Oswaldtwistle shown within Lancashire
|Area||0.830119 sq mi (2.15000 km2) |
|- Density||15,096 /sq mi (5,829 /km2)|
|OS grid reference|
|- London||182 mi (293 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||North West England|
The name is derived from "Oswald" and "Twistle". The word "twistle" is an old English word meaning "brooks meet". Legend has it that St.Oswald, King of Northumbria passed through, giving the area its full title of Oswald's Twistle, which in time came to be Oswaldtwistle. However, it is more likely derived from the name of the Anglo-Saxon who farmed the land.
Sir Robert Peel, 1st Baronet, who, as a factory-owner, effected wide developments in the cotton industry, was born at Peelfold, within the township, in 1750. Another historical figure associated with the textile industry was James Hargreaves, inventor of the Spinning Jenny.
The people of Oswaldtwistle were involved in the power-loom riots of 1826. The mechanisation of the textile industry (with the introduction of looms powered by steam engines from the 1820s onwards) resulted in redundancies, low wages, and starvation. On 26 April a large number of angry cotton workers attacked the White Ash factory in Oswaldtwistle, about a mile from Hargreaves' workshop, destroying looms and other equipment. The riots went on for three days, extending to all cotton towns in central Lancashire.
Oswaldtwistle Moor (adjacent to Haslingden Moor) is an extensive area of moorland to the south of Oswaldtwistle, with Haslingden Grane bordering the moor's southern edges, Belthorn to the west and Haslingden to the east. The area forms part of the West Pennine Moors. Plans were made in 2007 to build a wind farm consisting of twelve wind turbines on the moors. This attracted both support and opposition, but the plan was approved by councillors in 2010. Further developments have yet to take place, and the plan remains controversial.
Oswaldtwistle Mills is a notable attraction; a textile mill converted into a craft fair and with an exhibition about life in the mill a hundred years ago. It is also home of the world's largest pear drop, made by Stockley's Sweets.
Also of note is the 474 capacity, recently refurbished, Civic Theatre, known as the "Friendly Theatre" and the brand new Civic Arts Centre. Past performers at the Civic Theatre include: Ken Dodd, Rick Wakeman, Steve Harley, The Houghton Weavers, Marty Wilde & Derek Acorah.
The ground floor has recently been refurbished, and in August 2010, it opened as the Civic Arts Centre.
The first production performed at the Arts Centre was Romeo and Juliet, directed by young producer, Joanne Haworth. Since then, there have been many productions, including Roald Dahl Witches, directed Sophie Fitzpatrick, a local director. There are workshops, and drama sessions most evenings, plus projects and new plays, being written, and performed, with at least four plays in production, at any one time. The Centre is now home to a number of theatre groups, including ReAct Academy, Dramatic Annie, Sparks, Oswaldtwistle Players and St Mary's Panto.
The Civic Arts Centre is involved in local heritage projects, and organises outdoor festivals. Civic Arts Centre
Rhyddings Park is the only formal park within Oswaldtwistle. It was originally the grounds of a private house belonging to a local mill owning family. It has been a public park since 1909. More information about Rhyddings Park can be found on the website of its active community group, Map location of Rhyddings Park
- Mick Duxbury, Ex England international footballer
- Jackie Bray, England international footballer, born in Oswaldtwistle
- Raymond "Ossie" Clark, fashion designer, nicknamed "Ossie" after the town
- Nicholas Freeston (1907-1978), Lancashire poet worked at a cotton mill in Oswaldtwistle
- James Hargreaves, creator of the spinning jenny
- Gordon Birtwistle, Liberal Democrats MP for Burnley since May 2010
- Eddie Paynter, England international test cricketer, born in Oswaldtwistle
- Sir John Tomlinson, Opera singer