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Things to do in Moorside, Greater Manchester

A view of Moorside with St Thomas Church © Anne Rodgers
A view of Moorside with St Thomas Church © Anne Rodgers

Moorside, Oldham, is indeed beside the moors. Only a 'cockstride' away (meaning:-adjacent to) are the Saddleworth moors and the beautiful Saddleworth villages, five in all. Old pubs and houses dating back to 1800 and beyond; cobbled streets, canal & river, old folk law themes and activities at certain times including Morris Dancers. This neighbouring community to Moorside is well worth a visit.

Moorside came into being because of a wealthy business man called Thomas Melladew and he put Moorside on the map. Thomas Melladew brought his spinning and manufacturing business to Moorside in 1842. It prospered so well that he finished up owing 200-300 dwellings and buildings as well as owning two coal mines that were on his 500 acres of land. Because Moorside was too high a level to be able to have corporation water he built a reservoir to supply all his houses.

He owned almost all of Moorside. His own House was called the Parkfield House, a very grand and dignified house. Eventually, over many years, it became a Guest House. Then, in 1961 it became The Parkfield House Hotel & Country Club and on the 4th April 2007 it closed down and now sadly stands still and empty. Plans are that it will be demolished and luxury apartments built on the land. Hopefully, the new buildings will remain with Thomas Melladew's chosen name - 'Parkfield'.

Moorside offers incredible views. The radio telescope at Jodrell Bank in Goostery, Cheshire, can be seen with the naked eye. So too can cooling towers near Warrington, Manchester's sky line, Winter Hill at Bolton, Peel Tower at Helmshore in the Rossendale Valley, to name but a few, can all be seen with the naked eye, even the Welsh mountains are also visible on clear days.

Moorside nestles under Besom Hill and this too can also be seen and identified from far, far away. It is indeed a landmark with its cliff-like edge. (Incidentally, Besom Hill was once a brick works and that too belonged, in partnership, to Thomas Melladew). As luck would have it Moorside Church just happens to be named St.Thomas'.

Moorside developed greatly in the 60's with many council homes being built but some years later many council homes were demolished and new private housing developments have taken place. Nevertheless, even with a growing community, Moorside still sits on the edge of not only moor land but the country side, green belt land, nature trails and beauty spots all with the feeling of being miles away from town life, when in actual fact Oldham town centre is only two miles away.

Description by Anne Rodgers

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