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Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Todmorden Yorkshire Reviews

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Todmorden - where's that? Oct 07, 2011
This one is special to me because it's home! Yet you may well ask where it is. Many people think (wrongly) that it is all or part in Lancashire. The postcode is OL14 based on Oldham in Greater Manchester and the town's history relates more to cotton (Lancashire) than to wool (Yorkshire.) However Todmorden is part of Calderdale, one of the five Metropolitan Boroughs of West Yorkshire.

The roads to Burnley, Halifax and Rochdale meet at a mini-roundabout outside the town hall, an ornate Italian style building dating to the Fieldens in the 19th century.Walsden Beck flows down the Rochdale road and under the town hall to join the Calder flowing down from near the Burnley road. From the centre towards Halifax the river is close to the Rochdale Canal. Both this and the railway formed the first industrial routes of their kind linking industrial Yorkshire with Lancashire, although both lost importance quickly with the building of canal and railway through Huddersfield.

The station is still in use on a subsidiary line from Leeds to Manchester (Victoria) via Bradford, Halifax and Rochdale. As for the Canal, it declined in importance until, when I first came to the area, there was only a single mile open in the centre of Manchester, forming a vital link in the Cheshire Ring. Since then the canal has been reopened for its whole length from Manchester to Sowerby Bridge near Halifax.

Todmorden is an excellent example of ribbon development because each road runs through a steep valley. Often what were separate villages have been embraced into the town as it spread. The hills and stream valleys provide many good walks and some of the hamlets are fascinating. The T6/T8 bus route is very scenic and runs through the old settlements of Lumbutts and Mankinholes. Lumbutts was an industrial area with its own coop shop almost up to my time in Todmorden but is now a peaceful settlement with a few remains. Mankinholes, only half a mile away, betrays its Viking origins by having houses with their gable ends towards the road. The former Mankinholes Hall is now a youth hostel.

The UK's longest distance footpath, The Pennine Way, passes through Todmorden's boundaries as does the more recent Calderdale Way. Specific sights of Stoodley Pike and the Youth Hostel are included in my God's Own County list.

There are several old halls, one of which (now a restaurant) used to be the town's post office. There are also a number of old pubs.

Incidentally the stress in the town's name is on the FIRST syllable.

I was once corrected at the ticket office at King's Cross station.

'I think you mean TodMORden, sir.'

I apologised profusely for my error and then took my ticket and said, 'I live there; what's your qualification?'
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