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Coordinates: 53°36′49″N 2°09′40″W / 53.6136°N 2.1610°W / 53.6136; -2.1610

Rochdale Town Hall & 7 Sisters.jpg
Rochdale Town Hall with the "Seven Sisters" towerblocks behind
Rochdale is located in Greater Manchester

 Rochdale shown within Greater Manchester
Population 95,796 (2001 Census)
OS grid reference SD893130
    - London  169 mi (272 km) SSE 
Metropolitan borough Rochdale
Metropolitan county Greater Manchester
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ROCHDALE
Postcode district OL11, OL12, OL16
Dialling code 01706
Police Greater Manchester
Fire Greater Manchester
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Rochdale
List of places: UK • England • Greater Manchester

Rochdale is a large market town in Greater Manchester, England.[1] It lies amongst the foothills of the Pennines on the River Roch, 5.3 miles (8.5 km) north-northwest of Oldham, and 9.8 miles (15.8 km) north-northeast of the city of Manchester. Rochdale is surrounded by several smaller settlements which together form the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, of which Rochdale is the largest settlement and administrative centre. Rochdale has a total population of 95,796 and the wider borough, 206,500.

Historically a part of Lancashire, Rochdale's recorded history begins with an entry in the Domesday Book of 1086 under Recedham Manor. The ancient parish of Rochdale was a division of the hundred of Salford and one of the largest ecclesiastical parishes in England comprising several townships. By 1251, Rochdale had become important enough to have been granted a Royal charter. Subsequently, Rochdale flourished into a centre of northern England's woollen trade, and by the early 18th century was described as being "remarkable for many wealthy merchants".[2]

Rochdale rose to prominence during the 19th century as a major mill town and centre for textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. It was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution, and amongst the first ever industrialised towns.[3] The Rochdale Canal—one of the major navigable broad canals of the United Kingdom—was a highway of commerce during this time used for the haulage of cotton, wool, coal to and from the area. The socioeconomic change brought by the success of Rochdale's textile industry in the 19th century led to its rise to borough status and it remained a dominant settlement in its region.[3] However, during the 20th century Rochdale's spinning capacity declined towards an eventual halt.[3]

Rochdale today is a predominantly residential town. Rochdale Town Hall—a Grade I listed building—dates from 1871 and is one of the United Kingdom's finest examples of Victorian Gothic revival architecture.[4] Rochdale is the birthplace of the Co-operative Movement.[5] The Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society, founded in 1844, was the first modern cooperative; the Rochdale Principles are a set of ideals for cooperatives.




Rochdale seems to be named for its position on the River Roch at the edge of the Pennines. But the Domesday Book records the name as Recedham, formed from Old English reced "hall", and ham "homestead". The name of the river is a back-formation from this Old English name. With time, the town's name changed to Rachedale and eventually Rochdale.[6] The name of the river Roch is pronounced /ˈroʊtʃ/, with a long o. The name of the town, however, is pronounced /ˈrɒtʃdeɪl/, with a short o.

Early history

A Roman road, leading from Mamucium (Manchester) to (Eboracum) York, traversed the outlying moors of Rochdale.[7]

During the Danelaw, Rochdale was frequented by incursions upon the Saxons by the Danes. Initially penetrating the area, the Saxons overthrew the Danes. A castle, from which Castleton has its name, but of which there are no traces, was one of the twelve Saxon forts probably destroyed in the frequent conflicts that occurred between the Saxons and Danes in the 10th and 11th centuries.[7]

Rochdale appears in the Domesday Book under the name of Recedham Manor, and was part of the hundred of Salfordshire. Ownership of the manor belonged to The Crown in 1399, and continued so until it was purchased by John Byron, 1st Baron Byron in 1638. It was eventually sold by the poet Lord Byron in 1823, when it passed to the Dearden family, who still hold the title. In earlier medieval times, Rochdale had been an important market town, with weekly markets held from the 13th century, and an annual fair. The market was held outside the parish church, and had a long-standing "Orator's Corner". The local reformer and Rochdale Member of Parliament, John Bright spoke in the town about Anti-Corn Law reform.

Industrial Revolution and cotton

Arrow Mill is a former cotton mill and Grade II listed building in Castleton.

Rochdale was among the world's most productive cotton spinning towns.[3]


Civic history

The coat of arms of the former Municipal, and later County Borough of Rochdale council, granted 20 February 1857. The arms incorporate references to Rochdale's early industries and lords.[8]

Lying within the historic county boundaries of Lancashire since the early 12th century, Rochdale was recorded in 1066 as held by Gamel, one of the twenty-one thegns of the Hundred of Salfordshire.[9]

The ancient eccelsiastical parish of Rochdale was originally divided in to four townships: Butterworth, Castleton, Hundersfield and Spotland.[9] Hundersfield was later divided into four townships: Blatchinworth, Calderbrook, Wardleworth and Wuerdle and Wardle.[9] Excluding the large chapelry of Saddleworth, which lay entirely in Yorkshire, the parish of Rochdale had an area of 65.4 square miles (169.4 km2).[9]

There is no certain evidence that the town of Rochdale became a borough during the Middle Ages.[1]

In 1825 commissioners for the social and economic improvement of the town of Rochdale were established.[1] The town was made part of a parliamentary borough, in 1832, though it was in 1856 when Rochdale was incorporated as a municipal borough, giving it borough status in the United Kingdom,[1] and in 1858 the borough council obtained the powers of the improvement commissioners.[1] In 1872 the remaining area of Wardleworth township and parts of Castleton, Wuerdle and Wardle, Spotland and Butterworth townships were added to the Borough of Rochdale.[1]

When the administrative county of Lancashire was created by the Local Government Act 1888, Rochdale was elevated to become the County Borough of Rochdale and was effectively a unitary authority area exempt from the administration of Lancashire County Council.[1] In 1900 most of Castleton Urban District was added to the borough; this urban district had included parts of Castleton, Hopwood and Thornham townships. In 1933 parts of Norden Urban District and Birtle with Bamford civil parish were added to the borough.[1] Since 1953 Rochdale has been twinned with Bielefeld in Germany and since 1956 with Tourcoing in France.[10] Under the Local Government Act 1972, the town's autonomous county borough status was abolished. The Municipal Boroughs of Middleton and Heywood, along with the Littleborough, Milnrow and Wardle Urban Districts; are now part of the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, one of the ten metropolitan boroughs belonging to the Metropolitan County of Greater Manchester.[1]

Parliamentary representation

Rochdale was one of the constituencies created by the Reform Act of 1832.

It was held for two decades of the 20th century by Cyril Smith, first of the Liberal Party and then of the Liberal Democrats.

Currently the town is represented in Parliament by Paul Rowen MP, a member of the Liberal Democrats.


Rochdale lies in the wide valley of the River Roch.

At 53°36′50″N 2°9′40″W / 53.61389°N 2.16111°W / 53.61389; -2.16111 (53.6136, -2.161), and 169 miles (272 km) north-northwest of London, Rochdale stands about 150 feet (46 m) above sea level, 9.8 miles (15.8 km) north-northeast of Manchester city centre, in the valley of the River Roch. Blackstone Edge, Saddleworth Moor and the South Pennines are close to the east, whilst on all other sides, Rochdale is bound by smaller towns, including Whitworth, Littleborough, Milnrow, Royton, Heywood and Shaw and Crompton, with little or no green space between them. Rochdale experiences a temperate maritime climate, like much of the British Isles, with relatively cool summers and mild winters. There is regular but generally light precipitation throughout the year.[citation needed]

Rochdale's built environment consists of a mixture of infrastructure, housing types and commercial buildings from a number of periods. Rochdale's housing stock is mixed, but has a significant amount of stone or red-brick terraced houses from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Rochdale's Town Hall, seven large tower blocks and a number of former cotton mills mark the town's skyline. The urban structure of Rochdale is regular when compared to most towns in England, its form restricted in places by its hilly upland terrain. Much of Rochdale's built environment is centred around a central business district in the town centre, which is the local centre of commerce.

There is a mixture of high-density urban areas, suburbs, semi-rural and rural locations in Rochdale, but overwhelmingly the land use in the town is urban. For purposes of the Office for National Statistics, forms the fifth largest settlement of the Greater Manchester Urban Area,[11] the United Kingdom's third largest conurbation. The M62 motorway passes to the south and southwest of Rochdale. Two heavy rail lines enter Rochdale from the east, joining at Rochdale railway station before continuing southwards to the city of Manchester.

Divisions and suburbs


Rochdale compared
2001 UK census Rochdale[12] Rochdale MB[13] England
Total population 95,796 205,357 49,138,831
White 78.7% 88.6% 91%
Asian 19.9% 9.8% 4.6%
Black 0.3% 0.3% 2.3%
Christian 62.7% 72.1% 71.7%
Muslim 19.1% 9.4% 3.1%
No religion 10.4% 10.8% 14.6%

As of the 2001 UK census, Rochdale had a population of 95,796. The 2001 population density was 11,186 inhabitants per square mile (4,319 /km2), with a 100 to 94.4 female-to-male ratio.[14] Of those over 16 years old, 28.2% were single (never married), 44.0% married, and 8.8% divorced.[15] Rochdale's 37,730 households included 30.4% one-person, 36.6% married couples living together, 8.4% were co-habiting couples, and 11.1% single parents with their children.[16] Of those aged 16–74, 37.1% had no academic qualifications, similar to the figure for all of Rochdale, but higher than that of 28.9% in all of England.[17][18]


Rochdale Town Hall

Rochdale Town Hall is a Victorian-era municipal building in Rochdale town centre.

Rochdale Town Hall is a Victorian-era municipal building in Rochdale town centre. It is "widely recognised as being one of the finest municipal buildings in the country",[19] and is rated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building. The Town Hall functions as the ceremonial headquarters of Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council and houses local government departments, including the borough's civil registration office.

Built in the Gothic Revival style at a cost of £160,000 (£11 million as of 2010),[20] it was inaugurated for the governance of the Municipal Borough of Rochdale on 27 September 1871. The architect, William Henry Crossland, was the winner of a competition held in 1864. Upon completion, the Town Hall had a 240-foot (73 m) clock tower topped by a wooden spire with a gilded statue of Saint George and the Dragon. The spire and statue were destroyed by fire on 10 April 1883, leaving the building without a spire for four years. A new 191-foot (58 m) stone clock tower and spire in the style of Manchester Town Hall was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, and erected in 1888 as a replacement.

Art critic Nikolaus Pevsner described the building as possessing a "rare picturesque beauty".[21] Its stained glass windows, some of which were designed by William Morris, are credited as "the finest modern examples of their kind".[19] The building came to the attention of Adolf Hitler who was said to have admired it so much that he wished to ship the building, brick-by-brick, to Nazi Germany had the United Kingdom been defeated in World War II.[22][23]

Parish church

St Chads Parish Church.

From a hill, the Parish Church of St Chad directly overlooks the Town Hall. Some parts of the church date from Norman times. The town stocks (no longer in use) are in the churchyard.

War memorial

This monument, bearing four sculpted and painted flags, is opposite the town hall (to the north). It commemorates those who died in conflicts since the First World War (1914–1918). The monument and surrounding gardens were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.[24][25]


Rail and Metrolink

Demand for cross-Pennine trade (e.g. to support the local cotton, wool and silk industries) led to the building of George Stephenson's Summit Railway Tunnel and the Rochdale Canal (from Manchester to Yorkshire - re-opened in 2003 after years of neglect, including its division by a motorway). The Manchester and Leeds Railway opened a station, but the line passed about a mile south of the town centre. The station remains open, but much reduced from its heyday. Trains run south (to Manchester Victoria), east (to Halifax, Bradford and Leeds) and to Manchester Victoria via the Manchester to Rochdale via Oldham Line, (also known as the Oldham Loop). Rochdale is to be served by an extension of the Manchester Metrolink tram system, which would see the Oldham Loop converted from heavy rail to light rail. This extension was deferred in 2004 on grounds of cost. In July 2006, however, ministers approved plans for extension from Manchester Victoria as far as the planned Rochdale Rail Station stop just outside the station. The Oldham Loop line closed in October 2009 for work to start on this extension, which is expected to be complete in 2012. Approval for extension into Rochdale town centre, extended down Drake Street and terminating opposite Rochdale bus station, as well as into Oldham town centre was dependent on the rejected Transport Innovation Fund.


Rochdale Bus Station is located next to the Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre under a multi-storey car park. There are plans to demolish the bus station and move it across the road, where it would eventually link up with the Metrolink to provide a transport interchange.

There are frequent journeys running from Rochdale to Manchester on First Manchester's 17 service, via Middleton, or on the 24, via Royton and Chadderton, to Oldham and Ashton-under-Lyne on the 409, and to Bury and Bolton on the 471. There are also cross-county services into Lancashire and West Yorkshire. Rossendale Transport's 464 service runs buses to Rawtenstall and Accrington. First Calderdale & Huddersfield run three services from Rochdale. The 528 runs to Halifax via Ripponden, the 589 runs to Burnley via Todmorden and the 590 runs to Halifax via Todmorden.

Until 1969 the borough's bus service was provided by the municipal operator "Rochdale Corporation Transport". This was merged into the SELNEC Passenger Transport Executive undertaking.


The M62 motorway passes to the south of the town. The motorway is accessed via the A627(M), which starts at Sandbrook Park in Rochdale and runs to Elk Mill in Royton, Oldham. The A627(M) provides drivers a quick access to the M62 and to Oldham.


Rochdale has two professional sports teams, Rochdale AFC and Rochdale Hornets. Rochdale's professional football team Rochdale A.F.C. play home games at Spotland Stadium, which they share with Rochdale Hornets Rugby League team.

Rochdale AFC were founded in 1907 and joined the Football League in 1921 when the new Football League Third Division (north) was created. They have never played above the third tier of the English league divisional structure, and since 1974 have continuously played in the Football League's lowest division. However, they did reach the Football League Cup final in 1962, which they lost to Norwich City. In 2008 they reached Wembley Stadium for the first time, where they lost 3-2 to Stockport County (another side from the Great Manchester area) in the League Two playoff final.

Rochdale Hornets is one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895, making them one of the world's first rugby league teams.

The town is also home to non-league side football Rochdale Town. The town's main rugby union team is Rochdale R.U.F.C., who play in Bamford. There are two adult amateur football leagues: the Rochdale Online Alliance League and the Rochdale and District Sunday Football League.

There are a number of golf courses in the town, including Rochdale Golf Club, Marland Golf Club and Springfield Park Golf Club.[26] The town also has a substantial number of cricket clubs, most of which play in the Central Lancashire League.

Speedway racing was staged at the Athletic Grounds in the pioneer days of 1928 - 1930 and returned for a short spell at the start of the 1970s. The 1970s venture provided a home for the British League Division Two Belle Vue Aces juniors and the team was known as Rochdale Hornets. Peter Collins, who went on to win the 1976 World Championship and other honours, was the most famous Hornets rider.

Public services

Scout Moor Wind Farm, overlooking Rochdale below.

Home Office policing in Rochdale is provided by the Greater Manchester Police. The force's "(P) Division" have their headquarters for policing the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale at central Rochdale. Public transport is co-ordinated by the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive. Statutory emergency fire and rescue service is provided by the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, which has one station in Rochdale on Maclure Road.[27]

The Rochdale Infirmary in north-central Rochdale and Birch Hill Hospital at the far northeast of Rochdale near the villages of Wardle and Littleborough, are NHS hospitals administrated by Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. Birch Hill occupies the former Rochdale Union Workhouse at Dearnley.[28] The North West Ambulance Service provides emergency patient transport. Other forms of health care are provided for locally by several small clinics and surgeries.

Waste management is co-ordinated by the local authority via the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority.[29] Rochdale's Distribution Network Operator for electricity is United Utilities;[30] there are no power stations in the town, but a Wind farm exists on Scout Moor which consists of 26 turbines on the high moors between Rawtenstall and Rochdale. The wind farm generates 65MW of electricity.[31] United Utilities also manages Rochdale's drinking and waste water;[30] water supplies are sourced from several local reservoirs, including Watergrove, Blackstone Edge and Piethorne in Rochdale's outlying moorland.[30]

Notable people

The 19th-century Lancashire dialect poet Edwin Waugh (1817–1890) was born and raised in the town. Amongst Rochdale's most notable historical residents are a number of musicians, including female singers Gracie Fields, Lisa Stansfield (born in Heywood) and Barb Jungr, and bands Autechre, Tractor, The Chameleons and The Mock Turtles. Good Charlotte drummer Dean Butterworth also hails from Rochdale. Broadcasters John Peel, Mark Chapman, Liz and Andy Kershaw also have links with the town, Peel having lived there for a period of time and the latter three having been born there. John Peel now has a blue plaque in Heywood for a studio he built there in conjunction with Chris Hewitt in the 1970s (unveiled September 2009). Rochdale can also boast a number of actors and actresses; Colin Baker, Anna Friel, Bill Oddie and the aforementioned Gracie Fields all were either born or bred in Rochdale. Don Estelle, who was born and raised in Crumpsall, Manchester, lived for much of his life in Rochdale and was buried there in August 2003.[32] The bestselling poet John Siddique was brought up in Rochdale and has referred to the town in several poems.

Rochdale also has a proud liberal political heritage, as shown by such people as John Bright, Samuel Bamford, Rev. Joseph Cooke and perhaps the town's most colourful export Cyril Smith.

Other notable residents of Rochdale include businessman and philanthropist Sir Peter Ogden, Nicholas Blincoe, a novelist, George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron of Rochdale, Joseph Smith, "the best steeplejack in the world", Monica Coghlan, a prostitute caught up in the Lord Archer scandal, Stefan Kiszko, a local man infamously convicted wrongly of sexual assault.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "A select gazetteer of local government areas, Greater Manchester County". Greater Manchester County Record Office. 2003-07-31. Retrieved 2007-07-09. 
  2. ^ Godman, Pam (1996). Images of England: Rochdale. ISBN 1-84588-173-7. 
  3. ^ a b c d McNeil, R. & Nevell, M (2000). A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Greater Manchester. Association for Industrial Archaeology. ISBN 0-9528930-3-7. 
  4. ^ Cunningham, C (1981). Victorian & Edwardian Town Halls. London: Routeledge. 
  5. ^ Rochdale - The Birthplace of Co-operation. URL accessed 1 January 2006.
  6. ^ Mills, A.D.: A Dictionary of English Place Names, 2nd Edition, page 289, s.n. Rochdale. Oxford University Press, 1998
  7. ^ a b Lewis, Samuel (1848). A Topographical Dictionary of England; 'Rixton - Rochford'. Institute of Historical Research. pp. 679–686. ISBN 978-0-8063-1508-9. 
  8. ^ R.D.W. Young (1998-2007). "Civic Heraldry of England and Wales - Greater Manchester". Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  9. ^ a b c d Brownbill, J; William Farrer (1911). A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5. Victoria County History. pp. 187–201. ISBN 978-0-7129-1055-2. 
  10. ^ "Town twinning". Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  11. ^ Office for National Statistics (2001). "Census 2001:Key Statistics for urban areas in the North; Map 3" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  12. ^ "KS06 Ethnic group: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas". 25 January 2005. Retrieved 25 April 2009. 
  13. ^ "Rochdale Metropolitan Borough key statistics". Retrieved 25 April 2009. 
    "Rochdale Metropolitan Borough ethnic group data". Retrieved 25 April 2009. 
  14. ^ "KS01 Usual resident population: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas". 7 February 2005. Retrieved 25 April 2009. 
  15. ^ "KS04 Marital status: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas". 2 February 2005. Retrieved 25 April 2009. 
  16. ^ "KS20 Household composition: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas". 2 February 2005. 
  17. ^ "KS13 Qualifications and students: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas". 2 February 2005. Retrieved 25 April 2009. 
  18. ^ "Stockport Metropolitan Borough key statistics".  Retrieved on 17 August 2008.
    "Stockport Metropolitan Borough ethnic group data".  Retrieved on 17 August 2008.
  19. ^ a b Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council N.D., p. 43.
  20. ^ UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Measuring Worth: UK CPI.
  21. ^ Hartwell, Hyde & Pevsner 2004, p. 59.
  22. ^ "Amazing windows always a glass act". Rochdale Observer. 2006-10-07. Retrieved 2007-12-22. 
  23. ^ "Preserving the Rochdale Reichstag". BBC News. 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  24. ^ Rochdale Official Guide (3rd edition); Pyramid Press; London; 1952
  25. ^ Hartwell, C., (2004), Buildings of South Lancashire, p. 595.
  26. ^ Anon. "Rochdale Online Golf Directory". Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  27. ^ Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. "My area: Rochdale". Retrieved 2008-03-07. 
  28. ^ Higginbotham, Peter (2007-05-07). "Rochdale". Retrieved 2008-03-07. 
  29. ^ Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (2008). "Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA)". Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  30. ^ a b c United Utilities (2007-04-06). "Rochdale". Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  31. ^ "Scout Moor Wind Farm". Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  32. ^ Farewell to screen star 'Lofty' Don - News - Rochdale Observer


  • Nicholls, Robert (2004). Curiosities of Greater Manchester. Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-3661-4. 

External links

  • Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council website.
  • Development Arm of Rochdale Development Agency (RDA) Uniting Private & Public Sector to support the Regeneration of Rochdale Borough

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Rochdale is a town in Greater Manchester in the North West of England. It is a Metropolitan Borough and consists of the towns of Rochdale, Middleton and Heywood. The borough has a population of approximately 208,000.

Rochdale is probably best known for being the birthplace of Gracie Fields and Sir Cyril Smith, former Liberal politician.

Get in

The town is easily accessible from all areas of the country. Manchester Airport is a half hour car journey away for those wishing to arrive by plane. The town is also at the heart of the motorway network of the country being situated off the M62, M60 and the M66. If you wish to travel by train Rochdale Train station is a short walk from the town centre and provides easy access to the cities of Manchester and Leeds as well as local access within Greater Manchester to the towns of Bolton, Salford and Wigan. The Manchester based light rapid transit system (Metrolink) will be extended to operate to Manchester Victoria via Oldham from Spring 2012.

Get around

Rochdale is well served by its bus service that connects all areas of the town and other neighbouring towns as well.


Rochdale is home to some spectacular scenery and the ever popular Hollingworth Lake is well worth a visit. Situated in the heart of the Pennines in the east of Rochdale Hollingworth Lake is a bustling country park that offers walkers some truly scenic routes.

Rochdale is the birthplace of the co-operative movement and the nation's very first Co-op still exists on Toad Lane. A visit here whilst in Rochdale is a must.

Notable buildings in Rochdale include the attractive Victorian gothic revival town hall and at the end of a pleasant but moderately steep walk behind the town hall the medieval church of St Chads.


Rochdale is home to Rochdale AFC and Rochdale Hornets. Rochdale AFC is the town's Football League club. It currently plays in League 2 of the Football League structure. It is perhaps most famous for its prolonged stay in the basement division of the Football League. However it did become the first basement club to appear in a major cup final when it reached the League Cup final in 1962. The play at the modern Spotland Stadium which is regarded as one of the best in the lower divisions.

Rochdale Hornets also play at Spotland Stadium and is the town's Rugby League Club. It currently plays its rugby in the National League 1 which is only one division lower than the Super League. Hornets have been relatively successful in recent times reaching the divisional playoffs on several occasions.


Rochdale has a friendly and varied nightlife. There are clubs to go to and traditional town centre pubs so all needs are catered for.

Get out

A picturesque Pennine village called Hebden Bridge is only a short drive from Rochdale and well worth a visit. If you find yourself in Hebden Bridge with time to take in more Pennine delights then the equally picturesque Haworth (home of the Bronte sisters) is not much further. It should be noted that the route from Hebden Bridge to Haworth is over high moorland and can be hazardous in poor winter conditions.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ROCHDALE, a municipal, county and parliamentary borough of Lancashire, England, on the river Roch, roz m. N.N.E. from Manchester and 196 m. N.W. by N. from London, on the Lancashire & Yorkshire railway. Pop. (r 891) 76,161; (Igor) 83,114. By means of the Rochdale canal and connexions it has water communications in every direction. The site rises sharply from the Roch, near its confluence with the Spodden, and from the high-lying public park of Rochdale fine views of the picturesque neighbourhood are obtained. Several interesting old houses remain in the vicinity of the town. The parish church of St Chad is built on the site of a church erected in the 12th century, but itself retains no portion earlier than the Perpendicular period. In the churchyard is buried John Collier (1708-1786), a local author, artist and caricaturist, who was among the first to recognize and utilize in writing the humour of the Lancashire dialect, and attained considerable fame under the pseudonym of Tim Bobbin. The town hall is an extensive and elaborate structure in the Decorated style, with a tower. Of educational charities the principal is the Archbishop Parker free grammar school, founded in 1565. There are also technical and art schools; and a large Roman Catholic orphanage. Among other public institutions are the public library, the infirmary, the literary and scientific society and the art society. Rochdale was the birthplace of the co--operative movement. The Equitable Pioneers Society (1844) numbers over ri,000 members, with a capital of over 350,000. A handsome co-operative store, belonging to the Rochdale Provident Co-operative Society, was opened in 1900. A statue of John Bright (1891) recalls the connexion of the statesman and his family with Rochdale. The staple manufactures are those of woollens and cottons. There are, besides, foundries, iron-works and machine-factories. Coal and stone are obtained extensively in the neighbourhood. Frequent cattle and horse fairs are held. Rochdale was incorporated in 1856, and includes several townships. The corporation consists of a mayor, 10 aldermen and 30 councillors. The county borough was created in 1888. The parliamentary borough, which has returned one member since 1832, falls between the Middleton and Heywood divisions of the county. Area of municipal borough, 6446 acres.

Rochdale (Recedham, Rachedam, Rachedal) takes its name from the river on which it stands. A Roman road passed the site, and a Saxon castle stood in Castleton, one of the component parts of the town. In Edward the Confessor's reign most of the land was held by Gamel the Thane, but after the Conquest the manor probably came into the hands of Roger de Poictou, from whom it passed to the Lacys and like their other lands became merged in the duchy of Lancaster. From 1462 to 1625 the crown seems to have leased it to the Byron family. In 1625 Charles I. conveyed the manor in trust for the earl of Holdernesse, and in 1638 it was sold to Sir John Byron, afterwards Baron Byron of Rochdale, whose descendants held it till 1823 when it was sold to the Deardens. Manor courts are still held periodically. Henry III. in 1240-41 granted by charter to Edmund de Lacy the right to hold a weekly market on Wednesday and an annual fair on the feast of SS Simon and Jude (28th October). Early in George III.'s reign the market day was changed to Monday. Two of the early industries, cutlery and hat-making, date from about the middle of the 16th century. The woollen industry is generally, but erroneously, said to have been introduced by Flemish immigrants in Edward III.'s reign; but, with the cognate trades of dyeing and fulling, its importance only dates from the early part of the 17th century. It was not till 1795 that a cotton mill was built here, and in the latter half of the 18th century the town was famed for its woollen, not its cotton manufactures.

See H. Fishwick, History of the Parish of Rochdale (1889).

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Simple English

Rochdale is a town in the North West of England. It is to the north-east of Manchester. It is part of Greater Manchester. Rochdale was part of Lancashire until the 1970s.

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