History of Crossley

(Formaly known as Cow Hill)

Mentioned in the mid-16th century as Coohill and Cohyll, the district's growth during the late 18th and early 19th centuries led to this description in 1826 by local historian James Butterworth -
"Cowhill, with Alder Root, form united a kind of small village with two public houses and a considerable number of cottages".

Twice in the 17th century Chadderton was to see many of its inhabitants die from plague epidemics. The first occurred in 1633 when many deaths were recorded in Cowhill.

Prior to 1810 and the construction of the Middleton to Oldham Turnpike road (Middleton Road) Cowhill and Alder Root formed part of the main route from Chadderton and Oldham to Middleton.

Noted for its coal mining community, it once had several public houses, but only two remain. The Dog Inn was first licensed in 1750, and is Chadderton's oldest licensed premises, a distinction it shares with The Boat and Horses at Whitegate. The Crown (also known locally as The Sump Hole) dates to the early 1870s.

In 1819 The Dog Inn was one of Chadderton's two meeting places for a contingent of townsfolk who marched to Manchester for the iil-fated political demonstration that came to be known as the Peterloo Massacre. John Ashton of Cowhill was one of the 15 fatalities of that incident.
The mid 19th century saw the construction of the first railway line into Oldham pass through Cowhill. The Middleton Junction and Oldham Branch Railway line opened on 31 March 1842 to Oldham Werneth railway station. A second line passed through the area on 17 May 1880 with the opening of the Oldham Loop Line from Manchester. The two lines converged near Alder Root. (See Oldham Loop Line).

Crossley Playing Fields have a varied history and a stream (the Stock Brook), ran through it in the 1840s before becoming culverted. Around this time Stockfield Colliery opended on the south side of the railway line. The colliery was closed in 1932 but the railway remained open until 1949/50 when active tipping was noted on the site. In 1980 the site was completely reinstated using landfill.

Several cotton spinning mills were built during the cotton boom of mid to late 1800's including Alder Root Mill (1860–1883), Chadderton Mill (1885 - still standing), Glenby (1885–1962) and Osborne (1853–1973). See List of mills in Chadderton. The Chadderton Mill is a grade II listed building. The mill ceased production in June 2000, being the last cotton mill in Chadderton to function as such.

On 22 April 1907, the Walsh Street railway bridge was the location of a railway incident that became known as the 'Cow Hill Accident' involving a dozen privately owned wagons drawn by Platt Brothers locomotives. The siding along which the train was running descended steeply towards a stop-block adjacent to Walsh Street. Running out of control, the train continued through the stop-block and crashed, wagon after wagon into the street below.


Cow Hill area in 1924 to the east of Nimbe Nook
between the rail junction at Freehold.


Hartford Mill with Crossley in the background prior to large
scale development.

Cowhill had a school, churches, farms, mills and factories, a Conservative Club, and held an annual fair, 'Cowhill Wakes', but widespread housing redevelopment as part of the Oldham housing clearances during the 1970s swept most of this away. Cow Hill Lane was renamed as part of an extended Denton Lane during this period.

In 2011 a large scale redevelopment scheme commenced across the Crossley estate which included the refurbishment of 273 homes, which included the high rise accommodation, and the building of 83 new homes. Also included was the construction of a new community center on Denton Lane.


Crossley in the late 1960’s from Denton Lane.


Refurbished homes on Crossley 2016.


New homes built in Crossley 2016.


Crossley from Denton Lane in 2016


Local resident Rose Ogden at the Opening of the community centre.

Karen Woolfenden

Slimming World Consultant

I have been using Crossley Centre to run my Slimming World Group on A Saturday morning.

The centre has full facilities and is always very clean.

The kitchen has tea and coffee making facilities cups are provided and a dishwasher.

It has disabled assess when entering the centre.

In summer you have aircon so the centre is lovely and cool and when I arrive it winter months the centre is lovely and warm.

The staff who are volunteers are very friendly and helpful.

I would recommend Crossley Centre to anybody wanting to hire the room.

Sarah Shipley

Footy Totz

I have been using the Crossley centre to run my footytotz sessions for over a year now. 

The hall is great and always clean, it’s safe for my children and families and the staff have been very supportive, I hope to be here for years to come. 

Malcolm Trippier

Oak Tree Woodcarvers

Our Oak Tree Woodcarvers group has been using the centre for three years and are in on Wednesdays between 10.00am and 2.00pm.  The hall is large and bright and the staff are friendly and helpful.

Wendy Freear

Zumba Fitness

The Crossley Centre is an excellent venue. I hold my fitness classes there as it has a bright spacious hall which is perfect for all kinds of events. The centre has a central location close to Freehold tram stop making it an ideal community place and it's easy to find. The added bonus....the venue has its own car park.

Abdul Zakariya

Oldham Tuition Centre

The Crossley Centre is a great venue especially for delivering education and training classes. We benefit from the clean, bright and safe building and ample car parking spaces.




The Crossley Centre, Oldham, is a purpose built community facility that was developed as part of the Gateways to Oldham PFI project, delivered in partnership between Oldham Council, Inspiral Oldham, Great Places Housing Group and Wates Construction.


  • 0161 652 1419

  • 323 Denton Ln
    OL9 9GA

  • info@crossleycommunity.org.uk


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