"Oldham" Top 5 Page for this destination Oldham by Evenith666

Oldham Travel Guide: 116 reviews and 297 photos

An Industrial Town

Oldham is a large town in Greater Manchester, lying on elevated ground between the rivers Irk and Medlock. It grew dramaticaly during the Industrial Revolution, during which time is was one of the most important towns in the world, and was without a doubt the most important Cotton Spinning town in the world when it reached its zenith in 1909, producing more than France and Germany combined. The last cotton was spun in Oldham in 1998, despite efforts to rebuild its industry.

Today, Oldham contains two central shopping centres, Town Square and The Spindles. There are also many pubs, clubs and restaurants. It has a 6th Form College and a College of Further Education.


Habitation of the site of Oldham is evident as far back as the Neolithic period, 7,000 to 10,000 years ago, after the discovery of flint arrowheads in Werneth and Bessom Hill. There is evidence of Roman and Celtic occupation, such as the site of a Roman fort at Castleshaw. Oldham as a permanent, named settlement dates from 865, when Danish invaders established a settlement called Aldehulme. Between this point and the Industrial Revolution, Oldham was merely a scattering of small settlements along the dirt tracks between Manchester and York.

By 1756, Oldham had made a name for itself as in the Hatting industry. The rough felt used is the origin of the term ‘Owdham Roughyed’, a nickname for people from Oldham. I was not until the last quarter of the 18th Century that Oldham changed from being a cottage industry town producing woollen garments to a sprawling metropolis of textile factories. Its location far from the sea with no major rivers saw that it played no part in the initial Industrial Revolution, although it later came to be seen as an obvious choice because of the work force available from Manchester and southern Yorkshire. William Clegg built the first cotton mill in Oldham, Lees Hall, in 1778, and within the next year 11 more mills had been built. Through the following years Oldham grew extremely fast, and with no prior history to speak of, it can be said that Oldham was born as an Industrial town.

By 1909, Oldham was the most important Cotton Spinning town in the world, producing more Cotton than France and Germany combined, and there were more than 360 mills operating night and day.

  • Last visit to Oldham: Jan 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (10)

Comments (6)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jul 8, 2010 at 6:43 AM

    Hello, Evan! Thanks for your tips about those nice places! ><><><><

  • Balam's Profile Photo
    May 22, 2009 at 2:49 PM

    We will have to go to Cafe Lahore or to Blue Ocean next time you are home.

  • slitty_tulip's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2009 at 1:48 AM

    some pics would be good but a great start, certainly better than my non existent tips lol

  • planxty's Profile Photo
    Feb 11, 2009 at 5:48 PM

    Like Ranger I haven't been to oldham for decades, literally but I do fancy the look of some of these curry houses. Great start to your VT career, keep it up.

  • Evenith666's Profile Photo
    Feb 11, 2009 at 4:44 PM

    Thank you very much! keep an eye out I keep adding things when i get time :)

  • ranger49's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    It's great to see pages about a member's home town particulary places that have played a part in the nation's history. Not been to Oldam for over half a century but it was a special visit to a very old relative. Thanks for memories.


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