Long before the tourists, walkers and cyclists roamed the streets, Longnor was a thriving market town. Records of the villages history have been lost, but evidence suggests there has been a settlement here since 700AD. Agriculture was the main occupation of the people who lived in Longnor, but Longnor's central location to a number of large cities and towns meant it grew to become a significant market town by the mid 1600's. Holding four annual fairs and two weekly markets, the popularity of Longnor grew rapidly along with its importance.
Other businesses boomed in Longnor, not least pubs and inns, with twelve places to drink and stay at its high point. With the increase in people passing through the village, farms prospered from providing the food for these hungry travellers. Many businesses opened up to cater for the needs of the large amount of people visiting and now living in the area; tailors, a bakery, even the church and methodist chapel had to be expanded to cope with the influx of people.
This trend of popularity and importance continued into the mid 1800's, but Longnor's idillic location was soon to become the undoing of its success. The demise of turnpikes and the new age of the railway destroyed the thriving moorlands village; the location was not economically viable to construct a railway line to due to the high ridge on which the village is located, so rail lines were routed to the east and west of Longnor along less elevated routes and with it, the trades that Longnor's success had been built on.
Pubs and inns began closing as the number of people coming to the village declined. Businesses closed, and to make matters worse, advancements in transport, technology and industry meant young workers were attracted to the bigger towns and cities.
Many of the the buildings are built of local stone mined at Daisy Knoll.
The church of St Bartholomew was rebuilt in the 18th century and stands on foundations at least 800 years old. It has an embattled western tower with pinnacles and contains a Norman font, though on the whole it is a rather grim looking building. Its churchyard contains the grave of a William Billings who following his birth in a cornfield, saw the capture of Gibralter, suffered wounds at the battle of Ramillies and later saw action against the Stuarts in both 1715 and 1745 and finally expired at a grand old age of 112 years.
The village was once part of the Crewe and Harpur estate and one of the 4 pubs in the village still bares that name.
Cheese was once made at Glutton Bridge near the village, and records show it was actually stored close to the site of today's Cheshire Cheese pub as far back as 1464.
Longnor still boasts a number of small businesses; an art gallery, café, fish & chip shop, post office and general store, which makes the village a good centre for exploring the upper reaches of the Manifold and Dove valleys.
Edge Top is the old pack horse route between Flash and Longnor. It has been tarmac covered and provides a nice walk with marvellous views into the valleys below. The village is surrounded by some quite dramatic scenery making the area a magnet for walkers and cyclists.
Longnor is home to the annual 'Longnor Sports' or 'Wakes races. This is a tradition going back to 1904 and always held on the first Thursday after the first Sunday in September. The event attracts hundreds of visitors to Longnor and is held on Waterhouse Farm. It starts around noon with a gymkhana, followed by a series of harness races. This followed by a 'Golden Mile' fun run for all comers, then motorbike races and a final cross country hill race to round off the day.