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Rochdale
Rochdale Town Hall & 7 Sisters.jpg
Rochdale Town Hall with the College Bank Flats behind
Rochdale shown within Greater Manchester
Population 107,926 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference SD893130
• London 169 mi (272 km) SSE
Metropolitan borough
  • Rochdale
Metropolitan county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ROCHDALE
Postcode district OL11, OL12, OL16,OL15,M24
Dialling code 01706/0161
Police Greater Manchester
Fire Greater Manchester
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament
  • Rochdale
List of places
UK
England
Greater ManchesterCoordinates: 53°36′49″N 2°09′40″W / 53.6136°N 2.1610°W / 53.6136; -2.1610

Rochdale /ˈrɒdl/ is a market town in Greater Manchester, England, positioned at the foothills of the South 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, population 211,699. Rochdale is the largest settlement and administrative centre, with a total population of 107,926.

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".

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. 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 and 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. However, during the 20th century Rochdale's spinning capacity declined towards an eventual halt.

Rochdale is commonly cited as the birthplace of the modern Co-operative Movement, to which more than one billion people worldwide belonged in 2012. The Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society was founded in 1844 by 28 local residents as a response to the high cost and frequent adulteration of basic foodstuffs by shopkeepers at the time. The Pioneers were notable for combining the notion of the patronage dividend alongside investing trading surplus for member benefit, especially in education. The Rochdale Principles, the set of ideals which underpinned the society, are still used, in updated form, by the International Co-operative Alliance to this day. The Rochdale Pioneers shop was the precursor to The Co-operative Group, the largest consumer co-operative in the world.

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.

History

Toponymy

Rochdale seems to be named from its position on the River Roch but is recorded as Recedham in the Domesday Book. The name is derived from Old English reced meaning "hall", and ham, a "homestead". Over time, the name changed to Rachedale and eventually Rochdale. The river's name is a back-formation from the Old English name, its name is /ˈr/, with a long o. Rochdale however, is pronounced /ˈrɒtʃdeɪl/, with a short o.

Early history

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

A Roman road, leading from Mamucium (Manchester) to Eboracum (York), crossed the moors at Blackstone Edge.

During the time of the Danelaw, Rochdale was subjected to incursions by the Danes on the Saxons. The castle that Castleton is named after, and of which no trace remains, was one of twelve Saxon forts possibly destroyed in frequent conflicts that occurred between the Saxons and Danes during the 10th and 11th centuries.

Rochdale appears in the Domesday Book as Recedham. At the time of the Norman Conquest the manor was held by a Saxon thegn, Gamel. Before 1212 Henry II granted the manor to Roger de Lacy whose family retained it as part of the Honour of Clitheroe until it passed to the Dukes of Lancaster by marriage and then by 1399 to the Crown. John Byron bought the manor in 1638 and it was sold by the poet, Lord Byron, in 1823, to the Deardens, who hold the title. Rochdale had no manor house but the "Orchard" built in 1702 and acquired in 1745 by Simon Dearden was the home of the lords of the manor after 1823. It was described as "a red-brick building of no architectural distinction, on the north side of the river opposite the town hall" and sometimes referred to as the Manor House. It was demolished in 1922.

In medieval times, Rochdale was a market town, and weekly markets were held from 1250 when Edmund de Lacy obtained a grant for a market and an annual fair. The market was held outside the parish church where there was an "Orator's Corner".

Industrial Revolution

The manufacture of woollen cloth, particularly baize, kerseys and flannels, was important from the reign of Henry VIII. At this time the industry was rooted in the domestic system but towards the end of the 18th century mills powered by water were built. Water power was replaced by steam power in the 19th century and coal mines, mostly drift mines, were opened where coal from the lower coal measures outcropped around the town. The Deardens who were lords of the manor were among the local coal owners. By the mid-1800s the woollen trade was declining and the cotton trade which took advantage of technological developments in spinning and weaving growing in importance. Rochdale became one of the world's most productive cotton spinning towns when 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. By the end of the 19th century there were woollen mills, silk manufacturers, bleachers and dyers but cotton spinning and weaving were the dominant industries in Rochdale. 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. However, during the 20th century Rochdale's spinning capacity declined towards an eventual halt.

The Rochdale Pioneers opened the first Cooperative shop in Toad Lane in 1844. The reformer and Member of Parliament, John Bright (1811–1889), was born in Rochdale and gained a reputation as a leader of political dissent and supporter of the Anti-Corn Law League.

Post-industrial

The first seven series of the BBC school drama Waterloo Road were set in Rochdale between 2006 and 2012, and filmed on location at the former Hilltop Primary School in Kirkholt, which closed in July 2003. Most of the out-of-school scenes in the series were filmed around Rochdale, and many of the pupils' homes seen on television were council houses in the Kirkholt area which were mostly built in the early postwar years.

It was announced by the BBC and Shed Media that filming on the series in Rochdale was to end in late 2011, with production moving to Scotland from early 2012. The final scenes to be shot at the Hilltop Primary site were filmed in November 2011. In April 2012, filming on the eighth series began on location at the new Waterloo Road set, the former Greenock Academy in Greenock, Scotland.

Geography

Further information: Geography of Greater Manchester
Roch Valley
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.

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 (locally nicknamed 'The Seven Sisters') 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, it forms the fifth largest settlement of the Greater Manchester Urban Area, 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

Demography

Further information: Demography of Greater Manchester

At 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. Of those over 16 years old, 28.2% were single (never married), 44.0% married, and 8.8% divorced. 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. 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. Rochdale has the highest number of Jobseeker's Allowance claimants in Greater Manchester, with 6.1 per cent of its adult population claiming the benefit in early 2010.

Rochdale compared
2001 UK census Rochdale Rochdale MB 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%

In 2011, Rochdale had a population of 107,926 which makes it about the same size as Salford and Stockport. The population increased from 95,796 in 2001. Rochdale is one of four townships in the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale along with Middleton, Heywood and Pennine (a township which includes Littleborough and Wardle). Rochdale is considered a Urban Subdivision by the local borough council.

Rochdale compared 2011 Rochdale Rochdale (Borough)
White British 65.2% 78.6%
Asian 27.5% 14.9%
Black 1.5% 1.3%

In 2011, 34.8% of Rochdale's population were non white British, compared with 21.4% for the surrounding borough. Rochdale town also has almost double the percentage of Asians compared with the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, which had a population of 211,699 in 2011. This means the town takes up almost 55% of the borough's population.

Landmarks

See also: List of Scheduled Monuments in Greater Manchester, Grade I listed buildings in Greater Manchester, Grade II* listed buildings in Greater Manchester, and List of public art in Greater Manchester
Town Hall and Cenotaph, Rochdale
Rochdale Cenotaph stands before Rochdale Town Hall

Rochdale Town Hall is a Victorian era town hall "widely recognised as being one of the finest municipal buildings in the country". The Grade I listed building is 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 it was inaugurated on 27 September 1871. The architect, William Henry Crossland, won a competition held in 1864. 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 which were destroyed by fire on 10 April 1883. 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. Art critic Nikolaus Pevsner described the building as possessing a "rare picturesque beauty". Its stained glass windows, some designed by William Morris, are credited as "the finest modern examples of their kind". 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 the Second World War.

Rochdale Cenotaph, a war memorial bearing four sculpted and painted flags, is opposite the town hall. 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.

In Rochdale, is St John the Baptist Catholic Church. It was built in 1927 in Byzantine Revival style and is a Grade II listed building.

Transport

Public transport in Rochdale is co-ordinated by the Transport for Greater Manchester who own the bus station and coordinate transport services in the area.

Road

The earliest routes around Rochdale were tracks and packhorse routes and a paved track over Blackstone Edge into Yorkshire that had Roman origins. As trade increased the Blacksone Edge turnpike road was built in 1735.

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

Rochdale Canal

The idea for the Rochdale Canal emerged in 1776, when James Brindley was commissioned to survey possible routes between Sowerby Bridge and Manchester. However it was not until 4 April 1794 that an Act of Parliament was obtained. The broad canal which linked the Bridgewater Canal in Manchester with the Aire and Calder Navigation at Sowerby Bridge became a major artery of commerce between Lancashire and Yorkshire for cotton, wool, coal, limestone, timber, and salt. The canal is fed from Hollingworth Lake. The canal fell into disuse and re-opened in 2003 after years of neglect, including its division by a motorway.

Rail and Metrolink

Rochdale Railway Station Metrolink stop
The Metrolink stop at Rochdale railway station

Demand from the cross-Pennine trade to support local cotton, wool and silk industries led to the building of the Manchester and Leeds Railway which opened in 1839 from Manchester to Littleborough, and from Normanton to Hebden Bridge in 1840. The linking section opened on completion of the Summit Tunnel in 1841. Rochdale railway station is about a mile south of the town centre. Trains run to Manchester Victoria, Halifax, Dewsbury, Bradford and Leeds. A new service to Burnley and Accrington commenced in 2015.

The service to Manchester Victoria on the Oldham Loop line ended in October 2009, in preparation for conversion of the line to an extension of the Metrolink light rail system, renamed as the Oldham and Rochdale Line. It was deferred in 2004 on grounds of cost but in July 2006 plans were approved for the extension from Manchester Victoria as far as Rochdale railway station, and opened on 28 February 2013. The extension to Rochdale town centre, via Drake Street and terminating opposite Rochdale Interchange opened on 31 March 2014.

Bus

Until 1969, the borough's bus service was provided by the municipal operator Rochdale Corporation Transport which was merged into the SELNEC Passenger Transport Executive. Rochdale's old bus station closed in November 2013 and was demolished in April 2014 along with the multi-storey car park and municipal offices (known locally as 'The Black Box'), to make way for the new Town Centre East retail and leisure development. The replacement Rochdale Interchange is located next to the council office building Number One Riverside and is linked with Rochdale Town Centre tram stop.

There are frequent bus services from Rochdale, operated by First Greater Manchester, to Middleton, Royton, Chadderton, Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyne, Bury and Bolton. Frequent services to Manchester city centre are provided by First Greater Manchester's 17 overground service. There are cross-county services into Lancashire and West Yorkshire, provided by Rosso, who operates to Rawtenstall and Accrington, First West Yorkshire, which operates to Burnley and Halifax, both via Todmorden, while the service to Halifax via Ripponden is operated by Yorkshire Tiger.

Religion

See also: List of churches in Greater Manchester

St Chad's Church was the mother church of the ancient ecclesiastical parish and was founded before 1170, possibly on a Saxon site. Much of the current building is the result of late Victorian restoration. A local legend relates that the site was chosen by spirits and fairies as on several occasions stone for the church building was moved from near the river to the hill on which St. Chad's stands. The church is accessed from the town below by a flight of 124 steps. The town stocks (no longer in use) are in the churchyard.

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