What to see
You’ll find accounts of what to look at in Rochdale in Towns of Two Halves (and of 91 other places: order the book now for £8 from For additional information plus shopping, eating out etc there’s Visit Rochdale and Rochdale Online.

This weekend…
For events coming up go to Rochdale Online’s Events page .

Comment and colour
“A barrel and Rochdale’s social conscience feature in the Touchstones local history museum. The American Civil War did the Lancashire mill towns great harm, especially when the Union blockaded the Confederates’ ports preventing the export of cotton. But the Rochdale mill workers nonetheless supported the North’s opposition to slavery. In 1863 the citizens of New York and Philadelphia sent supplies including 15,000 barrels of flour to the starving people of Lancashire. The barrel in Touchstones is the last surviving relic of that cargo.
“Touchstones is an excellent civic centre. The museum genuinely brings history to life with some outstanding exhibits – I defy you to listen to the exchange of letters between Gladys and, at the front, her soldier Jim without sharing her anxiety. The collections combine local with general memorabilia and celebrate a number of great Rochdale citizens.”

(This is an extract from Towns of Two Halves. To read more on Rochdale and other football towns, order the book for £8 from

Pioneers Museum: ‘A bold modern wooden structure, perhaps modelled on a tower or on the circular ascent to a car-park, encloses the stairs’

More Rochdale links:
Gracie Fields Heritage Trail

Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum

Hollingworth Lake

Medieval Bridge

Rochdale Pioneers Museum