Visit Rochdale and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Rochdale, Greater Manchester. This old mill town, 400 ft up near the Pennine moors, evokes memories of women spinning cotton, of John Bright, of Gracie Fields, of 19th-century economic struggles and of the little co-operative store opening in Toad Lane. Rochdale became so well known as a cotton town that people forget its original source of industrial prosperity, which was based on wool, for woollen textiles were the main local industry until the end of the 18th century. The town's history can be traced back for very many centuries before that. A considerable collection of flints and Bronze Age implements were gathered for the Rochdale Museum, showing that the area was inhabited since prehistoric times. A Roman road is believed to have run to the town from Manchester, and a remarkably well-preserved stretch of it can be seen up in the moors at Blackstone Edge where it crosses into Yorkshire. Rochdale was in King Athelstan's West Saxon kingdom, was listed in the Domesday Book, and was one of the largest manors in medieval times in the Hundred of Salford. It has had a weekly market charter from 1251, and since that time the wool industry developed from the moorland sheep. But by the end of the 18th century cotton was beginning to replace wool, and many mills sprang up. The industry suffered depression at various times, and severe conditions led a little band of Rochdale men to make a cooperative effort by establishing their own shop and dividing the surplus for mutual benefit. They met with hostility and suspicion, but finally set up their shop in 1844 as the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers. The co-operative movement was developing simultaneously elsewhere, but Rochdale is generally regarded as the first; and its old “co-op” store is still there as a museum for visitors.
The borough has a handsome town hall, completed in 1871, in Gothic style by W. H. Cross-land, with a frontage of 264 ft. There is a hammer-beam roof of a single span over its Great Hall of 90 ft by 58 ft. The Signing of Magna Carta, a fresco by Henry Holiday, covers the east wall. The exterior of the Parish Church of St Chad is in Perpendicular style, and in the 19th century much of the interior was restored, but there are 13th-century arcades, and carved l6th-century screens. Among special sections in the central library are the Ember Collection dealing with cricket, works on the co-operative movement, and the John Collier Collection. Collier, the painter and earliest of the Lancashire dialect poets, wrote as Tim Bobbin. The most famous 19th-century citizen of Rochdale, John Bright, was born here in 1811; he is best known as an opponent of the Corn Laws, and a bronze statue of him stands in Hillside Gardens. Gracie Fields was also born in Rochdale, and was made a Freeman.
Nearby cities: Manchester
Nearby towns: Bacup, Bolton, Bury, Middleton, Oldham, Todmorden
Nearby villages: Bacup, Birch, Chadderton, Crawshaw Booth, Delph, Diggle, Edenfield, Ewood Bridge, Facit, Haslingden, Helmshore, Heywood, Holcombe, Hollinwood, Lees, Littleborough, Lydgate, Micklehurst, Milnrow, Mossley, New Delph, New Hey, Pendlebury, Prestwich, Radcliffe, Ramsbottom, Rawtenstall, Rochdale, Royton, Saddleworth, Salford, Shawforth, Smithy Bridge, Stubbins, Summerseat, Tottington, Uppermill, Walmersley, Walsden, Whitefield, Whitworth
Have you decided to visit Rochdale or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Rochdale bed and breakfast (a Rochdale B&B or Rochdale b and b)
- a Rochdale guesthouse
- a Rochdale hotel (or motel)
- a Rochdale self-catering establishment, or
- other Rochdale accommodation