ROCHDALE, Lancashire, parliamentary borough, an.I the seat of Poor-Law Union, in the parish of Rochdale, is skated on both sides of the river Roch, In 53° 38' N. 1st, 2° I0' W. long., distant 48 miles 8.E. from Lancaster, 193 miles N.W. by N. from London by road, and 200 miles by the North-Western and Lan cashire and Yorkshire railways. The population of the borough in 1851 was 29,195. The affairs of the town are managed by Improve ment Commissioners. The borough returns one member to the Imperial Parliament. The living is a vicarage in the nrchdeaconry and diocese of Manchester. Rochdale Poor.Law Union contains Mx townships, with an area of 40,340 acres, and a population in 1851 of 72,515.
Rochdale is called Recedham in the Domesday Survey. In the time of Edward III. some Floorings introduced the woollen manufac ture into the pariah; and two centuries afterwards, in the reign of Elizabeth, it was still famous for its woollens. In 1610 thero were Eve established on the Spodden, or Spotland brook, in this .
town has been considerably improved of late years. Tho houses are chiefly of brick ; some of the best are built of freestone quarried in the neighbourhood; they are commonly covered with stone instead of slates. The streets are well paved, and lighted with gas; and the town is supplied with water from four reservoirs. The old stone bridge of three arches over the Roch has been widened and improved; about a quarter of a mile below It is another stone bridge of one arch, and just above it an Iron bridge for foot passengers. The parish church, which occupies an elevated site, was built in the 12th century. It is partly of late Norman and partly of the perpendicular style. St. liary's church, plain brick building, was built in 1740 as a chapel of ea* to the parish church. St. James's church was built in 1814.
The Wesleyan and Association Methodists, Baptists, Independents, the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion, Primitive Methodists, Quakers, Roman Catholics, and Unitarians, have places of worship. Th. grammar .ohool, founded in 1505, had 0 scholars in 1854, of whom I 11-11.4 free. There are National, British, Infant, and Charity schools, and school supported by the Society of Odd Fellows. A literary institute ooanectcd with the Established Church, an athenaeum, people's Institute with libraries and reading-rooms attached, a tem perace-hall, and a dispensary are in the town. The town.hall, a neat Whaler, is also used as a nein-room. There is a commodious jail, called the New Bailey. A county court is held in the town. The manufacturer' of Rochdale are in prosperous condition, and are rapidly increasing in importance: they comprehend woollen goods, as baize, flannel., coatings, and friezes ; and strong calicoes and other cotton goods; but the woollen fabrics form the staple. Coal Is dug, and elates, flagstone., and freestone are abundantly quarried in the There are several bat-manufactories, cotton-spinning mills, and brass foundries, and machine factorise There are two markets : on Monday for manufactured goods, wool, oil, dye-stuffs, and grain ; and on Saturday for provision+. Fairs are held for cattle, horses, and pedlery on May 14th, on Whit-Tuesday, and on November 7th. The Roohdalo Canal, which unites the Duke of Bridgewater's Canal at Manchester with the Calder and Ribble navigation near Halifax, passes at a short distance south-east from the town.