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Heywood, Greater Manchester facts for kids

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Heywood, Greater Manchester.jpg
A view of Heywood, towards St Luke's Church
Heywood is located in Greater Manchester
Area 7 sq mi (18 km2)
Population 28,205 (2011)
• Density 4,029/sq mi (1,556/km2)
OS grid reference SD855104
• London 169 mi (272 km)SSE
Metropolitan borough
  • Rochdale
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HEYWOOD
Postcode district OL10
Dialling code 01706
Police Greater Manchester
Fire Greater Manchester
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament
  • Heywood and Middleton
List of places
Greater Manchester
53°35′24″N 2°13′08″W / 53.590°N 2.219°W / 53.590; -2.219

Heywood is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England. Within the boundaries of the historic county of Lancashire, it had a population of 28,205 at the 2011 Census. The town lies on the south bank of the River Roch, 2.4 miles (3.9 km) east of Bury, 3.7 miles (6.0 km) west-southwest of Rochdale, and 7.4 miles (11.9 km) north of Manchester. Middleton lies to the south, whilst to the north is the Cheesden Valley, open moorland, and the Pennines. Heywood's nickname, Monkey Town, is known to date back to 1857.

The Anglo-Saxons cleared the densely wooded area, dividing it into heys or fenced clearings. In the Middle Ages, Heywood formed a chapelry in the township, centred on Heywood Hall, a manor house owned by a family with the surname Heywood. Farming was the main industry of a sparsely populated rural area. The population supplemented their incomes by hand-loom woollen weaving in the domestic system.

The factory system in the town can be traced to a spinning mill in the late 18th century. Following the introduction of textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, Heywood developed into a mill town and coal mining district. A period of "extraordinary growth of the cotton-trade" in the mid 19th century was so quick and profound that there was "an influx of strangers causing a very dense population". The town became a municipal borough in 1881. Imports of foreign cotton goods in the mid-20th century precipitated the decline of Heywood's textile and mining industries, resulting in a more diverse industrial base. The town was well respected for the quality of its cotton goods. The Queen mother once visited Heywood in the very early 1900s to admire the cotton in its factories. Cotton from Heywood cotton mills was used to create the dress that she wore for her 50th birthday celebration speech.

Heywood is close to junction 19 of the M62 motorway, which provides transport links for the large distribution parks in the south of the town. The 1860s-built 188-foot (57 m) tall Parish Church of St Luke the Evangelist dominates the town centre and skyline. Heywood was the birthplace of Peter Heywood, the magistrate who aided the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, whose family seat was Heywood Hall. Heywood has a station on the East Lancashire Railway, a heritage railway and tourist attraction.


Evidence attests that human activity in the area extends back to the Mesolithic period; flints have been found in Heywood, in the Cheesden Valley and Knowl Moor areas. In the 12th century, Heywood was recorded as a hamlet in the township of Heap.

A family surnamed Heywood can be traced back to the 11th century, and in 1286, Adam de Bury granted the land of Heywood to Peter of Heywood. Heywood Hall, the administrative centre of the manor and the seat of the Heywood family, was built in the 13th century. A member of the family and a resident of Heywood Hall was Peter Heywood, the magistrate who, with a party of men, arrested Guy Fawkes during the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Another member of the family, also called Peter Heywood, was aboard the HMS Bounty when its crew mutinied in 1789.

The "Mop Shop" - - 744285
The mill known locally as The Mop Shop. Industrial textile manufacturing was introduced to Heywood in the late 18th century and by 1833, the town had 27 cotton mills

During the Middle Ages the area was thinly populated and consisted of several hamlets. Apart from the Heywoods of Heywood Hall, the sparse population of Heywood comprised a small community of farmers, most of whom were involved with pasture but supplemented their incomes by weaving woollens and fustians in the domestic system. During the Early Modern period, the weavers of Heywood had been using spinning wheels in makeshift weavers' cottages, but as the demand for cotton goods increased and the technology of cotton-spinning machinery improved during the early 18th century, the need for larger structures to house bigger and more efficient equipment became apparent. Industrial textile manufacture was introduced in the town in the late 18th century and the first spinning mill – Makin Mill – was built at Wrigley Brook (later known as Queens Park Road). By 1780 there remained less than 100 hand-loom fustian weavers out of a population of 2,000 and industrialist Sir Robert Peel (father of Prime Minister Robert Peel) converted Makin Mill for cotton production. This initiated a process of urbanisation and socioeconomic transformation in the area and the population moved away from farming, adopting employment in the factory system. The cotton trade in Heywood grew, and by 1833 there were 27 cotton mills.

What was described as a period of "extraordinary growth of the cotton-trade" in the mid-19th century, led to "an influx of strangers causing a very dense population". Urbanisation caused by the expansion of factories and housing meant that in 1885, Rochdale-born poet Edwin Waugh, was able to describe Heywood as "almost entirely the creation of the cotton industry".

In 1905 Plum Tickle Mill began operation as the largest mule-spinning mill in the world under one roof, however, Plum Mill and its sister-mill, Unity Mill, were idled in the 1960s under the government reorganisation of the cotton industry. The last large weaving mill in the town was J. Smith, Hargreaves & Company, towel manufacturers. However this mill was also idled in the 1980s and operations were transferred to W.T. Taylor & Company in Horwich.

Mutual Mill - No. 3 mill
Following the Industrial Revolution, Heywood became a mill town, its landscape dominated by large brick-built cotton mills. This one is part of the Grade II listed Mutual Mills complex.

Most of the cotton mills have now been demolished, mainly to make way for housing. One of the last mills remaining, though not in production since 1986, has recently been offered for redevelopment as flats. The "Mutual Mills", a complex of four, are Grade II listed buildings.

The town also has a history of coal mining. Coal pits were opened in Hooley Clough in the early 19th century by the Lord of the Manor of Rochdale. During the 19th century a colliery at Captain Fold was run by the Heywood Coal Company. Two people were killed at Captain Fold Colliery between 1844 and 1848. When the mine flooded in 1852 two more people were killed and the colliery closed soon after. Mining continued in the town with drift mining in Bamford until 1950.

In 1881, the newly created Municipal Borough of Heywood included 67 cotton mills and weaving sheds, 67 machine works and other workshops, 75 cotton waste and other warehouses and 5,877 dwelling houses. It had 22 churches and chapels and 24 Sunday and day schools. The population was estimated at 25,000.

The town was originally served by railway, with Heywood railway station to the south of the town. There were services to Bury Knowsley Street railway station and Rochdale, but this line was closed in the 1970s. However, the line has recently been re-opened to Bury, as an extension to the East Lancashire Railway preservation project.

The town had its own canal, the Heywood Branch Canal which is now infilled and largely gone.

There is a local legend that men from Heywood used to have tails and that public houses had holes in their benches for tails to fit through. The legend led to the town developing the nickname of "Monkey Town". A more prosaic explanation is that in the 19th Century, the town was based around Heap Bridge, now barely a suburb of the town, when, in the accent (of the locals) and Irish "Navvies" working on the railway, the town was 'Ape bridge.

In the 20th century, the town's cotton mills went into steep decline, only Glossop in Derbyshire went into sharper recession; in contrast, the spinning capacity of nearby Rochdale shrank more slowly than any other mill town apart from Wigan.

Church Heywood centre 30 0ctober 2005 - - 170600
St Luke's Church is noted in the area for its beautiful proportions and ornate carvings.

The southern wing of St Luke's Church, well known throughout the area for its beautiful proportions and ornate carvings, is suggested to have been one of Hitler's high-priority items for acquisition had he won the war.

In 2007 plans were announced to shake off an area's 'mill town' image and rejuvenate the town over a 10–15-year period to appeal to a younger generation. The plan involves creating new retail, business and community spaces, demolishing 300 flats and houses and replacing them with 1,000 new homes.

Heywood Golf Club (now defunct) was founded in 1905. The club disappeared at the time of WW2.


River Roch, near Hooley Bridge - - 1840453
The River Roch rises on Chelburn Moor, south of Todmorden, and flows to the north of Heywood before joining the River Irwell at Radcliffe.

Located 169 miles (272 km) north-northwest of central London, Heywood lies south of the Pennines, on the south bank of the River Roch. The larger towns of Bury, Middleton and Rochdale lie to the west, south and northeast respectively. For purposes of the Office for National Statistics, Heywood forms part of the Greater Manchester Urban Area, with Manchester city centre itself 7.4 miles (11.9 km) south of Heywood.

At the north of Heywood, the River Roch meanders westerly into Bury, and then onwards to Radcliffe where it unites its waters with the River Irwell. The general slope of the land in Heywood increases in height away from the Roch. From the north bank of the Roch is the Roch Valley and Cheesden Valley. The Cheesden Valley is a wooded river valley of the Cheesden Brook, flanked on all sides by high moorland and small hamlets, like Birtle. The soil is sandy, and the subsoil is clay.

View towards Ashworth Moor - - 1528988
Ashworth Moor lies to the north of Heywood. It forms part of the green belt that surrounds the town.

Heywood's built environment follows a standard urban structure, consisting of residential dwellings centred around Market Street in the town centre, which is the local centre of commerce. There is a mixture of low-density urban areas, suburbs, semi-rural and rural locations in Heywood, but overwhelmingly the land use in the town is residential. Heywood is surrounded on all sides by Green Belt, variously consisting of wooded river valleys and high moorland in the north, and flat farmland in the south.

Suburban localities in Heywood include Broadfield, Captain Fold, Crimble, Darnhill and Hopwood. Hopwood was formerly a township of itself, but was amalgamated into Heywood in the 19th century. Darnhill is the site of a planned overspill council estate, built in the 1950s and 1960s as part of a slum clearance project throughout inner-city Manchester. Heywood's population increased when thousands of people were moved out of Manchester's slums and into what was then the Heywood countryside of Darnhill.


Heywood Compared
2011 UK Census Heywood Rochdale (borough) England
Total population 28,205 211,699 53,012,456
White 95.6% 81.7% 85.4%
Asian 2.0% 14.9% 7.8%
Black 1.0% 1.3% 3.5%

According to the Office for National Statistics, at the time of the United Kingdom Census 2001, Heywood had a population of 28,024. The 2001 population density was 11,338 per mi² (4,378 per km²), with a 100 to 94.3 female-to-male ratio. Of those over 16 years old, 30.3% were single (never married) and 39.7% married. Heywood's 11,724 households included 31.2% one-person, 34.6% married couples living together, 10.5% were co-habiting couples, and 12.6% single parents with their children. Of those aged 16–74, 38.3% had no academic qualifications.

At the 2001 UK census, 80.6% of Heywood's residents reported themselves as being Christian, 1.1% Muslim, 0.1% Hindu, 0.1% Buddhist and 0.1% Jewish. The census recorded 9.9% as having no religion, 0.1% had an alternative religion and 8.0% did not state their religion.

Heywood's population remained constant for most of the 20th century, but increased from 24,090 in 1960 to 30,443 in 1970, following the opening of the Darnhill overspill council estate, which transferred thousands of people from inner-city Manchester, to Heywood. The first families to move to Heywood from Manchester as part of the slum clearances came in 1963.

Population change in Heywood since 1891
Year 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1939 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001
Population 23,185 25,458 26,697 26,693 25,968 25,063 25,201 24,090 30,443 29,686 29,286 28,024

Urban Sanitary District 1891 Municipal Borough 1901–1971 Urban Subdivision 1981–2001


St Lukes, Heywood
The parish church of St Luke the Evangelist, which originated as a chantry chapel for the Heywood family

Historically, Heywood's only landmark was Heywood Hall, the town's former manor house which was inhabited by the Heywood family. On Heywood in 1881, Edwin Waugh said:

It looks like a great funeral on its way from Bury to Rochdale, consisting of little more than a mile of brick-built cottages and shops. The very dwelling houses look as though they worked in factories

—Edwin Waugh, Lancashire Sketches, 1881

The parish church of St Luke the Evangelist is Heywood's major landmark – the focal point of the town centre. A place of worship at the site of St Luke's is known to have existed prior to 1611. The church started life as a chantry chapel for the Heywood family. The Old Heywood Chapel was demolished in 1859 to make way for the present church, built to the designs of Joseph Clarke. The foundation stone was laid on 31 May 1860, and the building was completed in 1862 using stone from Yorkshire and ashlar from Staffordshire and Bath. St Luke's was consecrated on 8 October 1862 following a public subscription appeal, and dedicated to Luke the Evangelist. The tower and spire is detached from the main church building and stands 188 feet (57 m) high, dominating Heywood's centre and townscape.

Heywood War Memorial & Memorial Garden - - 1976889
At the time Heywood War Memorial was unveiled in 1925, it did not include a roll of honour as there were insufficient funds for the work. The names were finally engraved in 1986, after a campaign organised by the Royal British Legion secured a grant from Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council.

Heywood War Memorial lies in Memorial Gardens opposite the Parish Church of St Luke the Evangelist, and was originally erected "to the men of Heywood who gave their lives" during the First World War, but later, the Second World War. The roll of honour was not engraved on the memorial at the time of its unveiling owing to a lack of funds. Lobbying by the Heywood branch of the Royal British Legion secured a grant from Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council to cover the £5,000 required; names from both world wars were engraved in 1986.

Ashworth Valley is a renowned local beauty spot.


Bus in Heywood
A First Greater Manchester bus in central Heywood. Public transport in Heywood is co-ordinated by Transport for Greater Manchester.

Public transport in Heywood is co-ordinated by Transport for Greater Manchester. Bus services include the 471 to Bolton, Bury, and Rochdale and the 163 to Bury, Darn Hill, Middleton and Manchester, as well as other local services, mainly operated by First Greater Manchester and Rosso. Major A roads link Heywood with other settlements. The M62 motorway passes to the south and can be accessed at Junction 19.

Heywood railway station is on the East Lancashire Railway, a heritage railway which connects Heywood with Rawtenstall railway station via Ramsbottom railway station. The original station opened on the national rail network in 1841 and closed in 1970. It re-opened in 2003 as an extension of the East Lancashire Railway from Bury Bolton Street railway station.

Birtle View

Birtle View was a school for children with special needs. The school closed recently, the building has now been demolished and replaced by a doctors' surgery.

Twinned City

Heywood is twinned with Peine in Germany


Heywood Compared
2011 UK Census Heywood Rochdale England
Population of working age 20,754 152,742 38,881,374
Full-time employment 39.7% 36.4% 38.6%
Part-time employment 15.1% 13.2% 13.7%
Self employed 6.9% 7.0% 9.8%
Unemployed 6.6% 5.9% 4.4%
Retired 14.1% 13.7% 13.7%

From the 18th century onwards, Heywood's economy was closely tied with that of Britain's textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, particularly the cotton spinning sector. Since deindustrialisation in the 20th century, Heywood's economic activity has been focused around Heywood town centre, and the Heywood Distribution Park, one of the UK's largest single-owned industrial parks. Heywood town centre lies at the convergence of Heywood's Market Street and York Street. Heywood Market Hall on York Street, offers a variety of stalls and small retail outlets. Heywood Distribution Park lies in the south of the town, in Pilsworth, and spans over 200 acres (81 ha). It is part of SEGRO, a property investment and development company with real estate investment trust status. Heywood Distribution was sold to SEGRO (then Slough Estates) for £276M, and was one of a number of properties in Greater Manchester that Slough Estates described as "important strategic sites, and provide prime industrial property with high-calibre occupiers as well as development land". It is the largest single-owned distribution park in the region, and has won 16 awards for security. Companies with property in the park include Character Options, Eddie Stobart, Argos, and Shop Direct Group.

The Phoenix Centre - - 1976911
The Phoenix Centre is a health and community services centre opened in 2009 as part of programme to regenerate Heywood.

The whole town is undergoing a major regeneration as part of the government's New Deal for Communities, and New Heart for Heywood are investing around £52 million. The scheme is designed to renew deprived areas. This bid was initially won in 2000 and work to regenerate this town is still ongoing. Some of the planned works for 2006–08 included a new health connections centre, a new family surestart centre, a new primary school (although several are being knocked down as a result) and a multimillion-pound sports and leisure village.

According to the 2001 UK census, the industry of employment of residents aged 16–74 was 24.6% retail and wholesale, 19.2% manufacturing, 10.7% health and social work, 5.5% education, 8.2% transport and communications, 8.1% property and business services, 7.9% construction, 4.2% public administration, 3.8% hotels and restaurants, 3.0% finance, 0.7% energy and water supply, 0.4% agriculture, 0.1 mining and 3.6% other. Compared with national figures, the town had a relatively low percentage working in agriculture. The census recorded the economic activity of residents aged 16–74, 1.9% students were with jobs, 3.3% students without jobs, 5.6% looking after home or family, 8.5% permanently sick or disabled, economically inactive for other reasons. The Heywood Advertiser was founded in the 19th century. The newspaper has a readership of 16,500 and runs its own website.


Heywood Cricket Club plays in the Central Lancashire Cricket League. The club has won the Wood Cup on nine occasions since the cup competition began in 1921.

Heywood, Heywood Central, Heywood St James and Heywood United are all association football clubs that have been based in Heywood. Heywood St James F.C. plays in Division One of the Manchester Football League.

Heywood Hockey Club is a men's field hockey club based in Heywood.

Darnhill and Heywood Amateur Boxing Club is based in Darnhill.

Heywood Sports Culture and Leisure Village is under construction, and was due to open in July 2010.


Heywood Technical School was opened on 1 December 1894, on a site then known as the Market Ground. The building, which had technical school status, also contained an art school. The school was doubled in size eighteen years later and opened as the Heywood Day Secondary School. It was renamed 12 years after that as Heywood Grammar School. In 2010 Heywood Community High School closed despite being found outstanding in many areas by Ofsted and being one of the country's most improved schools.

  • Hopwood County Primary School
  • St. Luke's C.E. Primary School
  • All Souls' Primary School
  • St. Joseph's R.C. Primary School
  • Harwood Park Primary School
  • Heapbridge Primary School
  • Woodland Primary School
  • St. Margaret's Primary School
  • Our Lady and St Paul's R.C. Primary School
  • Newhouse Academy
  • Holy Family RC & CE College (Previously St. Joseph's R.C. High School)

Notable people born in Heywood

Roger Fenton self
Roger Fenton, one of the first war photographers
Debbie Rush
Debbie Rush, who plays Anna Windass in Coronation Street
  • William Brett (1942–2012) The late Lord Brett, former head of the Institution of Professionals, Managers and Specialist, and the ILO, was born in Heywood, the son of Irish immigrants.
  • Roger Fenton a pioneering war photographer, was born at Crimble Hall in Heywood in 1819.
  • Christine Gaskell, 100 m breaststroke gold medallist at the 1974 British Commonwealth Games, was born, brought up and still lives in Heywood. The community swimming baths, Gaskell Pool, are named in her honour.
  • Paul Gerrard, professional goalkeeper, born in Heywood in 1973. He played for Oldham Athletic, Sheffield United and England under-21s.
  • Julie Goodyear, star of ITV's Coronation Street for many years. She played Bet Lynch.
  • Peter Kane, World flyweight boxing champion, 1938–39, was born in Heywood.
  • David Malin The noted astrophotographer grew up in the Ashworth Valley area of Heywood
  • Nico Mirallegro, actor, who plays Finn Nelson in My Mad Fat Diary.
  • Keri-Anne Payne, British olympic swimmer and silver medallist, born in Johannesburg, has lived in Heywood since the age of 13.
  • Debbie Rush, who plays Anna Windass in Coronation Street is also from the town.
  • Ian Simpson, architect, co-founded SimpsonHaugh and Partners in 1987.
  • Lisa Stansfield, R&B and soul singer, was born and brought up in Heywood.
  • Elliott and Luke Tittensor, actors, were born and brought up in Heywood.
  • Ryan Tunnicliffe, footballer.

Images for kids

See also

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