Rochdale is a market town that is located in the Pennines. It is just ten miles from Manchester and forms part of the metropolitan Borough of Rochdale. Rochdale was originally an ecclesiastical parish and did not receive a Royal charter until 1251. It quickly became prominent as a center for woolen trade in northern England and was known for its many wealthy merchants.
In the 19th century Rochdale was an important mill town. It was a boomtown from the Industrial Revolution. Much of Rochdales success can be linked to the Rochdale canal, which is one of the largest broad canals in the UK. This canal made it possible to easily transport wool, cotton and coal to and form the surrounding areas. Rochdale maintained its prominence in the textile industry until the 20th century.
Rochdale town hall originally had a beautiful and tall clock tower. That tower was burnt down just 12 years after construction finished and since has been replaced by a much shorter tower. The traditional emblems of Rochdale can be found on the front of town hall. The widest bridge in Europe in front of the town hall as this is the path of the Roch River.
Rochdale is easy to reach due to its proximity to Manchester as well as the many railways that provide transportation. The George Stephenson Summit Railway was just reopened in 2003. It is possible to reach Manchester and Leeds taking the Manchester to Rochdale via Oldham Lane line as well as the Manchester Metrolink tram. Many of the Manchester public transportation has been extended to the center of Rochdale with completion estimated for 2012.
If you are looking for a fun afternoon then Rochdale is home to two professional sports teams, the Rochdale hornets and the Rochdale AFC. These two rugby teams have been playing in Rochdale since the beginning of the 1900s. The Rochdale Hornets is actually one of twenty-two teams that were part of the first every Northern rugby Football Union formed in 1895, therefore the Hornets are one of the world’s first rugby teams.
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