Posted:10th December, 2020

Little Histories of Littleborough

To celebrate our Stubley Meadows development, we thought we’d take a look back at the long and rich history of the little town of Littleborough.

Sign in centre of Littleborough

A walk down memory lane

The cobbled town centre of Littleborough is a reminder of the town’s place in Roman and Neolithic history. The stone-built town centre is a designated area of conservation due to its historical heritage, which makes for a beautiful meeting point for the small community.

Industrial Littleborough

Though Littleborough is now an excellent commuter town, it once held a vast workforce of its own. In the early eighteenth century, it was home to numerous cotton mills, alongside the associated bleachers and dyers too, earning itself the title of Mill Town. It was an excellent location for the textiles industry due to its proximity to the River Roch. There are few reminders now of Littleborough’s industrial past, and these can now be relived through the town’s historical archives.

Littleborough Co-operative Society

The Co-op Society of Industry was formed in 1850, and one year later, The Littleborough Society opened for business in the front room of one of its founding members. Just 6 years later their official shop opened for business in Toad Lane, and the Co-op became one of the many histories that serve as a reminder of the solid community spirit found in Littleborough.

Hollingworth Lake

Once a Victorian era haven where the Fisherman’s Inn served tea in jugs and sandwiches to visitors, Hollingworth Lake holds its own historic tales. People would travel by steam train from all across the UK to visit the lake and partake in croquet on the grounds and take steamboats across the lake. In 1860 and 1864 the lake froze over and more than 2,000 people were recorded ice skating on the lake with teams from Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds would travel to hold curling matches on the icy lake. Captain Matthew Webb used Hollingworth Lake for training to become the first man to swim the English Channel from Dover to Calais in 1875.

Though it’s moved on from steamboats and croquet the lake still hosts a wide range of water sports today, including the Hollingworth Rowing Club which dates back to 1860. You can even visit The Wine Press which was formerly the historic Fisherman’s Inn. There’s a scenic 2.5 mile walk around the lake where you can visit a wildlife sanctuary with a bird hide, and the woodland enviro gym.

Rochdale Canal

Running alongside our Stubley Meadow development is the Rochdale canal. First opened in 1804, the Rochdale canal was the first trans-Pennine canal and one of the country’s most picturesque waterways. One direction runs all the way to Manchester city centre, and the other climbs high into the Pennines to Summit, above Littleborough. The canal is home to varied wildlife and flora and provides a perfect countryside walk and cycle path for those looking to escape into the quiet and beautiful landscape.

We are proud that our Stubley Meadows development will one day become part of the bountiful history of Littleborough. Perfectly situated for excellent local schools, shops and restaurants, outdoor activities and countryside pursuits, this Russell Homes development puts you right in the heart of the Littleborough community.

Right on the edge of a traditional Pennine market town, you could have your very own Russell home making the most of the semi-rural yet accessible location. If the historic community of Littleborough is a place you would like to call home, you can take a look at our new build homes in Stubley Meadows today.