Heywood, Greater Manchester

Heywood, Greater Manchester

infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 53.5906
longitude= -2.2190
official_name= Heywood
population= 28,024
metropolitan_borough= Rochdale
metropolitan_county= Greater Manchester
region= North West England
constituency_westminster= Heywood and Middleton
post_town= HEYWOOD
postcode_district = OL10
postcode_area= OL
dial_code= 01706
os_grid_reference= SD8510

static_image_caption=A view of Heywood, looking westwards
london_distance=convert|169|mi|km|abbr=on SSE

Heywood is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, in Greater Manchester, England. It lies on the Rochdale Canal, close to the River Roch and is convert|2.4|mi|km|1 east of Bury, convert|3.7|mi|km|1 west-southwest of Rochdale, and convert|7.4|mi|km|1 north of the city of Manchester. The town of Middleton lies to the south.

Historically a part of Lancashire, Heywood as a settlement is believed to date from Anglo-Saxon England, when the Anglo-Saxons cleared the densely wooded area, and divided it into heys or fenced clearings. During the Middle Ages, Heywood formed a small township centred on Heywood Hall, a manor house owned by the Heywood family. Farming was the main industry of this rural area, with locals supplementing their incomes by hand-loom woollen weaving in the domestic system.

Following the introduction of textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, Heywood developed into populous mill town and coal mining district.

Heywood can be reached via junction 19 of the M62 Motorway and is also served by the East Lancashire Railway (primarily a tourist attraction). Its main industry in the past has been cotton milling, although this has long since declined. Heywood is now home to one of the largest distribution parks in North West England, supported by significant motorway links with Manchester and Liverpool.


Human activity in the area extends back to the Roman period and the Bronze Age as artefacts from both periods have been discovered.cite web |title=A brief history of Heywood |publisher=Heywood.org.uk |url=http://www.heywood.org.uk/history.htm Retrieved on 1 September 2008.] A Bronze Age cairn convert|0.6|m|ft|0 high and convert|10|m|ft in diameter was discovered in the 1960s. Excavations by Bury Archaeological Group revealed beakers associated with human burials. [cite web |title=Monument no. 890857 |url=http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=890857 |publisher=Pastscape.org.uk Retrieved on 4 April 2008.] The name Heywood is believed to derive from the Old English word "haga", meaning hedge or animal-enclosure.citation|url=http://www.link4life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=c.showPage&pageID=180|title=Heywood|publisher=link4link.org|author= Rochdale Boroughwide Cultural Trust|date=|accessdate=2008-10-07] In the 12th century, Heywood was recorded as a hamlet in the township of Heap.

The Heywood family, lords of the manor of Heywood, can be traced back to 1164. In 1286, Adam de Bury "granted land in Heywood, in the parish of Bury county of Lancaster" to the Heywood family. Heywood Hall, the administrative centre of the manor and the seat of the family, was built in the 13th century. A member of the family and a resident of Heywood Hall, Peter Heywood, was in the party of men who arrested Guy Fawkes during his attempt to destroy the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Another member of the family, also called Peter Heywood, was aboard the HMS "Bounty" when its crew mutinied in 1789. [citation |last=Laughton |first=J. K. |title=Heywood, Peter (1772–1831) |series=Oxford Dictionary of National Biography |publisher=Oxford University Press |edition=online |url=http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/13187 |year=2008 |accessdate=15 September 2008]

The first spinning-mill built in the town was at Wrigley Brook, later known as Queens Park Road. In 1780, industrialist Sir Robert Peel (father of Prime Minister Robert Peel) converted Makin Mill to cotton production. The cotton-trade in Heywood grew so that by 1845 there were 36 cotton-mills in the town, all with one exception were for the manufacture of heavy cotton goods. They operated 129,936 spinning machines, 203,066 mule-spindles, and 5,320 looms. The mills manufactured 8,506 tons of cotton annually, and consuming 71,101 tons of coal in its mills and in its two paper-mills, there were approximately 7,510 persons employed.

In 1898 W.R.Lee & Company of "Hooley Bridge", Towel Manufactures began operation as the largest weaving mill in Heywood, employing some 800+ workers and over 1,000 Lancashire and Northrop weaving looms. It is responsible for the trade names Leeona (named after W.R.Lee) and "Chortex" (named after "Chrorley Textiles") brands which were sold worldwide.

In 1905 Plum] Mill began operation as the largest mule-spinning mill in the world under one roof, however Plum Mill and its sister-mill "Unity Mill" were idled in the 1960s under the government reorganization of the cotton industry. The last large weaving mill in the town was J. Smith Hargreaves & Company, towel manufactures; however this too was idled in the 1980s and operations were transferred to W.T.Taylor & Co. Ltd, in Horwich near Bolton.

Heywood is an archetypal mill town, and during the Industrial Revolution its main industry was cotton. Many of the cotton mills have now been demolished, mainly for housing. One of the last mills remaining, though not in production since 1986, has recently been offered for redevelopment as apartments. The "Mutual Mills", a complex of four, are grade II listed buildings.

The town has a history of coal mining. Coal pits were opened in Hooley Clough in the town in the early 1800s by the Lord of the Manor of Rochdale. During the 19th century a colliery at Captain Fold was run by the Heywood Coal Company. Two people were killed at Captain Fold between 1844–1848. When the mine flooded in 1852 two more people were killed and the colliery closed soon after. Mining continued in the town with drift mining in Bamford until 1950. [cite web |title=Captain Fold pit disaster |work=Heywood Advertiser |url=http://www.heywoodadvertiser.co.uk/community/nostalgia/s/388008_captain_fold_pit_disaster |date=10 March 2003 Retrieved on 1 September 2008.]

Heywood became a borough on 18 February 1881, incorporating Heap, Hopwood, Pilsworth and Birtle-with-Bamford. At the time, the district included 67 cotton mills and weaving sheds, 67 machine works and other workshops, 75 cotton waste and other warehouses and 5,877 dwelling houses. It had 22 churches and chapels and 24 Sunday and day schools. The population was estimated at 25,000.

In 1894, the township of Pilsworth was dissolved and the Broadfield part was merged into the town of Heywood. ['Townships: Pilsworth', "A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5" (1911), pp. 169–170. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=53021. Retrieved on 30 August 2008.]

The town was originally served by railway, with a station to the south of the town. There were services to Bury Knowsley Street station and Rochdale, but this line was closed in the 1970s. However, the line has recently been re-opened to Bury, as an extension to the East Lancashire Railway preservation project.

The town also had its own canal, the Heywood Branch Canal which is now infilled and largely gone.

There is a local legend that men from Heywood used to have tails and that public houses had holes in their benches for tails to fit through. The legend led to the town developing the nickname of "Monkey Town". [cite web |title=Island bench for a monkey |work=Heywood Advertiser |url=http://www.heywoodadvertiser.co.uk/news/w/89/89958_island_bench_for_a_monkey.html |date=15 September 2004 Retrieved on 1 September 2008.] This legend is actually fanciful, and the accepted reason is that the local area of "Heap Bridge", once a thriving part of the town was known as 'Ape Bridge when said in the local accent.

The southern wing of St Luke's church, well known throughout the area for its beautiful proportions and ornate carvings, is suggested to have been one of Hitler's high-priority items for acquisition had he won the war. Although difficult to confirm, it is indeed one of the finest examples of its kind in the whole of England.Fact|date=April 2008

In 2007 a plan to rejuvenate the town over a 10–15 year period. The plan involves creating new retail, business, and community spaces and replacing 300 flats and houses to be demolished with 1,000 new homes. It was in response to a perceived "mill town" image and a migrating 19–30 age range. [citation |title=Radical plans for Heywood |publisher=Manchester Evening News |url=http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1017728_radical_plans_for_heywood |date=27 September 2007 |accessdate=30 August 2008]


Heywood is part of the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale of Greater Manchester.

In 1967 Heywood became twinned with Peine, Germany. [cite web |title=Town twinning |publisher=Rochdale.gov.uk |url=http://www.rochdale.gov.uk/leisure_and_culture/libraries/town_twinning.aspx Retrieved on 31 August 2008.]


The whole town is undergoing a major regeneration as part of the government's New Deal for Communities, and New Heart for Heywood are investing about £52 million. The scheme is designed to renew deprived areas. [cite web |title=MPs' rap for £2bn blitz on urban decay |work=Manchester Evening News |author=Ian Craig |url=http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/130/130327_mps_rap_for_2bn_blitz_on_urban_decay.html |date=14 September 2004 Retrieved on 31 August 2008.] This bid was initially won in 2000 and work to regenerate this town is still ongoing. Some of the planned works for 2006-2008 include a new Health Connections Centre, a new family Surestart Centre, a new Primary School (although several are being knocked down as a result) and a multi-million pound sports and leisure village.

In 2005, the convert|200|acre|ha|lk=on Heywood Distribution was sold to SEGRO (then Slough Estates) for £276M. The distribution park was one of a number of properties in Greater Manchester Slough Estates described as "important strategic sites, and provide prime industrial property with high-calibre occupiers as well as development land". [cite web |title=Heywood Park is sold in £276m deal |work=Manchester Evening News |url=http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/business/s/167/167110_heywood_park_is_sold_in_276m_deal.html |author=David Thame |date=26 July 2005 Retrieved on 30 August 2008.] It is the largest single-owned distribution park in the region, [cite web |title=Park 'n' grow deal |work=Manchester Evening News |url=http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/business/s/57/57300_park_n_grow.html |author=David Thame |date=29 April 2003 Retrieved on 30 August 2008.] and has won 16 awards for security.cite web |title=Five-high in the Park! |work=Manchester Evening News |url=http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/business/s/21/21832_fivehigh_in_the_park.html |author=David Thame |date=15 October 2002 Retrieved on 30 August 2008.] Companies with property in the park include Character Options, Eddie Stobart, Argos, and Littlewoods. [cite web |title=Heywood's toyland |work=Manchester Evening News |url=http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/business/s/1027821_heywoods_toyland |date=11 December 2007 Retrieved on 30 August 2008.]

According to the 2001 UK census, the industry of employment of residents aged 16–74 was 24.6% retail and wholesale, 19.2% manufacturing, 10.7% health and social work, 5.5% education, 8.2% transport and communications, 8.1% property and business services, 7.9% construction, 4.2% public administration, 3.8% hotels and restaurants, 3.0% finance, 0.7% energy and water supply, 0.4% agriculture, 0.1 mining and 3.6% other. Compared with national figures, the town had a relatively low percentage working in agriculture. [cite web |title=KS11a Industry of employment - all people: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas |publisher=Statistics.gov.uk |url=http://www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/ssdataset.asp?vlnk=8306&More=Y |date=3 February 2005 Retrieved on 1 September 2008.] The census recorded the economic activity of residents aged 16–74, 1.9% students were with jobs, 3.3% students without jobs, 5.6% looking after home or family, 8.5% permanently sick or disabled, and 3.4% economically inactive for other reasons.


Heywood C.C. plays in the Central Lancashire Cricket League. [cite web |title=Heywood top of CLL table |work=Heywood Advertiser |url=http://www.heywoodadvertiser.co.uk/sport/cricket/s/1064394_heywood_top_of_cll_table |date=28 August 2008 Retrieved on 1 September 2008.] The club has won the Wood Cup on nine occasions since the cup began in 1921. [cite web |title=Oldham Cricket Club: Wood Cup |publisher=OldhamCC.co.uk |url=http://www.oldhamcc.co.uk/competitions/wood_cup_detail.php Retrieved on 1 September 2008.]

The "Heywood Advertiser" was founded in the 19th century. The newspaper has a readership of 16,500 and runs its own website. [cite web |title=Heywood Advertiser |work=Manchester Evening News |url=http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/community/s/300/300042_heywood_advertiser.html |date=3 April 2007 Retrieved on 1 September 2008.]

*Ashworth Valley is a renowned local beauty spot.

*Queens Park in Heywood has recently undergone a multi-million pound facelift with many of its Victorian attractions restored such as the old fountain and many of the statues. It was officially 're-opened' in June 2006.


Public transport in Heywood is co-ordinated by the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive, and services include bus and rail transport. Major A roads link Heywood with other settlements. The M62 motorway passes to the south of the town, and can be accessed at Junction 19.

Heywood railway station is on the East Lancashire railway line, a heritage railway which connects Heywood with Rawtenstall railway station via Ramsbottom railway station. The original station opened on the national rail network in 1841 and closed in 1970. It re-opened in 2003 as an extension of the East Lancashire Railway from Bury Bolton Street railway station.

Bus services operate to Bolton Bury, Middleton, Manchester, Oldham and Rochdale, mainly operated by First Manchester.cite web|title=Network Maps: Rochdale|url=http://www.gmpte.com/pdfmaps/network/rochdale.pdf|accessdate=2008-05-01|publisher=gmpte.com
author=Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive|date=2008-04-30|format=PDF

Notable people

Roger Fenton, the pioneering war photographer, whose work on the American Civil war is particularly noted has a "blue plaque" at his old home - what is now the Crimble hotel [ http://www.heywoodadvertiser.co.uk/news/s/388616_plaque_marks_fenton_birthplace]

The Tittensor brothers - soap stars, were born and raised in Heywood [http://www.heywoodadvertiser.co.uk/news/s/1066906_soap_actor_on_assault_charge]

Peter Kane, Famour flyweight boxer [ http://www.manchester2002-uk.com/celebs/sport-champs4.html]

Julie Goodyear, Star of ITV's "Coronation Street" for many years [ http://www.heywoodadvertiser.co.uk/news/s/513096_riding_plans_for_goodyear] .

Lisa Stansfield was raised in Heywood. [http://www.heywoodadvertiser.co.uk/news/s/513866_playing_pooh_in_the_school_play_was_my_big_break]

Keri-Anne Payne, British olympic swimmer and silver medallist, lives in Heywood. [ [http://www.olympics.org.uk/beijing2008/AthleteProfile.aspx?id=6657 Keri-Anne's Olympic Profile] ] Christine Gaskell, Commonwealth 100 m breaststroke gold medallist (Christchurch 1974), was born, raised and still lives in Heywood. The community swimming baths, Gaskell Pool, are named in her honour. [ [http://www.heywood.org.uk/memories/Christine%20Gaskell.htm Christine Gaskell ] ]



External links

* [http://www.east-lancs-rly.co.uk/ East Lancashire Railway]
* [http://www.heywood.org.uk/ Heywood Online]
* [http://www.heartofheywood.org/ Heart of Heywood]

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