Rochdale is a large market town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies amongst the foothills of the Pennines on the River Roch, north-northwest of Oldham, and north-northeast of the city of Manchester. Rochdale is surrounded by several smaller settlements which together form the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, of which Rochdale is the largest settlement and administrative centre. Rochdale has a total population of 95,796 and the wider borough, 206,500.
Historic counties of England a part of Lancashire, Rochdale's recorded history begins with an entry in the Domesday Book of 1086 under ''Recedham Manor''. The Rochdale (ancient parish) was a division of the Salford (hundred) and one of the largest ecclesiastical parishes in England comprising several Township (England). By 1251, Rochdale had become important enough to have been granted a Royal charter. Subsequently, Rochdale flourished into a centre of northern England's woollen trade, and by the early 18th century was described as being"remarkable for many wealthy merchants".
Rochdale rose to prominence during the 19th century as a major mill town and centre for textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. It was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution, and amongst the first ever Industrialisation towns. The Rochdale Canalâ€”one of the major navigable broad canals of the United Kingdomâ€”was a highway of commerce during this time used for the haulage of cotton, wool, coal to and from the area. The socioeconomic change brought by the success of Rochdale's textile industry in the 19th century led to its rise to municipal borough and it remained a dominant settlement in its region. However, during the 20th century Rochdale's spinning capacity declined towards an eventual halt.
Rochdale today is a predominantly residential town. Rochdale Town Hall dates from 1871 and is one of the United Kingdom's finest examples of Victorian era Gothic revival architecture. Rochdale is the birthplace of the Co-operative Movement. The Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society, founded in 1844, was the first modern cooperative; the Rochdale Principles are a set of ideals for cooperatives.