ROCHDALE, a town and a district in Lancashire, and a parish partly also in W. R. Yorkshire. The town stands on the river Roch, the Rochdale canal, and the Manchester and Leeds railway, 10½ miles N N E of Manchester. It dates from at least the Saxon times; and it probably had a Saxon castle on Castle-Hill. It is traditionally said also to have been the scene of a slaughter of Danes, who came against it; and it retains a memorial of some such event, in the name of a locality called Kill-Danes. A curious sword and several pieces of ancient armour were found near that locality, in the course of excavations, in 1772. The family of Byron were owners of the manor for upwards of two centuries; and they take from the town the title of Baron. The manor was sold by the poet Byron, in 1823, to the late J. Dearden, Esq; and belongs now to that gentleman's grandson. The manorial rights are said to extend over upwards of 32,000 acres. The town occupies the sides of two hills; stands in parts of four townships; contains numerous streets; and, since 1830, has undergone great improvement. Several of the streets, which had always been very narrow, have been widened; a new market-place, large and commodions, has been formed; and several ornamental public buildings, as well as many excellent private houses, have been erected. The town hall was built in 1866-8, at an estimated cost of £60,000; is a splendid edifice, in the Gothic style, on a ground plan resembling the letter E; presents a chief frontage toward the river, 220 feet long, besides octagonal staircases at the ends; has flank frontages each 110 feet long; is divided partly into two stories, partly into three; has, at one corner, a tower and spire 150 feet high; and contains corporation rooms, an exchange, a large public hall, and other apartments. Five bridges cross the river; and one of them is a neat tone, three-arched structnre; while another is of light iron-work, and used only by pedestrians. The water-works are of prime character; draw from four ample reservoirs; and yield a plentiful supply, even in the driest season. St. Chad's church, is partly early English, partly of the time of Edward III.; was extensively repaired in 1856; and contains monuments of the Deardens, the Holts, the Walmsleys, the Entwisles, and others. St. Alban's church was built in 1856; and consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with tower and spire. St. James' church consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with pinnacled tower. St. Mary's church comprises nave and aisles, erected in 1740, and transepts and chancel, erected in 1864; and underwent improvement in 1866. St. Martin's church was built in 1862; and is in the decorated English style, and cruciform. The United Presbyterian church was built in 1867-8, and is in the pointed style. The Independent chapel in High-street was built in 1806; the Independent chapel in Smith-street, in 1854; and the latter is in the pointed style, with a beautiful spire. Three Baptist chapels were built in respectively 1811, 1832, and 1854; Lady Huntingdon's chapel, in 1812; a United Free Methodist chapel, in 1865; and the last is in the Italianstyle. There are also a Quakers' chapel, a Wesleyan chapel, two Primitive Methodist, two other United Free Methodist, a Methodist New Connexion, two Unitarian, and two Roman Catholic; and one of the Unitarian chapels is a handsome edifice. The public cemetery is in the Bury-road; was opened in 1855; comprises much ground; and is beautifully laid out. The grammar-school was founded by Archbishop Parker; is a handsome brick building in the Tudor style; and has £23 a year from endowment. Hardman's free school was founded in 1769; and has £110 a year from endowment. St. Chad's parochial school is a recent structure in the pointed style. There are also four national schools, a British school, a ragged school, a girls' industrial school, and several denominational schools. The chief literary and benevolent institutions are the subscription library, the Church institution library and news-rooms, the young men's Christian association library and news-room, the working men's educational institute, the Lyceum, the temperance hall, the horticultural society, the harmonic choral society, the dispensary, the homeopathic dispensary, the Good Samaritan society, and varions associations for relief of the poor. The aggregate of endowed charities is about £750.
The town has a head post-office, twenty-one receiving post-offices or postal pillar-boxes, three telegraph offices, a railway station, three banking offices, and four chief inns; is a seat of petty sessions and county courts, and a polling-place; and publishes three weekly newspapers. A weekly market for provisions is held on Saturday; a market for grain, wool, oil, and dye-stuffs, on Monday; cattle fairs on one Monday, and sometimes two, in every month; a horse fair on Whit-Tuesday; and fairs for cattle and horses on 14 May and 7 Nov. Co-operative societies originated in Rochdale in 1844; and three of them here were carrying on business in 1867 to the amount of nearly £400,000 a year. Textile fabrics, chiefly coatings, baize, flannels, friezes, ordinary woollens, calicoes, and fustians are manufactured in about 160 factories. The manufacture of hats, silk-plush, and machines, also is considerable; and there are several large foundries. The town was made a parliamentary borough in 1832, and a municipal borough in 1856; sends one member to parliament; and is governed by a mayor, 10 aldermen, and 30 councillors. The parliamentary boundaries, as adjusted in 1832, described a circle of ¾ of a mile in radius round the chief bridge; the municipal boundaries were slightlyless extensive; but the boundaries were proposed, by the Boundary Commissioners' Report of 1868, to bedrawn by other and wider lines than the circular one, to include an additional pop. of about 10,000. Electors in 1863, 1,448; in 1865, 1,416. Amount of property and income tax charged in 1863, £13,473. Pop. of the m.borough in 1861, 38,114. Houses, 7,691. Pop. of thep. borough in 1851, 29,195; in 1861, 38,184. Houses, 7,705.
The parish contains the townships of Castleton, Spotland, Wardleworth, Wuerdle-with-Wardle, Butterworth, and Blatchinworth-with-Calderbrook, constituting the district of Rochdale, Todmorden-with-Walsden, in Todmorden district, and Saddleworth, in W. R. Yorkshire, constituting there the district of Saddleworth; and it is cut ecclesiastically into the sections of Rochdale, St. Chad, R., St. Alban, R., St. James, Hundersfield, St. Mary, Balderstone, St. Mary, Castleton, St. Martin, Spotland, St. Clement, Norden, St. Paul, Wardle, St. James, Smallbridge, St. John, Dobcross, Friarmere, Denshaw, Healey, Littleborough, Milnrow, Saddleworth, Lydgate, Whitworth, Todmorden, and Walsden. Acres, 58,620. Pop.in 1851, 98,013; in 1861, 119,531. Houses, 24,052. The livings are all vicarages in the diocese of Manchester. Value of St. Chad, £1,730; * of St. Alban, R., St. James, and St. Mary, each £300; * of St. Martin, £300. Patron of St. Chad, the Bishop of Manchester. The otherlivings are separately noticed, and are in the patronage of the Vicar of Rochdale.
The district is divided into the sub-districts of Castleton-Within, or the part of township within the borough; Cast1eton-Without, or the part of without the borough; Spotland-Nearer-Side, comprising the hamlets of Failinge and Healey; Spotland-Further-Side, comprising the hamlets of Chadwick, Clay-Lane, Wolstenholme, Cheeseden, Woodhouse-Lane, and Catley-Lane; whitworth, containing the rest of Spotland township; Wardleworth, conterminate with W. township; Wuerdle, conterminate with Wuerdle-with-Wardle township; Blatchinworth, conterminate with B.-with-Calderbrook township; Butterworth-Freehold-Side, conterminate with B.-F.-S. sectionof B. township; and Butterworth-Lordship-Side, conterminate with B.-L.-S. section of B. township. Acres, 40,340. Poor-rates in 1863, £38,576. Pop. in 1851, 72,515; in 1861, 91,754. Houses, 18,444. Marriages in 1863, 764; births, 3,177, of which 200 were i1legitimate; deaths, 2,093, of which 927 were at ages under 5 years, and 14 at ages above 85. Marriages in the tenyears 1851-60, 8,261; births, 29,229; deaths, 19,466. The places of worship, in 1851, were 13 of the Church of England, with 10,104 sittings; 4 of Independents, with 2,396 s.; 7 of Baptists, with 3,550 s.; 1 of Quakers, with400 s.; 2 of Unitarians, with 420 s.; 14 of Wesleyans, with 3, 950 s.; 2 of New Connexion Methodists, with1,052 s.; 9 of Primitive Methodists, with 1,790 s.; 15 of the Wesleyan Association, with 3,835 s.; 1 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 200 s.; 2 of Lady Huntingdon's Connexion, with 1,260 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 555 s. The schools were 38 public day schools, with 4,852 scholars; 77 private day schools, with 2,944 s.; 67 Sunday schools, with 15,717 s.; and 16 evening schools for adults, with 578 s. There are four workhouses, respectively in Marland, Wardleworth, Butterworth, and Spotland; and, at the census of 1861, they had 47, 56, 68, and 100 inmates.
John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)