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Rochdale Parish Church
Rochdale Parish Church
  About your Area
Neighbouring towns, villages and places.
Rochdale East:
Shaw and Crompton

At 53°36'50?N, 2°9'40?W (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.

Rochdale lies in the valley of the River Roch.
Rochdale lies in the valley of the River Roch.

[edit] Divisions and suburbs

Divisions and suburbs of Rochdale include Ashworth, Balderstone, Bamford, Belfield, Birch, Buckley, Buersil, Caldershaw, Castleton, Cronkeyshaw, Cutgate, Deeplish, Falinge, Fieldhouse, Firgrove, Foxholes, Halfacre, Hamer, Healey, Hurstead, Kingsway, Kirkholt, Lowerfold, Lowerplace, Marland, Meanwood, Newbold, Nook Farm, Norden, Oakenrod, Oulder Hill, Passmonds, Prickshaw, Queensway, Rooley Moor, Shawclough, Smallbridge, Smithy Bridge, Sparth Bottom, Spotland, Sudden, Syke, Thornham, Turf Hill.

[edit] Demography

Rochdale has large white and Asian communities. Since the 2001 census the African, Chinese and Polish community has grown rapidly White 88.6% South Asian 9.8% Other 1.6%

[edit] Landmarks

Rochdale Town Hall and War memorial.
Rochdale Town Hall and War memorial.

[edit] Rochdale Town Hall

Rochdale Town Hall, designed by William Henry Crossland, was completed in 1871. The original clock tower, which rose to 240 feet (73 m), was destroyed by fire in 1883. The present shorter (and less flamboyant) tower was designed by Alfred Waterhouse in 1887.[12] One Americam academic has suggested that Adolf Hitler was so impressed with the town hall that he had plans to transport the building stone by stone to a new site in Germany if Britain lost the Second World War.[13]

The front of the building has gargoyles and gilded statues of lions which bear the traditional emblems of Rochdale, Lancashire and Yorkshire. These are said to be a commemoration of the peace, to which Rochdale contributed, between the two historic counties.[citation needed] Rochdale's own Gracie Fields received the Freedom of the Borough on the town hall's balcony, in front of a crowd of thousands who turned out to greet her in the pouring rain.

The River Roch flows in front of the town hall, under the widest bridge in Europe, at 1,460 feet (450 m).[14]

[edit] Parish church

St Chads 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.

[edit] War memorial

This monument, bearing four 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.[15][16]

[edit] Transport

[edit] 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. Approval for extension into Rochdale town centre, extended down Drake Street and terminating opposite Rochdale bus station, as well as into Oldham town centre, is expected in 2008.

[edit] Bus

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.

[edit] Road

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.

[edit] Sports

Rochdale's professional football team Rochdale A.F.C. play home games at Spotland Stadium, which they share with Rochdale Hornets Rugby League team. 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.[17] 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.

[edit] Public services

Wind farm on Scout Moor, overlooking Rochdale below.
Wind farm on Scout Moor, 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.[18]

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.[19] 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.[20] Rochdale's Distribution Network Operator for electricity is United Utilities;[21] 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.[22] United Utilities also manages Rochdale's drinking and waste water;[21] water supplies are sourced from several local reservoirs, including Watergrove, Blackstone Edge and Piethorne in Rochdale's outlying moorland.[21]

[edit] 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. 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.[23] The bestselling poet John Siddique was brought up in Rochdale and has referenced 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 Nicholas Blincoe, a novelist, George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron of Rochdale, Monica Coghlan, a prostitute caught up in the Lord Archer scandal, Stefan Kiszko, a local man infamously convicted wrongly of sexual assault.

[edit] References

[edit] Notes

  1. , a b c d e f g h i Anon (2003-07-31). A select gazetteer of local government areas, Greater Manchester County. Greater Manchester County Records Office. Retrieved on 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 January 1, 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, 679–686. ISBN 978-0806315089. 
  8. , R.D.W. Young (1998-2007). Civic Heraldry of England and Wales - Greater Manchester. Retrieved on 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, 187-201. ISBN 978-0712910552. 
  10. , Town twinning. Retrieved on 2008-03-01.
  11. , Office for National Statistics (2001). Census 2001:Key Statistics for urban areas in the North; Map 3 (PDF). Retrieved on 2007-09-13.
  12. , Victorian & Edwardian Town Halls; C Cunningham; Routeledge; London; 1981
  13. , Anon. "Amazing windows always a glass act", Rochdale Observer, M.E.N. Media, 2006-10-7. Retrieved on 2008-04-25. 
  14. , Nicholls (2004), p. 147.
  15. , Rochdale Official Guide (3rd edition); Pyramid Press; London; 1952
  16. , Hartwell, C., (2004), Buildings of South Lancashire, p. 595.
  17. , Anon. Rochdale Online Golf Directory. Retrieved on 2007-12-24.
  18. , Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. My area: Rochdale. Retrieved on 2008-03-07.
  19. , Higginbotham, Peter (2007-05-07). Rochdale. Retrieved on 2008-03-07.
  20. , Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (2008). Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA). Retrieved on 2008-02-08.
  21. , a b c United Utilities (2007-04-06). Rochdale. Retrieved on 2008-02-08.
  22. , Scout Moor Wind Farm. Retrieved on 2008-03-02.
  23. , Farewell to screen star 'Lofty' Don - News - Rochdale Observer

[edit] Bibliography

  • Nicholls, Robert (2004). Curiosities of Greater Manchester. Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0750936614. 

[edit] External links

(Source: Wikipedia)
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