Oldham, Lancashire

Historical Description

Oldham, a municipal, parliamentary, and county borough in Lancashire, is situated on an eminence 6½ miles NE of Manchester, with which it is connected by road, rail, and tram, and 190 miles from London. It is also an ancient parochial chapelry in the parish of Prestwich, a rural deanery, head of a poor-law union district, a county court district, bankruptcy court district, and petty sessional division. A market is held on Saturdays, Mondays, and Fridays, but no fairs. The municipal borough, which is co-extensive with the township, is governed by a town council of 48 members (36 councillors and 12 aldermen), having been incorporated in 1849, and since made a county borough, with a local court of quarter sessions. For municipal purposes it is divided into twelve wards:-Clarksfield, with a population of 11,615; Coldhurst, 10,800; Hartford, 12,679; Hollinwood,7652; Mumps, 9231; St James, 10,735; St Mary, 10,421; St Paul, 10,191; St Peter, 11,798; Waterhead, 12,957; Werneth, 11,747; and Westwood, 11,637; or a total population in 1891 of 131,463. The parliamentary borough is co-extensive with the municipal borough. It has a separate commission of the peace, and the police force is under the management of the Watch Committee of the corporation, whilst the Sanitary Committee is the urban sanitary authority, and has the control of the infectious diseases hospital at Westhulme, and the temporary smallpox hospital. There is fair railway facility, there being six stations-viz., Werneth, Central, Mumps, Hollinwood, Clegg Street, and Glodwick Road-in the town, and the lines of the L. & Y.R., L. & N.W.R., Oldham, Ashton, and Guidebridge railway, and M.S. & L.R. passing through it. Though it is skirted by the Medlock and Irk rivers these are not navigable, and a branch canal from Oldham to Rochdale is used for goods traffic to a moderate extent.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient County Lancashire
Civil parish Prestwich
Hundred Salford
Poor Law union Oldham

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

Ancestry.co.uk, in association with Lancashire Archives, have images of the Parish Registers for Lancashire online.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Oldham from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Lancashire is available to browse.


Online maps of Oldham are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Lancashire newspapers online:

RegionNorth West
Postal districtOL1
Post TownOldham