Rochdale is a large market town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies at the foothills of the South Pennines on the River Roch, Rochdale is surrounded by several smaller settlements which together form the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, population 206,500. Rochdale is the largest settlement and administrative centre, with a total population of nearly 96,000.
Historically a part of Lancashire, Rochdale's recorded history begins with an entry in the Domesday Book of 1086 under Recedham Manor. The ancient parish of Rochdale was a division of the hundred of Salford and one of the largest ecclesiastical parishes in England comprising several townships. 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 amongst the first ever industrialised towns. The Rochdale Canal—one of the major navigable broad canals of the United Kingdom—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 borough status 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—a Grade I listed building—dates from 1871 and is one of the United Kingdom's finest examples of Victorian Gothic revival architecture. Although it is not fully understood how it came to his attention, Rochdale Town Hall was admired by Adolf Hitler. It has been suggested a visit by Hitler in 1912–13 while staying with his half-brother Alois Hitler, Jr. in Liverpool, or military intelligence on Rochdale, or information from Nazi sympathiser William Joyce (who had lived in Oldham), brought the building to his attention. Hitler admired the architecture so much that it is believed he wished to ship the building, brick-by-brick, to Nazi Germany had German-occupied Europe encompassed the United Kingdom. Rochdale was broadly avoided by German bombers during the Second World War.
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.
The cache is hidden in the Memorial Gardens. The site used to be occupied by a building called the Orchard that stood next to the River Roche. In the years between 1904 and 1926 a massive construction project was undertaken to pave over the River Roch which was polluted and unsightly. The war memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens who designed the Cenotaph, London (1919-1920), it was unveiled by the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Derby on the 26 November 1922 to commemorate the people of Rochdale who lost their lives in the First World Ward. The Memorial gardens were commissioned in 1928 twenty six years after Lutyens memorial was completed, the inscriptions on the meorial were changed to include those lost in the Second World War.
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