Market, Shops & Pubs


Rochdale is a market town and weekly markets have been held since 1251 when Edmund de Lacy procured a charter for a weekly market on Wednesday and an annual fair on the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude (28 October). This development was ultimately to bring great prosperity and Rooley Moor Road, which connects the north of Spotland with the Church and the market in the centre of Rochdale, was a major route to the market held outside the parish church where there was an “Orator’s Corner”.

In 1292 Henry de Lacy was required to show by what warrant he held the market and fair; Plac. de Quo Warr.

In 1296 the toll and stallage of the markets and fairs produced 53s. 8d, and 53s. 4d. in 1305, but were valued at only 30s. in 1311.

Market days were added in 1577 and 1673.

Camden in 1582 described Rochdale as ‘a market town well frequented.’

Defoe about 1724 described Rochdale as ‘a good market town, and of late much improved in the woollen manufacture, as are also the villages in its neighbourhood.’

The market day was changed from Wednesday to Monday during the 18th century, and Monday continues to be the ‘manufacturers’ market day; there is a provision market on Saturday.

The market rights were purchased from Lord Byron in 1823; the market hall, built in 1844, is still in the hands of a private company. The cattle market is in Manchester Road.


1958 – Corner shop at No.5 Smallshaw Road, Catley Lane Head. R Lees is recorded in the 1954-55 trade directory as the storekeeper. In the 1938 trade directory Samual Whitworth is recorded as a storekeeper living at No.9 Smallshaw Road.

Catley Lane Head Milk Lady

The Doldrums Tea Rooms

Win McGhee writes, “Here’s my story about the Doldrums Tea Room:

Madge Sumner opened The Doldrums in June 1967.  Prior to that her husband died in 1959 and she continued to run, on her own, “Oulder Hill Restaurant”  (Chip shop with cafe!) on Bury Road.  Instead of retiring, she was 55 at this time, she decided to try something new that she had always wanted to do – to open an Afternoon Tea Cafe.  She looked around the area for some time until she found the properties in Lanehead and decided this was a traditional village to start her new life.  After several months of research, decisions, planning and refurbishment, The Doldrums Tea Room was born.  The business soon grew and developed and was very busy.  Some people walked up to the village, others drove, parked their cars and then went for a walk on the moors.  Others came up on the bus enjoying the ride out.  The bus drivers got used to stopping outside to let people on or off the bus. She made many long lasting friends from regular customers who she kept in touch with until ill health prevented her.
After a year or so people started enquiring about suppers, so although she didn’t open on a regular basis, she would take group bookings for meals or potato pie suppers.  Several church and community groups would walk over the moors on a summer evening from Norden and Whitworth.  Many meals were made over the Christmas period and although she had no alcohol licence customers were legally permitted to bring their own drinks.  Singing and dancing were part of the evening!  She has been known to tell people to lock the door and put the key through the letter box and off to bed she went, leaving them to enjoy their evening !!!  Memorable times were had.
Throughout her time at The Doldrums, Madge always tried to encourage the young people in the village (and their relatives) to help with serving the afternoon teas – including her grandchildren, the boys didn’t escape either – and this gave them all some very welcome pocket money.  Not to be outdone a few adult neighbours also helped especially for the evening dinners.  As she grew older (approx aged 70) she started to open just at weekends but still took bookings for some evenings.  She eventually closed The Doldrums in approximately 1990 aged 78yrs.
Here are some quotes from people who frequented the Tea Rooms:
“I spent some lovely times with friends at your Mum’s tea room. I never knew that she used to have a chip shop though”.
“I remember her opening, really exciting in the village and she had deckchairs outside!”
“Love my Auntie Madge ! What a star! Lots of happy memories of both the chippy and the Doldrums.”
“Sounds lovely Win. Do you have any photos?”
“Madge was very worried about disturbing the peace of the village in those days !!” But seemingly unfounded.”


Roydes Arms, Rooley Moor Road

In 1885 Sarah Nuttall is recorded in the Rochdale Trade Directory as the landlady.

The Black Dog, 31 Rooley Moor Road, Lanehead, Spotland

In 1885 James Holt is recorded in the Rochdale Trade Directory as the landlord.

The Moorcock Inn, Rooley Moor Road

In 1885 William Barnish is recorded in the Rochdale Trade Directory as the landlord for a pub by tis name in  Lanehead, Spotland and Thomas Taylor is recorded as the landlord for a pub in the Roolies, Spotland.

The Kimberley Club, Stacksteads, near Bacup, Rossendale

Situated at the northern end of Rooley Moor Road and built in 1897 as an after hours drinking den for local quarry workers, the club is not open to the public but by invitation only. If you are following Rooley Moor Road the club is approached down a hill, then a dirt track, through a gate from which a path leads to the tiny wooden club building in the middle of a field.

There are two small rooms, the front room is where most members congregate and is furnished with a delightfully eclectic mix of old seats and tables, signs and photos. There is no mains electricity, light is provided by gas lights and warmth by an ancient single-flame gas heater.

The Club is open only for limited hours on four nights a week. Members go into the tiny cellar to serve themselves drinks, but have to continually whistle so that the other members can tell that they aren’t taking a sly tipple. No food is served, except for nuts and they can’t sell crisps because they get damp.

The whereabouts of the club cannot be revealed on pain of death. However, you may enquire from CAMRA.

White Lion – 240 Rooley Moor Road

In 1885 Elizabeth Brierley is recorded in the Rochdale Trade Directory as the landlady.