhouse dates from the late 18th century and is a grade II listed building. Also protected as a grade II listed building is the stocks on the village green. Its stone pillars are from the 18th century, although the wooden restraints were replaced in the 20th century.
Spanish company, SAICA™, bought a lease on a disused wharfside site by the Manchester Ship Canal in 2009 to recycle paper into packaging. The plant is the most "advanced, fully integrated facility in the UK". It uses water recycled from the ship canal and its heat and power plant supplies surplus power to the National Grid. The plant cost £300 million and production started in January 2012.
The completion of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894 transformed Partington into a major coal-exporting port and attracted a range of other industries. Until 2007, Shell Chemicals UK™ operated a major petrochemicals manufacturing complex in Carrington, Partington's closest neighbour, to the east. The gas storage facility in the north-eastern corner of the town was once a gasworks and another significant employer.
Shortly after the Second World War, local authorities made an effort to rehouse people away from Victorian slums in inner-city Manchester. An area of Partington extended as an overspill estate and is now one of the most deprived parts of the Greater Manchester conurbation. The Cheshire Lines Committee opened a railway line through the town in 1873, but it closed in 1964.
The civil parish of Partington was created in 1894 under the Local Government Act 1894 and has its own town council. Partington became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford in 1974 upon the borough's creation, but was previously in Bucklow Rural District. The town is part of the Bucklow-St. Martins electoral ward. Partington Parish Council is made up of local residents and ward councillors.
The main shopping area of Partington is on Central Road, in the centre of town. Partington also has a traditional market on Smithy Lane.
Trafford maintains a selective education system assessed by the 11-plus exam. There are three primary schools and one secondary school in Partington. The oldest school still standing in the town was opened in 1958, and used to be called Partington County Primary School. There is one other state primary school at Forest Gate with academy status. There is also a Roman Catholic school – Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School on Lock Lane. Broadoak School is a secondary school with academy status for pupils aged 11 to 16.