Springfield park is a local park which is located between the towns of Heywood and Rochdale in the city of Manchester. The park is relatively small in comparison to other Manchester parks but still has some great qualities.
In the center of the park is a lake which is home to geese, ducks and other small birds. There is a small fence around the lake and visitors are encouraged not to climb over this but the birds and geese can still be fed. There is a children's play area and usually an ice cream van on site.
There are Tennis courts and a small football court which can be used completely free of charge and over the hill of the park looking downwards there is a running track.
I come here often to walk my dogs and is beautiful in the winter months when the lake is frozen over, it is also very nice in the summer too.
There is no entrance fee to the park and there are many car parking spaces too which are free of charge. As the park is located on a main road you would also be able to get there by bus too. You could get here using the bus 471 from Rochdale bus station and you could get from Manchester Shudehill to Rochdale bus station on the number 17 bus.
It is a nice little place to stop if you are in and around the area and you want to see some town folk.
Hollingworth Lake was built in 1804 to supply water to the Rochdale Canal, the lake is surrounded by a vast country side which includes lots of hiking trails, camping sites and a water activity centre.
There is an old rumour that the lake was built over the top of an old town and when the lake starts to evaporate in the hot summer months people have said that they have seen the top of the old church spire starting to pierce through the water.
Hollingworth Lake is very dog friendly and most people walking round the lake will be accompanied by a dog, the walk around the lake itself is 1 and a half miles long and as you walk further around the leg you will find yourself in a woodland area where you can stroll off the main walk into some of the purpose built bird watching areas.
The Water Activity Centre on Lake Bank caters for groups and individuals wanting instruction in windsurfing, dinghy sailing and other water-based sports, and also arranges training for groups in mountain biking and climbing.
The wider Country Park has plenty of walking routes, from easy strolls around the lake shore to sturdier trecks in the surrounding hills. Guidebooks can be bought at the visitors centre which will show you all of the different walks available.
Parking at Hollingworth Lake can sometimes be quite difficult, there are 2 main car parks which are pay and display. This means that you have to purchase your parking ticket when you park up your car, stick it to your car window and be back in your car before the ticket expires. The main car park is in the Fayre and Square pub which you will probably see first as you come to the lake.
2nd car park - Continue forward towards "The Wine Press" pub (Bikers pub) and turn left just before you get to it - there is the 2nd car park.
I would highly recommend NOT parking on the main road near opposite the lake or in the residential streets beside the lake as ticket wardens are almost guaranteed to be there especially on sunny days and at the weekend.
You can get the number 452, 455 & 456 bus from Rochdale bus station to Hollingworth Lake. You can get the number 17 bus from Manchester Shudehill to Rochdale bus station if you are coming from the city centre.
You can get the buses 452 & 455 if you are coming from Littleborough.
In 1832 the Rochdale Friendly Co-operative Society was founded by local weavers.In 1833, inspired by the enthusiasm for the ideas of Robert Owen, the society opened its own shop at 15 Toad Lane. This first shop only lasted two years before it was forced to close.
In 1844 the Rochdale economy was in another of those dizzying nose-dives that once again led to wage reductions which in turn triggered strikes. Unemployed weavers meeting at the Socialist Institute and no doubt debating Chartist and Owenism philosophies established a new society. These Rochdale Pioneers formulated the Rochdale Principles upon which their version of co-operation were founded. These principles were:
1. Democratic control, one member one vote and equality of the sexes.
2. Open membership.
3. A fixed rate of interest payable on investment.
4. Pure, unadulterated goods with full weights and measures given.
5. No credit.
6. Profits to be divided pro-rata on the amount of purchase made (the divi).
7. A fixed percentage of profits to be devoted to educational purposes.
8. Political and religious neutrality.
With money raised from the original 28 subscribers, a shop was founded in a warehouse at 31 Toad Lane and it was equipped and stocked.
The shop opened on the 21st of December, 1844. By 1848 the Co-operative had 140 members. At first only a few basic commodities like butter, sugar, flour, oatmeal and candles were sold.
That shop, situated in the conservation area around Toad Lane in Rochdale, has now been converted into a museum. Inside the original building you can see museum room displaying original documents and artefacts Upstairs, in a room used by the Pioneers used for educational purposes, is an assembly room for meetings and exhibitions.
The beehive, which used to stand atop the now demolished Central Store of the Co-Operative Society at 45-51 Toad Lane, has been preserved and incorporated into the outside wall of the museum. The beehive was used to symbolise industry.
The Touchstones museum is a lovely little museum dedicated to life in and around Rochdale over the centuries. There is a nice collection of artifacts and memoribilia that span the years and bring the memories of Rochdale people to life.
Records for this Church go as far back as 1194. In 1840 the churchyard was the scene of a violent dispute between John Bright and the vicar Rev J Molesworth about Church rates. At a further meeting the Riot Act was read and the vicar was smuggled away by the military. In the chuch yard you will find some stocks which were last used in 1822.
The Pioneers museum tells the story of a group of men who got together in 1844 to form a co-operative which provided affordable food for the communities of Rochdale. The co-operative was a huge success with many co-operative stores still trading throughout the UK. There is a small charge for this delightful little museum although the kind lady working there at the time of our visit did not charge us because one or two of the exhibition lights were not working.
Rochdale Borough Council's Award winning arts and heritage centre located in Rochdale town centre just two minutes from town centre shops and bus station. Here you will find a 'hands on' museum for all the family, four splendid art galleries, local studies centre, cafe and shop. It is also home to Rochdale Tourist Information Centre. The museum has some great exhibitions and artefacts on display together with many interactive and hands on exhibits.
Rochdale Town Hall is a Victorian-era municipal building. It is a great looking building and has been recognised as being one of the finest municipal buildings in the country. It is rated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building. The Town Hall functions as the ceremonial headquarters of Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council and houses local government departments, including the borough's civil registration office.
Built in the Gothic Revival style at a cost of £160,000 it was inaugurated for the governance of the Municipal Borough of Rochdale on 27 September 1871. The architect, William Henry Crossland, was the winner of a competition held in 1864. Upon completion, the Town Hall had a 240-foot clock tower topped by a wooden spire with a gilded statue of Saint George and the Dragon. The spire and statue were destroyed by fire on 10 April 1883, leaving the building without a spire for four years. A new 191-foot stone clock tower and spire in the style of Manchester Town Hall was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, and erected in 1888 as a replacement.
During our visit we had a look inside to admire the lavishly decorated foyer. This is the only area open to the public with the exception of Fridays when there is an organised tour which will take you to see some of the other rooms of this delightful building. (Ring number below for details of tours).
Rochdale had a motte and bailey Castle that was built in the early post Norman Conquest period and stood on what is now Castle Hill. The Castle was abandoned in the early 13th century.
The mound, is some 100 feet across at the base and flat topped and the bailey was to the South and an irregular square shape and was quite large at approximately 120 feet by 100 feet and was surrounded by an earth rampart with a ditch. The rampart is still intact on the east, west and part of the south sides
The castle was abandoned in the early 13th century.
The Rochdale Canal opened over its whole length from Manchester to Sowerby Bridge in 1804. This made it the first Trans-Pennine canal, beating the Huddersfield Canal by 7 years and the Leeds and Liverpool canal by 12 years. The original concept for the Trans-Pennine portion of the Rochdale Canal had proposed a 1.6 mile tunnel between Walsden and Sladen. In the end the tunnel was dropped as a navigation option and replaced by a large number of locks which took the canal over a summit level of 600 feet.
Whilst the canal took advantage of the routes created by natural waterways, it did not interfere or draw water from the natural rivers and streams. Water for the canal was provided by a series of reservoirs. Operating the 92 locks over the summit required a constant and copious water supply. A number of reservoirs were constructed on the Blackstone Edge, including the 90 acre White Holme Reservoir north-east of the village of Summit.
Without question the most famous of the reservoirs, built to supply water to the canal, was Hollingworth Lodge which lies a short distance from Rochdale at Smithy Bridge. The term Lodge referred to the fact that this was a storage place for water. The water body soon became known as Hollingworth Lake.
Unlike the reservoirs constructed in the deeply incised valley of the Pennines, Hollingworth Lake posed some construction problems since there was no natural depression. The normal method of reservoir construction, involving one dam across the mouth of a valley, would not work here. In fact, three earthen walls or embankments were constructed. The Hollingworth Bank cut off the Ealees Valley which runs to Littleborough. The Fens Bank runs across the northern shore. The third embankment was the Shaw Moss Bank which marked the southern boundary of the lake. In all the lake created covered 120 acres, including about 40 acres of low-lying marshland in the vicinity of Rakewood.
It is now a popular place for walking or Hiring of rowing boats.. There are many cafe's shops and restaurants
Rochdale Town Hall was opened on September 7th, 1871 with a ceremony befitting this fine Victorian building designed by William Crossland. When proposed in 1864 it was recommended that £20,000 be spent on a suitable building. When it was completed, the remarkable building with its 240 foot high wooden spire topped by a gilded statue of St. George, cost £155,000.
It is still highly regarded for its outstanding stained glass window, grand staircase and the hammer beam roof in the Great Hall.
Twelve years after it was opened a fire, visible 10 miles away, destroyed the tower. The building remained spireless for 4 years before Alfred Waterhouse, the architect responsible for Manchester Town Hall, completed a fine stone replacement.
Rumour has it that Adolf Hittler (had he managed to invade and conqour England) was going to have the Town Hall dismantled and rebuilt in Germany
There has been a church on the top of Sparrow Hill looking down on the River Roch since the 12th Century. The first vicar, Geoffrey, the Dean of Whalley, was appointed in 1194. The building that you see today is much changed from that original structure. Much of it dates back to Saxon times but there have been further revisions. There is an unsuported legend that St. Chad, to whom the church is dedicated, visited Rochdale in 669 or 670.