Little is known about Sandbach's early history other than Welsh and Danish incursions were frequent.
When the Domesday survey was done in 1086, Sandbach or Sandbecd, was of sufficient size to have a priest and a church.
The inhabitants were converted to Christianity during the 7th Century by four travelling priests - Cedda, Adda, Betti and Diuma.
In the early 13th Century, during King John's reign, the land around Sandbach was owned by Richard de Sandbach. Richard was the High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1230.
The manor passed through several families including the Leghs and the Radclyffes before finally being purchased by Sir Ranulph Crewe, whose successor is the present Lord of the Manor.
In 1579, Sir John Radclyffe of Ordsall secured the right to hold fairs and markets in Sandbach from Queen Elizabeth I. The market is held every Thursday on the Scotch Common in Sandbach.
The Royal Charter also allowed for a fair to be held on the last weekend in September.
On the 3rd September 1651, during the Civil War, a skirmish occurred on the town's Common whilst the September fair was in full swing. Nearly 1000 Scottish troops were retreating from the Battle of Worcester where they had served under David Leslie. They paused to rest but were set upon by locals and market stallholders, who killed or took the soldiers prisoner. The Common is known locally as the "Scotch Common". The Thursday market is held on the Common but the rest of the week it is a car park.
At the census of 2001 the population was 17,630.
Sandbach is probably best known as the original home of both Foden and ERF lorries - both companies founded by members of the Foden family. However, neither company now exists in Sandbach, having been taken over and production moved elsewhere. The world famous Foden Brass Band, originally created for employees, is still in existence and based in Sandbach under the title Foden Richardson Brass Band. They recently won the United States Open Championship and are the current British Open Champions (2004).