infobox UK place
country = England
region= North West England
constituency_westminster= Rossendale and Darwen
postcode_district = BB4
Rawtenstall (pronounced "Rottenstall", IPA2|ˈrɒtənˌstɔːl or IPA2|ˈrɒʔnˌstɔːl) is a town at the centre of the
Rossendale Valley, in Lancashire, England. It is the seat for the Boroughof Rossendale, in which it is located.
The name Rawtenstall has been given two possible interpretations. The older is a combination of the
Middle English"routen" (‘to roar or bellow’), from the Old Norse"rauta" and the Old Englishstall ‘pool in a river’ (Ekwall 1922, 92). The second, more recent one, relates to Rawtenstall’s identification as a cattle farm in 1324 and combines the Old English"ruh" ‘rough’ and "tun-stall" ‘the site of a farm’ (Mills 1991, 269), or possibly, ‘buildings occupied when cattle were pastured on high ground’ (Mills 1976, 125).
The earliest settlement at Rawtenstall was probably in the early
medieval period, during the time when it formed part of the Forest of Rossendalein the Honour of Clitheroe, and consisted of simple dwellings for forest servants and animals. More substantial buildings may have followed in the 15th and 16th centuries with corn and flour mills.
The town entered a major period of growth during the
Industrial Revolution, as new mills were constructed to process cotton. The climate and weather were conducive to the industry, as was the town's nearby location to the rapidly developing industrial and mercantile centre at Manchester, dubbed ' Cottonopolis'. Only a few of these mills survive today, though none are operational any more. During this period, David Whitehead and his brother became important entrepreneurs in the town. They built a number of mills, including one of the earliest mills in the valley, at Lower Mill, and the still existing Ilex Mill. They also built substantial houses for themselves at Holly Mount, as well as large numbers of terraced houses for their workers. The population of Rawtenstall quadrupled in the first half of the 19th century and would double again in the second half. Other industries active in this period included quarrying and small scale coalmining, as well as an expanding commercial sector.
Rawtenstall was incorporated as a
municipal boroughin 1891. As with many small mid-Lancashire towns, it saw a population decline in the 20th century, going from 30,000 inhabitants in the 1911 census to 21,500 in the 1971 census. Under the Local Government Act 1972, the town became part of the Rossendaledistrict with other settlements. With the decline of the traditional manufacturing industries, shoemakingbecame one of the last survivors. The firm of H. W. Tricketts, in nearby Waterfoot, had been a major producer and exporter of footwear across the British Empire, but eventually the last shoemaking firms closed as production moved overseas.
Rawtenstall is part of the Rossendale and Darwen constituency, after the constituency of Rossendale was abolished in 1983. The constituency sends one
Member of Parliamentto the House of Commons. The current MP is Janet Anderson, of the Labour Party. As of August, 2007, Lancashire County Councilis controlled by Labour, but the local council, Rossendale Borough Council, is controlled by the Conservative Party.
Its neighbouring communities in the valley are
Bacup, Haslingdenand Ramsbottom. The area is bounded to the north by Loveclough and Whitewell Bottom, to the east by Waterfoot and Cowpe and to the south by Townsend Fold and Horncliffe. The River Irwellpasses through the town on the first part of its route between Bacupand Manchester. Over recent years the area has become increasingly popular with visitors, attracted by historic buildings, dramatic landscapes and fine walkingcountry.
The town is served locally by
Rossendale Transport, with a large bus stationclose to the centre, as well as frequent express services to Burnley, Nelson and Manchesterrun by Transdev Burnley & Pendle. Rawtenstall railway stationalso serves the town, but since the closure of the main line to Manchester, it now operates mainly as a tourist route, as part of the East Lancashire Railway, of which Rawtenstall station forms the northern terminus. The M66 motorwayfrom Manchester is linked to Rawtenstall via the A56 bypass, allowing for a driving time between Manchester and Rawtenstall of around half an hour.
The town has a number of primary and secondary (high) schools, including
Alder Grange Community and Technology Schooland All Saints Catholic Language College. Though located in Waterfoot, rather than Rawtenstall, the traditional grammar school, Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar Schooltakes part of its name from the town.
Rawtenstall also has a
public library, built in 1906 with Carnegie funding. [cite web |url=http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/libraries/librarydetails/libhist.asp?name=Rawtenstall |title=Welcome to the Library and Information Service web site - History of Rawtenstall |accessdate=2008-02-26 | publisher = Lancashire County Council]
Culture and community
Rossendale Valley's local newspaper, the " Rossendale Free Press" is based here. Rawtenstall also has one of the largest indoor markets in Rossendale (a sign declaring it to be "probably the friendliest market in the world") and is home to the North of England's largest dry ski-slope. "Ski Rossendale" is located five minutes outside of Rawtenstall town centre in the Oakenhead area, directly above Whitaker Park and Rossendale Museum.
It is also home to the traditional
herbalistand temperance bar Fitzpatrick's Herbal Health, who claim to be the oldest brewers of sarsaparillaand dandelion and burdockin the country. Fitzpatrick's gained television acclaim in April 2005 when managers Gareth "G" Hawden and Chris Law won The Famous Sarsaparilla taste-off on ITV. Rawtenstall Cricket Club, who compete in the Lancashire League, have their home ground, Worswick Memorial Groundwithin the town.
Police facilities in Rawtenstall are one of five sites used for the training of new recruits to the
Lancashire Constabulary. Rawtenstall is also the location of the area's county and magistrates' courts.
Whitaker Park is located on the outskirts of the town centre, and consists of the former house of the mill owner George Hardman, set in extensive landscaped grounds. Donated to the township in the early 20th century for the purposes of civic recreation, the house now contains the Rossendale Museum, whilst the gardens and surrounding land are laid out as a public park. The museum contains exhibits of local history, or displays of the house as it was originally. Part of it is used to house an extensive exhibition of
taxidermy, whilst other areas are used to display art. The park itself has tennis courts, a bowling green, basketballcourt, a playgroundand an aviary, as well as formal gardens and fountains.
Rawtenstall was featured in the television programme "
Who Do You Think You Are?" which was aired on BBC2at 9PM on 2 February 2006. The subject, actress Jane Horrocks, was born in Rawtenstall in 1964.
Irwell Sculpture Trailalso runs through the town, where four of the sculptures are located; the Whispering Wall, the Gateway, the Willow Tree and the Bocholt Tree. The last celebrates Rossendale's twinning links with the town of Bocholt, Germany.
Elizabeth Bainbridge- opera singer
Ernest Tomlinson- composer
Jane Horrocks- actress
Jennie McAlpine- actress
Lee Cartwright- footballer
Winston Place- England Test match cricketer
historianand antiquarian George Ormerodlived in Rawtenstall for a brief period in 1808.
* [http://www.east-lancs-rly.co.uk/ East Lancashire Railway]
* [http://www.therossendalefreepress.co.uk/ Rossendale Free Press]
* [http://www.rossendale.gov.uk/ Rossendale Borough Council]
* [http://www.rltrust.co.uk/ski_rossendale.asp Ski Rossendale]
* [http://www.rossendalerugby.co.uk/ Rossendale Rugby Union Club]
* [http://www.the-stags.co.uk/ Rossendale United FC official site]
* [http://www.rossendalebus.co.uk Rossendale Transport]
* [http://www.burnleyandpendle.co.uk Transdev Burnley & Pendle]
* [http://www.mrfitzpatricks-cordials.com Mr Fitzpatrick's of Rawtenstall - the UKs last Temperance Bar]
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Look at other dictionaries:
Rawtenstall — (spr. raot nstall), Stadt (municipal borough) in Lancashire (England), am obern Irwell, dicht bei Haslingden, hat eine gotische Marienkirche (1886 restauriert), eine kath. Kapelle, Fabrikation von Baumwoll und Wollwaren, Steinbrüche und (1901) 31 … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
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