Greenfield, Greater Manchester

Greenfield is a village in the civil parish of Saddleworth in the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, in Greater Manchester, England. It is 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Oldham and 13 miles (21 km) north-east of Manchester. It is located in a broad rural area at the southern edge of the South Pennines; Dovestone Reservoir, Chew Reservoir and Greenfield Reservoir lie to the east of the village in the Peak District National Park.[1]

The Obelisk on Alderman's Hill (Pots and Pans) overlooking Greenfield towards Oldham
Greenfield is located in Greater Manchester
Location within Greater Manchester
Population1,831 (2011 Census)
OS grid referenceSD995061
Civil parish
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townOLDHAM
Postcode districtOL3
Dialling code01457
PoliceGreater Manchester
FireGreater Manchester
AmbulanceNorth West
UK Parliament
List of places
Greater Manchester
53°32′10″N 2°00′29″W / 53.536°N 2.008°W / 53.536; -2.008

Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Greenfield is sited in the Chew Valley, on the main A635 road from Ashton-under-Lyne to Holmfirth.

History edit

A Roman road passes along the Saddleworth hills, from the fort of Ardotalia in Glossop to Castleshaw Roman fort. The route of the Roman road passes through Greenfield and crosses Chew Brook at Packhorse Bridge.

The old stone houses of Saddleworth date from the 17th century and were home to farmers and hand loom weavers in the woollen trade. The first industrial looms were also designed and built in Saddleworth. England's highest church 'The Heights' and canal tunnel 'Standedge Tunnel' are also here, the latter dating from the end of the 18th century and being a Thomas Telford project.

The world's first rock climbers' sit harness was invented in Saddleworth in the 1970s, variations of it now forming the basis of almost all the world's climbing sit harnesses.[citation needed]

The poem Jone o Grinfilt was written about a fictional inhabitant of the village with the aim of ridiculing countryside dwellers. The poem was written in the Oldham dialect of English, and was very popular in the 19th century. The author was probably Joseph Lees of Glodwick and it was written in the first decade of the 19th century.

In 1849 the Boarshurst Silver Band was formed as the village band. This brass band is still in

Governance edit

Greenfield was located in the historic county of the West Riding of Yorkshire and, prior to 1974, was administered by the West Riding County Council. Their administration led to problems; for example, the village was dependent on a fire service based in Holmfirth, despite it being located significantly further away than Oldham. This was particularly problematic in the winter months, as the roads into the village often become blocked or dangerous due to snow and ice, coupled with the village's exposed position on the Pennine moorland.

In 1974, governance was transferred to the newly-created Greater Manchester County Council. When that body was abolished in 1986, Greenfield moved under the auspices of Oldham Borough Council.

Geography edit

Greenfield is at the western end of the Chew Valley in the south west edge of the South Pennines and is fringed by the Peak District to the east. The village contains four reservoirs, three of which are linked to one another: Greenfield, Yeoman Hey and Dovestones. The fourth is Chew Reservoir at the head of Chew Valley, which is the highest man-made reservoir in England.[2] There is a yachting club on Dovestone Reservoir, the largest of these, and a set of walking paths round the first three. A steep walking path also connects Dovestones to Chew Reservoir. Much of the area covered by the reservoirs lies within the boundary of the Peak District National Park.

Saddleworth Moor rises above Greenfield and leads over impressively barren and disorientating moorlands to Holmfirth. The area includes some of the sites used by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, known as the 'Moors murders', to bury their child victims in the early to mid 1960s. The sinister nature of the crimes was the subject of a song by the Smiths in 1984.

Greenfield is also the home of an amateur rugby league side, Saddleworth Rangers, as well as Greenfield Cricket Club and Saddleworth Cricket Club. There are two junior and infant schools, and three churches (one Methodist and two Anglican).

Landmarks edit

Pots and Pans is a locally well-known hill overlooking the village. It is the site of the Saddleworth war memorial (a Grade II listed building), constructed in 1923.[3] Approximately 1,200 feet (370 m) above sea level,[4] it is visible from seven of the ten villages that comprise Saddleworth. A service is held there on Remembrance Sunday each year.

Transport edit

Railway edit

Greenfield station

Greenfield railway station lies along the Huddersfield Line. Services operated by TransPennine Express run eastbound towards Huddersfield, via Marsden and Slaithwaite, and westbound towards Manchester Piccadilly, via Mossley, Stalybridge and Ashton-under-Lyne. Some peak-time and evening services provide direct connections to Leeds, York, Saltburn and Hull.[5]

Since the Oldham Loop was closed and converted to a Metrolink tram line, Greenfield is the only place in Saddleworth and the whole Metropolitan Borough of Oldham which has a National Rail station. Grotton and Springhead, Delph and Grasscroft stations closed in 1955, whilst Diggle and Saddleworth stations closed in 1968.

A second line, known as the Micklehurst Line, cut through the village and was mainly used for freight. This closed in 1966 and the viaducts were removed in the mid 1970s; the former route is now occupied, in the main, by a bridleway.

Buses (as of March 2024) edit

Bus services in Greenfield are operated predominantly by Stagecoach Manchester as part of the Bee Network. Key routes include route 84 to Manchester Piccadilly via Oldham, which runs every half-hour on Monday-Saturday daytime, with an hourly evening and Sunday service; the 184 is operated by Stagecoach Manchester (Bee Network) (evening operations are managed by Nexus Move) and provides an hourly weekday service (two hourly on a Sunday) to Huddersfield via Diggle.[6] The 180 is operated by Stagecoach Manchester as part of the Bee Network between Greenfield and Oldham, and is the only bus service to terminate in the village. The 350 is operated between Oldham and Ashton-under-Lyne and is run by Stagecoach Manchester once again, under the Bee Network. The 352 and 357 are both operated by South Pennine Community Transport and connect Greenfield with Holmfirth. The 357 runs on Tuesdays only and runs to Ashton-under-Lyne in the other direction, but the 352 runs on Saturdays only and runs to the nearby village of Uppermill in the other direction. The 356 is operated by Nexus Move between Ashton-under-Lyne and Oldham with some services terminating at Greenfield railway station.

Culture edit

Greenfield is one of the towns and villages which holds an annual Whit Friday brass band contest and the annual Road End Fair is held every Maundy Thursday in the centre of the village.

Notable residents edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Ordnance Survey map Region 8 Archived 12 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ - Chew Reservoir
  3. ^ Historic England. "Saddleworth War Memorial (Grade II) (1163991)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  4. ^ Ordnance Survey Landranger Map 110
  5. ^ "Timetables". TransPennine Express. 21 May 2023. Retrieved 28 October 2023.
  6. ^ "Greenfield Bus Services". Bus Times. 2023. Retrieved 28 October 2023.
  7. ^ Daly, J.D (n.d.), Oldham From the XX Legion to the 20th Century, p. 97, ISBN 5-00-091284-5