St Chad, Rochdale
This photograph is by Tim Green
available under a Creative Commons licence (CC BY-SA 3.0)
St Chad's Parish Church, Rochdale
St Chads is the Mother Church of the Parish of Rochdale. It is an ancient and handsome gothic building with a square tower. The oldest part was built in the year 1100 on land given by Adam de Spotland in order to buy his way into God's good books. A list of past incumbents inside the church tells us that Geoffrey, Dean of Whalley, was the vicar in the year 1194.
Taken from "Rochdale Past & Present, a History and Guide" by William Robertson 1876.
"The mother church of the parish is of great antiquity, and stands on a commanding eminence, the ascent to which is by a flight of 124 steps. The church was erected in the 12th century, and has undergone various changes, alterations, and renovations. The local legend is that the site of the church was, in point of fact, the place chosen by spirits and fairies for the purpose.
On several occasions, as the story relates, the materials brought together for the erection of the church, on an entirely different site, were removed from the place originally selected to the hill or eminence on which St. Chad's stands. That this removal was the work of superhuman agency, was the firm belief of our forefathers in those far-distant days; and we should be sorry to do or say anything which could in the remotest manner interfere with this time-hallowed belief, which has been handed down to us, and which, with vast numbers among us, is received with the greatest deference and respect. The site ultimately adopted, under such supernatural pressure, led, of course, to the formation of the celebrated church steps; to ascend which is always considered a necessary piece of work to be performed by all visitors to our good old town. To come to Rochdale and not mount the steps is considered a breach of good manners, as well as a serious deprivation of a very agreeable exercise. The steps, in fact, are among our most cherished possessions; and they form a most important thoroughfare, with which it would be very unwise to intermeddle to the great prejudice of the inhabitants."
|Incumbents of Rochdale|
|Geoffrey, Dean of Whalley||1194||Richard Gorstelow||1554 - 1557|
|Sir William de Dumplinton||1238||John Hampson||1557 - 1560|
|John de Blackburne||1250||? Huntington||1560|
|Richard de Perebald||1302 - 1317||Richard Midgley||1561 - 1595|
|Thomas de Boulton||1317 - 1350||Joseph Midgley M. A., a stern puritan||1595 - 1606|
|Radulph de Dewesbury||1350 - 1361||Richard Kenyon M. A.||1606 - 1614|
|Radulph de Trumpynton||1361 - 1369||Henry Tilson M. A.||1615 - 1635|
|Roger son of William de Manchester||1369 - 1388||Robert Bath M. A.||1636 - 1662|
|John Ffithler||1388 - 1402||Henry Pigot M. A.||1662 - 1722|
|John de Salley||1402 - 1403||Samuel Dunster D. D.||1722 - 1754|
|Richard de Twysfeld||1403 - 1426||Nathaniel Forster D. D.||1754 - 1757|
|Henry Marland||1426 – 1455||James Tunstall D. D.||1757 - 1762|
|Richard Salley||1455 - 1471||Thomas Wray D. D.||1762 - 1778|
|Thomas Brotherton||1471 - 1473||Dr Robert Hind, chaplain to the Bishop of London||1778 - 1790|
|John Walton, Monk of Whalley||1473 - 1483||Thomas Drake D. D.||1790 - 1818|
|William Asheton||1483||William Robert Hay D. D.||1819 - 1839|
|Nicholas Townley, Chaplain to Henry VIII||1510||John Edward Nassau Molesworth D. D.||1839 - 1877|
|Sir Gilbert Haydock||1522||Edward Craig Maclure M. A.||1877 - 1890|
|Stephen Smith||1552 - 1554||James Maurice Wilson M. A.||1890|