- Littleborough, Greater Manchester
infobox UK place
country = England
population= 13,807 (2001 Census)
region= North West England
postcode_district = OL15-OL16
static_image_caption=A view over Littleborough
london_distance= convert|170|mi|km|abbr=on SSE
Littleborough is a small town within the
Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, in Greater Manchester, England.cite web |url=http://www.gmcro.co.uk/guides/gazette/gazframe.htm |title=A select gazetteer of local government areas, Greater Manchester County|author=Anon|publisher= Greater Manchester County Records Office|accessdate=2007-06-20|date= 2003- 07-31] It lies amongst the South Pennines, convert|3|mi|km|1|lk=on northeast of Rochdaleand convert|12.6|mi|km|1 north-northeast of the city of Manchester.
Historically a part of
Lancashire, what is now known as Littleborough emerged as a settlement on the lands which had formed the ancient township of Hundersfield.Hignett (1991), p. 2.] [Cite web|url=http://www.spinningtheweb.org.uk/m_display.php?irn=240&sub=nwcotton&theme=places&crumb=Rochdale|publisher=spinningtheweb.org.uk|date=|accessdate=2008-04-20|title=Rochdale Towns] During the Middle Ages, Littleborough was a small centre of domestic woollencloth production - an industry which was stimulated as a result of Littleborough's proximity to the West Riding of Yorkshire. [Cite web|author= Manchester City Council|url=http://www.spinningtheweb.org.uk/m_display.php?irn=240&sub=nwcotton&theme=places&crumb=Rochdale|publisher=spinningtheweb.org.uk|date=|accessdate=2008-04-20|title=Rochdale Towns] Following the Industrial Revolution, Littleborough became a mill town, its landscape dominated by distinctive and large rectangular brick-built woollen and cotton mills. Hollingworth Lake, built as a reservoir to supply water to the Rochdale Canal, is a water sports venue with a country park and nature reserve.
The name Littleborough, is commonly believed to derive from the words "little" and "borough", signifying its tiny size. However it has never been a borough and it is more probable that the borough part of the name is a corruption of "brook". The heart of the town is at the junction of the River Roch and Ealees Brook. The name of the village is given as Littlebrugh on Saxton's 1579 map of Lancashire.
Littleborough began as a scattering of weaving
hamletswithin the Parish of Hundersfield, a large area stretching from Rochdaleto Todmorden.
Industrial Revolutionbrought roads, canals, and railways, as well as mills, foundries and coal-workings. Major civil engineering projects took place in town during the 19th century, mainly being part of the first trans-Pennine canal and railway links. The stretch of the Rochdale Canal which passes through Littleborough still has one of the largest concentrations of broad canal locks in the world and the Summit Tunnelwas at the time of its construction (1841) the longest railway tunnel yet built.
During Victorian and
Edwardiantimes, as Littleborough began to grow, three churches were built. There were however, mostly chapels which were then built, thus following the nonconformistprinciples of the time which happened to be predominant around the Littleborough area.
Lying within the historic county boundaries of
Lancashiresince the early 12th century, Littleborough was a chapelryand component area of Hundersfield, an ancient township within the parish of Rochdale and hundred of Salford. Hundersfield constituted a civil parishencompassing several settlements to the northeast of Rochdale, until its dissolution. [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=53031 Townships - Hundersfield | British History Online ] ]
local authoritywas a Local board of healthestablished in 1870; Littlborough Local Board of Health was a regulatory body responsible for standards of hygiene and sanitation for parts of the then townships of Blatchinworth and Calderbrook, of Wuerdle and Wardleand of Butterworth, with the local board's territory being expanded into further parts of these townships in 1879. Under the Local Government Act 1894, the area of the local board expanded to encompass all of Blatchinworth and Calderbrook and became the Littleborough Urban District, a local government district in the Rochdale Poor Law Unionand administrative county of Lancashire. Under the Local Government Act 1972, the Littleborough Urban District was abolished, and Littlborough and its outlying settlements have, since 1 April 1974, formed an unparished areaof the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, within the Metropolitan countyof Greater Manchester.
Littleborough is in the Roch Valley, with the Pennines on one side and the Rossendale Fells a spur of the Pennines, on the other side. The valley narrows to the north, where the Summit Gorge creates a gap in the Pennines, and widens to the south where the land drains into the Irwell and Mersey watersheds. The
River Rochand the Rochdale Canalrun through the town centre. Hollingworth Lake, built as a reservoir to supply water to the canal, is a water sports venue with a country park and nature reserve.
Pennine Wayruns along the top of Blackstone Edge, with views across Greater Manchester and Lancashire to the north.
* Dearnley Methodist Church - On the A58 towards
* Greenhill Methodist Church - The smallest church in Littleborough, holds infrequent
* Holy Trinity Church (Littleborough
Parish Church) - Located across from the Coach House, is one of the larger churches in the area, and features gargoyles dating from the time it was built. The church was founded in 1471.
* St Andrew's Church - Located near the main A58 towards
Rochdalein the Parishof Dearnley. [http://www.standrews.myzen.co.uk/]
* St Barnabas' Church - Located around the
Parishof Shore, of which it is the Parish Church, and is built on a fieldthought to have once been a lake. [http://www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/Faith/Christian/church_web_page.asp?ID=7&Church=Saint%20Barnabas%20Shore]
* St James' Church - The
Parish Churchof Calderbrook. [http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~todmordenandwalsden/StJamesCalderbrook.htm]
* St Mary's Church - The local
Roman Catholicchurch and is situated on the main A58 Featherstall Road.
* Smithy Bridge Methodist Church - Near
Hollingworth Lake. [http://www.domini.org/littleborough/smithy_bridge.htm]
* The Summit Gorge, an ancient glacial meltwater channel that provides a spectacular low level route through the Pennines connecting the Yorkshire Calder and Lancashire Roch valleys.
Blackstone Edge, and the historic packhorse, "Roman" and later coach tollroads near it.
* The "Roman" road over Blackstone Edge, believed by many to have been a significant Roman site (although this has been contested on many occasions).
* Annually (usually in September) the town hosts "Littleborough Arts Week", an art event comprising of a number of exhibitions from individual artists and organisations, as well as an open arts exhibition and arts events.
* One of the significant buildings in the town is Littleborough Coach House, which was restored by a confederation of local voluntary groups and is now a community space, cafe and shop. Hare Hill Park is another focus point for the community, which also houses Littleborough Library and Municipal Buildings as well as bowls lawns and children's play areas.
* On the outskirts of Littleborough, towards
Rochdale, lies the seventeenth-century Clegg Hall, the impressive manor housewhich has been recently restored. [http://www.rochdaleobserver.co.uk/news/s/512/512430_homework_is_bringing_history_back_into_life.html]
* On the way up to
Blackstone Edge, above Hollingworth Lakeis the ancient farmstead, or fold, of Whittaker. The earliest housepossibly dates back to the fourteenth century. Whittaker was restored in the early 90s. Close by is Whittaker Golf Club, and Whittaker Wood which is owned by the Woodland Trust. [http://www.wt-woods.org.uk/WhittakerWood]
Rakewood Viaductcarries the M62 Motorwayover Rakewood Valley and Longden End Brookbetween junctions 21 and 22.
*St Mary's R.C. Primary School is positioned next to the
Roman Catholicchurch of St. Mary on the main A58 Featherstall Road.
*Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School is relatively close to the centre of Littleborough across from the Coach House.
*Littleborough County Primary School (also an
infant school) is the largest school in Littleborough, and is also the home of the Littleborough Juniors, and the Littleborough football fields, on which pub leagueteams play every Sunday.
The school is often referred to locally as "Central", a name derived from the school's history as one of the last central board schools in England and Wales. The original school building was an impressively large stone building overlooking Harehill Park. In the mid 1990s the building was demolished and the school moved to what had been the site of Littleborough High School before it was amalgamated with Roch Valley High School to form Hollingworth High School.
The school is close to
Littleborough Cricket Club, which is the notable cricket team of the town.
Agyness Deynwas raised in the village.
Chris Luckettiwas born in the village.
* [http://www.link4life.org/index.cfm?otbcreate=c.showPage&pageID=527 www.link4life.org] A history of Littleborough.
* [http://www.littleboroughcivictrust.org.uk/ www.littleboroughcivictrust.org.uk] , A local body affiliated to the
* [http://www.littleboroughonline.co.uk/ www.littleboroughonline.co.uk] , A community website.
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