Cheesden Valley

The Cheesden Valley is a valley in the Heywood area of Greater Manchester, England. It runs on a north-south alignment between Bury and Rochdale in the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale. Cheesden Brook runs through the valley, joining with Naden Brook to eventually run into the River Roch near Heywood. During the industrial age the valley became a centre of cotton production dependent on running water. The valley is now a conservation area.

There are signs of human activity in Heywood dating from about 8000 BC. Flints from the Mesolithic period have been found in Heywood, in the Cheesden Valley and Knowl Moor areas. All were discovered on high ground close to a water source, and all are quite small and suitable for use as arrowheads and similar objects.

According to a report on an archaeological survey of the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale (which appeared in the Greater Manchester Archaeological Journal in 1985) it is likely that the flints were not left by early residents of Heywood, but rather by bands of hunters.

In later times, the people who farmed the inhospitable countryside made a living by weaving - mostly wool from their own sheep - using a handloom, and the early mills were designed to help them with the supply of yarn and the provision of ancillary services.

As early as 1580, Queen Elizabeth I granted one John Blackwall the right to mine coal in the Cheesden Valley. In addition, it is believed that during the 17th century small communities – ‘Folds’ – could have had their own mines.

The first mill in the valley was probably erected at Kershaw Bridge in 1780 by Thomas Allanson. It was a fustian mill and may have used Arkwright water frames.

This page was last edited on 4 August 2017, at 00:37 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

Related Topics

Recently Viewed