Rochdale is a market town in Lancashire, 198 miles from London and 12 from Manchester, is situated in a valley, or dale, on the river Roche, from whence it takes its name. The staple manufacture of this place is a branch of the woolen trade: consisting chiefly of baizes, flannels, kerseys, coatings and cloths, which are generally sent abroad. The cotton manufacture has likewise extended much into this parish and the making of hats forms also an extensive branch of business. Within the last thirty years there has been a very considerable increase of the population in this parish and its local advantages are much improved by the canal, which connects it with the navigable river Calder on one side and the Bridgewater canal at Manchester on the other, by which it enjoys a communication with the ports of Liverpool and Hull and the whole line of inland navigation.
The range of hills, called Blackstone Edge, under which the town is situated, produce
coal, slate, and free-stone in abundance; and likewise inclose several beautiful vallies,
which stretch in various directions, possessing fine streams of water, of much use in the
different manufactories. The parish church stands upon a remarkable eminence, to .
which you ascend from the lower part of the town, by a flight of 122 steps, with several
resting places before you arrive at the top. Rochdale is a vicarage, said to be superior in
value to any other living of that description in England. There has been lately laid the
foundation of a chapel of ease to the parish church, near the upper end of Yorkshire-street.
There are also places of worship for the various classes of dissenters. It has a free Grammar
School, founded by Archbishop Parker; an English Free School, for thirty boys, endowed
by the late Mrs. Hardman, deceased; a National School, erected in 1814; Adult Schools, for
males and females; an auxiliary Bible Society; a female Bible Association; and a Ladies'
Charity. The population of the town of Rochdale, according to a late calculation,
amounts to upwards of 12,000. The markets, on Mondays and Saturdays, are uncommonly
well supplied with all kinds of provisions. The fairs are May 14, Whit-Tuesday, and
Nov. 7, for cattle, woollen cloth, &c. and the first Monday in every month, for cattle.