River Roch

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River Roch
River Roch outside Rochdale Bus Station.jpg
River Roch map 2.svg
DistrictLittleborough, Rochdale, Heywood, Bury
Physical characteristics
 • locationChelburn Moor
 • location
River Irwell, Radcliffe
 • coordinates
53°33′43.95″N 2°18′2.65″W / 53.5622083°N 2.3007361°W / 53.5622083; -2.3007361Coordinates: 53°33′43.95″N 2°18′2.65″W / 53.5622083°N 2.3007361°W / 53.5622083; -2.3007361
Length100 miles
Basin features
 • leftTack Lee Brook, Naden Brook, River Spodden, Hey Brook, Ash Brook, Featherstall Brook, Town House Brook
 • rightParr Brook, Hollins Brook, Wrigley Brook, Millers Brook, Sudden Brook, Moss Brook, Stanney Brook, River Beal, Ealees Brook, Greenvale Brook, Chelburn Brook
River Roch
Chelburn Moor
Light Hazzles Brook
Chelburn Brook
Rochdale Canal
Roch Aqueduct
over Calder Valley line
Reddyshore Brow
Greenvale Brook
Town House Brook
Halifax Road  A58 
Ealees Brook
Railway Street
Cutland Way
Featherstall Brook
Smithy Bridge Road  B6225 
Clegg Hall Road
Ash Brook
River Beal
Albert Royds Street  A664 
Belfield Road
Stanney Brook
Hey Brook
Moss Brook
Molesworth Street  A671 
Smith Street  B6266 
Yorkshire Street
The Esplanade  B6266 
St Marys Gate  A58 
to College Road
River Spodden
Mellor Street  A6060 
Half Acre Bridge/
Roch Valley Way
Sudden Brook
Crimble Lane
Millers Brook
Queens Park Road
Bamford Road
Naden Brook
Wrigley Brook
Bottom o'th'Brow
Tack Lee Brook
Heap Bridge/
Bury New Road
 M66  motorway
Waterfold Business Park
East Lancashire Railway
Water Farm
Hollins Brook
Blackford Bridge/
Manchester Road
Parr Brook
River Irwell

The River Roch /ˈr/ is a river in Greater Manchester in North West England, a tributary of the River Irwell, that gives Rochdale its name.


Rising on Chelburn Moor (south of Todmorden in the Pennines), the river flows south through Littleborough towards Rochdale where it is joined by the River Beal at Belfield, and the River Spodden from Whitworth. Turning west it runs past Heywood and Bury before meeting the River Irwell just to the east of Radcliffe.


The Domesday Book records the name of Rochdale as Recedham, formed from Old English reced "hall", and ham "homestead". The name of the river is a back-formation from this Old English name. With time, the town's name changed to Rachedale and eventually Rochdale.[1] The name of the river Roch is /ˈr/, with a long o. The name of the town, however, is pronounced /ˈrɒtʃdeɪl/, with a short o.

The river has been culverted in Rochdale town centre since the early 20th century. This was built by the joining together of seven bridges to form one large bridge, making it one of the widest bridges in the world. Maintenance work was carried out on the bridge in the 1990s and the river was uncovered temporarily.[2] In 2015 work began on opening the bridge again in a multimillion-pound project.[3] On Boxing Day 2015, following heavy rain, the Roch burst its banks causing flooding in the town centre.[4]


Moving upstream from the Irwell confluence, the tributaries include the following:



  1. ^ Mills, A.D.: A Dictionary of English Place Names, 2nd Edition, page 289, s.n. Rochdale. Oxford University Press, 1998
  2. ^ "Link4Life | Covering the River Roch in Rochdale | Provider of arts, sport and heritage development work in the Rochdale area".
  3. ^ "Hidden medieval bridge reopens". BBC News. 2016-06-14. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  4. ^ "Floods hit parts of UK amid downpours". December 27, 2015 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
Next confluence upstream River Irwell Next confluence downstream
Woodhill / Kirklees Brook (West) River Roch River Croal (West)