Longdendale is a valley in the north west of
England, north of Glossopand south east of Holmfirth. The name means "long wooded valley".
The eastern part of the valley is in the
non-metropolitan countyof Derbyshireand includes the village of Tintwistleand, further east, part of the Peak DistrictNational Park, with the last half mile or so falling into the metropolitan boroughof Barnsley. The western part of the valley, including the villages of Broadbottom, Mottram in Longdendaleand Hollingworthis administered by the metropolitan boroughof Tamesidein the metropolitan countyof Greater Manchester. The whole of Longdendale forms the easternmost extension of the lands which lie within the historic boundaries of the county palatineof Chester.
River Etherow, a tributaryof the River Mersey, rises south of Holmfirthand then flows through a chain of six reservoirs known as the Longdendale Chain: Arnfield Reservoir, Bottoms Reservoir, Valehouse Reservoir, Rhodeswood Reservoir, Torside Reservoirand Woodhead Reservoir. There was a seventh reservoir at Hollingworth, but it has now been abandoned.
The lordship of Longdendale was an ancient feudal estate encompassing the medieval manors of Godley,
Hattersley, Hollingworth, Matley, Mottram, Newton, Staley, Tintwistleand Werneth. The lordship was created by the Earl of Chesterin the late twelfth century; William de Neville was the first lord of Longdendale, as appointed by the Earl of Chester. [cite book |author=Mike Nevell |date=1994 |title=The People Who Made Tameside |publisher=Tameside Metropolitan Borough with University of Manchester Archaeological Unit |pages=86 |isbn=1-871324-12-2] Buckton Castle, near Carrbrook, was probably built by William de Neville in the late twelfth centurycite book |author=Mike Nevell |date=1998 |title=Lands and Lordships in Tameside |publisher=Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council with the University of Manchester Archaeological Unit |pages=60-61, 63 |isbn=1-871324-18-1] and was also probably the centre of lordship of Longdendale as it is the only castle within the lordship. [cite book |author=Mike Nevell and John Walker |date=1999 |title=Tameside in Transition |publisher=Tameside Metropolitan Borough with University of Manchester Archaeological Unit |pages=95 |isbn=1-871324-24-6] One of the privileges of the lordship was to carry out trial by combat. The lordship of Longdendale was passed from de Neville to his son in law, Thomas de Burgh, in 1211 on his death. The lordship reverted to the control of the crown in 1357, and remained under crown control until 1374. The lordship was given to Matilda Lovell and the Lovells controlled Longdendale until 1465 when conrol again reverted to the crown. The lordship was granted to Sir William Stanley in 1489, however the lordship once again reverted to the crown when Stanley was executed in 1495 as a supporter of Perkin Warbeck. In 1554 the lordship was granted to Richard Wilbraham. [cite book |author=Mike Nevell |date=1991 |title=Tameside 1066-1700 |publisher=Tameside Metropolitan Borough with the University of Manchester Archaeological Unit |pages=11-13, 15, 39-40 |isbn=1-871324-02-5] Tollemache family inherited lordship of Longdendale from the Wilbrahams in the 1690s. [cite book |author=Mike Nevell |date=1993 |title=Tameside 1700-1930 |publisher=Tameside Metropolitan Borough with the University of Manchester Archaeological Unit |pages=17, 93 |isbn=1-871324-08-4] It was part of the Hundred of Macclesfield. An estate survey, or 'Extent' of the lordship for 1360 was published by the Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshirein July 2005.
packhorseroute called a saltway was maintained from the Middle Ages onwards for the purpose of allowing the export of salt from the Cheshire"wiches" of Nantwich, Northwichand Middlewichacross the Pennines. The passing trade brought prosperity to settlements along the route. The importance of the salt trade along such saltways is shown by surviving placenames; for example Salter's Brook (gbm4ibx|SK137999) is where the saltway forked, with one route leading to Wakefieldand another to Barnsley. [ [http://www.peakdistrict-nationalpark.info/studyArea/factsheets/21.html Peak District National Park: Study Area ] ] The stone Lady Shaw Bridge still exists at this point, as do the ruins of an old inn. The bridge is just wide enough for a packhorse, though it is suspected that the bridge may have originally been wider, and deliberately narrowed when the Saltersbrook turnpike was built to prevent vehicles bypassing the toll barrier. [On-site information board: ]
turnpikeroad from Manchester to Saltersbrook connected to further turnpikes for Yorkshiredestinations and was built in the mid-eighteenth century, based on the older saltway route.
The Longdendale catchment exceeds convert|30|sqmi|km2 and has an annual rainfall of convert|52.5|in|mm. The civil engineer
John Frederick Bateman, recognised the potential and conceived a plan to deliver this water to Manchester and Salford, while still maintaining the flow in the River Etherow that was needed to power the mills of Tintwistleand Glossop. The six reservoirs have a capacity of 4,200 million gallons. . A tunnel was built at a depth of convert|200|ft|m to carry the water from Longdendale into the valley of the River Tame.An Act of Parliament(10 Victoria Cap.cciii) (9th July 1847) was passed to allow the land to be acquired and construction to commence. cite book | title= Manchester's water: the reservoirs in the hills | author= Quayle, Tom | year= 2006 | publisher= Tempus | location= Stroud | isbn= 0-7524-3198-6 pp. 7,19.]
The first railway line between
Manchesterand Sheffieldwas constructed between 1839 and 1845 on the south side of the reservoir chain by 1,500 navvies of whom many died and most suffered illness. The three-mile-long double Woodhead Tunnelwas, for a time, the longest tunnel in the country. It was replaced by a single, larger tunnel in 1954. The first tunnel was subsequently used by CEGBto reroute the main high-voltage link up the valley and through the National Park underground. The railway line ceased to be economical, and in 1970 the passenger service ceased, followed in 1981 by the freight service. The passenger service was adversely affected by the requirement to keep the Hope Valley line open, whilst the freight service was affected by the falloff in Trans-Pennine coal traffic. The track was lifted in 1986. There have been plans to re-open the railway at various times since it was closed, but none have gained planning approval.
Hollingworth and Mottram were part of the Longdendale
urban districtin the administrative countyof Cheshire from 1936. In 1974 the district was absorbed by Tameside metropolitan borough.
Walking and cycling
After the rail line was closed, the trackbed was taken up and the
Longdendale Trailconstructed along its route. It is now part of the Trans-Pennine Trail( SustransNational Cycle Route 62 [cite web|url=http://www.manchester.gov.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?categoryID=200102&documentID=2590|title=Signed Cycle Routes in Manchester|publisher=Manchester City Council|accessdate=2008-01-25] ) which, in its turn, is part of the 2000-mile European walking route E8from Liverpool to Istanbul. The Pennine Waycrosses Longdendale, descending from Bleaklowto the south and ascending Black Hill to the north. The youth hostel at Crowden is a traditional stop after the first day's walking, from Edale.
The circular walk known as 'The Longdendale Edges' takes in the high ground (at about the 1000-1500' level) on both sides of the valley. It is about 17 miles long and is 'not recommended in doubtful weather'. The detailed route, clockwise from Crowden Youth Hostel, is given in "Peak District Walking Guide No.2", published by the Peak Park Planning Board.
Torside Reservoir is home to Glossop & District Sailing Club [http://www.gdsc.org (GDSC)] .
M67 motorwaystarts at the M60 motorwayin Manchester and heads east where it currently terminates at Mottram in Longdendale. There were plans in the 1960s to extend it through through the National Park to the M1 motorwayand Sheffield[cite web|url=http://www.pathetic.org.uk/motorways/m67.shtml|title=M67|publisher=Pathetic Motorways|accessdate=2008-01-25] but it was never built. From here the A628 runs through the valley to join the A616.
As of January 2008 there are advanced plans to improve the A628 route by bypassing
Mottramand Tintwistleto the north with a spur to the A57 road.Know as the "A57/A628 Mottram-in-Longdendale, Hollingworth & Tintwistle Bypass" or Longdendale Bypass, the public inquiry has been adjourned four times and is current adjourned 'indefinitely'.cite web|url=http://www.persona.uk.com/mottram/news.htm|title=The Mottram/Tintwistle Bypass and Glossop Spur Public Inquiry - News|publisher=Persona|accessdate=2008-01-21]
Woodhead Lineused to run though the valley using the Woodhead Tunnel. The national grid intend to install cable runs in the newest tunnel although others wish to re-open the line for freight. [cite web|url=http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=2&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bettertransport.org.uk%2Fsystem%2Ffiles%2Fwoodhead_flyer.pdf&ei=xj2ZR_-ZEoykwQGsxYC0Aw&usg=AFQjCNEcy3VI_x7OR4NKB-Ly8mkdv0TWbQ&sig2=XXpuxoUHZUDNk4xCqpLApA |publisher= Campaign for Better Transport|title=Save Woodhead Tunnel|accessdate=2008-01-25]
Longdendale is part of Tameside Metropolitan Borough of Greater Manchester. Up until local government reforms in 1974, Longdendale formed part of the administrative county of Cheshire. The ward of Longdendale has three out of the fifty seven seats on Tameside Borough Council, and as of the 2007 local elections all three seats were held by the Labour Party. The Councillors representing Longdendale on Tameside Council are: [cite web |url=http://www.tameside.gov.uk/corpgen/new/councillors/long.htm |author=Anon |title=Councillors For The Ward Of Longdendale |publisher=Tameside MBC |date=2007-06-15 |accessdate=2007-08-27]
*Roy Oldham (Executive Leader of Council)
*The valley and the surrounding area has a reputation for strange phenomena, including unexplained lights [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/323866.stm BBC News | Sci/Tech | Peak viewing for ghouls ] ] and allegedly
supernaturalapparitions and has become a centre of attention for UFOand ghosthunters [http://www.longdendale.com/legends.html Longdendale Legends] .
* [http://www.longdendale.com/ Community web site]
* [http://www.haunted-britain.com/Haunted_North_Midlands.htm Legends]
* [http://www.spaceless.com/photos/longdendale.html Longdendale Photographs]
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