infobox UK place
country = England
map_type= Greater Manchester
population= 14,635 (2001 Census)
region= North West England
constituency_westminster= Bury North
postcode_district = BL0
static_image_caption=A view over Ramsbottom
Ramsbottom is a small town on the border of
Lancashireand Greater Manchester, England. With a total population of 14,635, [ [http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadKeyFigures.do?a=3&b=5941665&c=ramsbottom&d=14&e=16&g=350626&i=1001x1003x1004&m=0&enc=1 2001 census data] ] Ramsbottom is split between the Rossendaleand Bury local government boroughs. [cite web |url=http://www.rossendale.gov.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?categoryID=1106&documentID=244 |title=A Brief History of Rossendale |publisher=www.rossendale.gov.uk |accessdate=2007-03-20]
The name probably means "rams valley" from Old English "ramm" (ram) and "botm" (valley). However some toponymists interpret it as wild-garlic-valley, with the first element representing the
Old English"hramsa". A record from 1324 giving the name as Ramesbothum is inconclusive. [Roome, A: Dictionary of Place-Names Bloomsbury (1988) ISBN0 7475 0170] The town was alternatively recorded as Ramysbothom in 1540. [Nicolaisen, Gelling & Richards, "The Names of Towns and Cities in Britain", p. 157.]
There are a significant number of
Bronze Ageburial sites around Ramsbottom, the most notable of which is Whitelow Cairn, one mile (1.6 km) southeast of Ramsbottom town centre and three miles (4.8 km) north of Bury. The cairn was excavated by Bury Archaeological Group between 1960–62, under the leadership of Norman Tyson. [cite web |title=Whitelow Hill investigation history |url=http://www.pastscape.org.uk/events.aspx?a=0&hob_id=45141 |publisher=Pastscape.org.uk |accessdate=2008-01-26] Finds include one main cremation and seven secondary cremations, four in urns, dating to the mid Bronze Age. The artefacts found during the excavation are now housed in Bury Museum. [cite web |title=Whitelow Hill |url=http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=45141 |publisher=Pastscape.org.uk |accessdate=2008-01-26]
Ramsbottom developed during the 19th century as a
mill town. It had mills for spinning, weaving, and printing. Its Square Mill was in its day innovative in combining many such processes under one roof.
Ramsbottom is bounded to the south by
Holcombe Brookand Summerseat; to the north by Edenfield, Irwell Vale, Stubbinsand the hamlets of Chatterton and Strongstry; to the west by Holcombe and to the east by Shuttleworth and Turn Village.
The area is characterised by its position in the
Rossendale Valleyand The West Pennine Moors. The high ground rises sharply on either side of the town with Holcombe Moor, Harcles Hill and Bull Hill to the west and Top O' Th' Hoof, Harden Moor, Scout Moor and Whittle Hill to the east.
Peel Tower, Holcombe Moor
The skyline over the town is dominated by the
Peel Monument, a memorial to Sir Robert Peel, a 19th century British Prime Minister best remembered as the creator of the modern British Police Force, born in neighbouring Bury. The tower itself stands convert|128|ft|m|1 tall on Holcombe Moor. [ [http://www.bury.gov.uk/LeisureAndCulture/ParksAndRecreation/Countryside/PlacesToVisit/HolcombeMoor.htm Bury Council reference to Peel Tower, Holcombe Moor] ] Even from the foot of the tower, there are spectacular views over West Yorkshire, North Lancashire, Greater Manchester, North Walesand the Lancashire Plain. From the top of the tower it is possible to see Blackpool Toweron a clear day.
The tower was completed in 1852 at a cost of almost £1,000. This cost was met from public subscriptions by a people grateful for Peel's role in the repeal of the
Corn Laws, legislation that had driven up the price of bread for the working masses.Fact|date=December 2007
East Lancashire Railway
A popular way to visit Ramsbottom is via the
East Lancashire Railwayduring weekends and public holidays. This preserved heritage railway runs diesel and steam services through the year with main stopping points at Rawtenstall, Ramsbottom, Bury and Heywood. The district straddles the A676, A56 and B6214 roads with its centre convert|4|mi|km|1 north of Bury, convert|4|mi|km|1 south of Rawtenstalland convert|6|mi|km|1 north east of Bolton. It is interesting to note that the railway actually crosses the main street of Ramsbottom.
Grant Arms Hotel
The Grant Arms Hotel in the Market Place was at one time the home of William and Daniel Grant, brothers and 19th century industrialists, who settled in the area after leaving their native
Scotland. It is said that the Grant brothers were the inspiration for the "Cheeryble brothers" in Charles Dickens' "Nicholas Nickleby". [cite web | last = Peacock | first = Doug | title = Charles Dickens - writing from life | publisher = Cotton Times | url = http://www.cottontimes.co.uk/dickenso.html | accessdate = 2007-05-05]
Until 1944, Grant's Tower, erected in 1828, stood on the eastern side of the valley (above Park Congregational Chapel) in memory of the Grant brothers.Fact|date=December 2007
Ramsbottom is on the path of the
Irwell Sculpture Trail. The 'Tilted Vase' by Edward Allington, a sculpture both classical in shape to reflect the surrounding buildings but apparently bolted together to reflect the old industries, is located in the Market Place. This piece of work, weighing around two tons, was funded with £250,000 of National Lotterymoney. [cite web |title=Tilted vase sees light of day |publisher=This is Lancashire |publication=Lancashire Evening Telegraph |date=1998-08-06|url=http://archive.thisislancashire.co.uk/1998/8/6/794275.html |accessdate=2008-01-16]
A large park with facilities for bowls, tennis, football and public events.
Culture and community
Black Pudding Throwing Championships
Black PuddingThrowing Championships are held annually at the Royal Oak pub on Bridge Street in the town centre. Participants have to throw (underarm) the puddings in an attempt to dislodge a stack of Yorkshire puddings placed on plinths on two levels (one for children, the other for adults). The winner is the one who dislodges most Yorkshire puddings in three attempts. The competition started at the now defunct Corner Pin pub in nearby Stubbins. In August 2002 this event was staged as the Commonwealth Black Pudding Throwing Championships.
Good Friday traditions
Hundreds of people climb Holcombe Hill each year on
Good Friday. [ [http://www.england-in-particular.info/calendar/c-easter.html Easter Traditions] ] Historically this gathering had a principally religious purpose as the hill is said to be strikingly similar to Calvary, the hill on which Jesuswas crucified.Fact|date=March 2008 A smaller gathering of people also keep alive the tradition of egg rollingbefore starting the climb. The large gatherings on the hill are clearly visible from miles away, and occasionally attract unorthodox religious preachers, who sometimes preach on the hill.
In recent years the celebrations have become more secular, with the public house at the bottom of Holcombe Hill attracting as many as 3,000 visitors if the weather is good. This has led to complaints from local residents and to restrictions being imposed by the local council. [ [http://burydem.bury.gov.uk/aksbury/images/att5084.doc Bury Council] ]
Old English Gamecock Show
Since 1843 there has been an annual exhibition of game
fowl, held on New Years Dayat the Old Dun Horse Hotel. [cite web |title=Game on for bird show |publisher=Newsquest Media Group|publication=Bolton Evening News|date=2002-12-31|url=http://archive.thisislancashire.co.uk/2002/12/31/575588.html|accessdate=2008-04-21] This competitive show replaced the annual cockfightthat took place in the town square following the New Year Holcome Hunt. [cite web |title=Plenty to crow about |publisher=Newsquest Media Group|publication=Bolton Evening News|date=2000-01-04|url=http://archive.lancashireeveningtelegraph.co.uk/2000/1/4/746294.html|accessdate=2008-04-21] The exhibition, which is organised by the Holcombe Old English Game Fowl Club, is said to be the oldest gamecockshow in the world. [cite web |title=All our yesteryears: 25 years ago |publisher=MEN|publication=Rossendale Free Press|date=2006-01-13|url=http://www.rossendalefreepress.co.uk/community/nostalgia/s/508116_ode_was_a_hit_at_beulah|accessdate=2008-04-21]
The Ramsbottom and Edenfield Team Ministry exists to share out the few reverends and priests that serve in the Ramsbottom and Edenfield areas, to make sure that all churches receive regular services. [cite web |title= Team Ministry | url= http://www.retm.co.uk | accessdate= 2007-09-03]
* Christ Church Baptist Methodist Church
* Dundee United Reformed Church
* Edenfield CE Parish Church
* Edenfield Methodist Church
* Emmanuel Church Centre, Holcombe Brook
* Emmanuel Holcombe CE Church, Holcombe
* Greenmount United Reformed Church, Greenmount
* Holcombe Brook Methodist Church
* Olivet Pentecostal Church
Ramsbottom Evangelical Church
* St. Andrew's CE Church
* St. Mary's CE Church, Hawkshaw
* St. John in the Wilderness CE Church, Shuttleworth
* St. Joseph's RC Church
* St. Paul's CE Church
* St. Philip's CE, Chatterton
* Darul Uloom Islamic College
* Edenfield CE Primary, Stubbins Community Primary, St Joseph's RC Primary, St Andrew's CE Primary, Hazelhurst County Primary, Emmanuel Holcomce CE Primary, Holcombe Brook Community Primary, Summerseat Methodist Primary, Peel Brow Primary
Woodhey High School
* Darul Uloom Islamic College
Ramsbottom Cricket Club play in the Lancashire League. The team has included professional players such as Chris Harris (New Zealand), Brad Hodge (Australia and Lancashire CCC, and Ian Harvey (Australia and currently Derbyshire CCC). Its ground, close to
Ramsbottom railway station, has a reputation as being one of the best and most picturesque in the north west of England. Ramsbottom United Football Club play in the North West Counties Football League Division One(level 9 in the English Football League System). The club's home games are played at its floodlit pitch, the "Riverside Ground", adjacent to the cricket ground.
Arts and entertainment
Ramsbottom's non-professional dramatic group is called the Summerseat Players, a registered charity that is run entirely not-for-profit. It typically puts on five performances in each season, as well as a number of other events such as performances by local schools and dance groups, along with the company's own youth theatre groups.
The group has existed since 1968, and originally performed at the St. Winifred's Church Hall in
Summerseat. In 1990, with donations and loans from members and enthusiasts, the company purchased what is now the Theatre Royal on Smithy Street, Ramsbottom. [ [http://www.summerseatplayers.co.uk/history.htm Summerseat Players] ]
*cite book |author=Nicolaisen W. F. H., Gelling M., & Richards M. |title=The Names of Towns and Cities in Britain |publisher=B. T. Batsford Ltd |year=1970 |isbn=0713401133
* [http://www.ramsbottomheritage.org.uk/ Ramsbottom Heritage Society]
* [http://officialpudthrowing.mysite.orange.co.uk/ Official Homepage of the World Black Pudding Throwing Championships]
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