Touchstones Rochdale

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Touchstones Rochdale seen from Broadfield Park

Touchstones Rochdale is an art gallery, museum, local studies centre, visitor information centre and café forming part of the Central Library, Museum and Art Gallery in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England.[1] It is a Grade II listed building.[2]

The first part of the stone building was opened as a library in 1884 with the museum and gallery being added in 1903 and extended in 1913. It became an art and heritage centre in 2003. It houses collections ralating to local history and related topics, with changing exhibitions over time.


The library was built first, opening in 1884,[3] after a fire at Rochdale Town Hall destroyed the "Clock Tower Library" in 1883.[4] The art gallery and museum were built and linked to the library in 1903, and an extension added in 1913. The building was converted into an art and heritage centre in 2003.[2][5]


The museums has collections relating to: social history, costume and textiles, archaeology, Egyptology, geology, natural history and decorative arts. There is a particular focus on the American Civil War and its impact on the cotton industry during the Lancashire Cotton Famine of the 1860s.[6] The collection is accredited by Arts Council England. It also hosts changing exhibitions.[7][8]


It is in Yorkshire stone and has a slate roof. The library has one storey, a front of three gables with ball finials, a central porch with an arcaded parapet, an elliptical-headed doorway, and mullioned and transomed windows with elliptical heads and hood moulds. The museum and art gallery have two storeys, a four-bay central block, a three-bay gabled block to the right, and a diagonally-set gabled block to the left. On the gables are panels of carved figures.[5][2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Taylor, Julia (2002-11-18). "Touchy, feely ... and a real wow". Rochdale Observer. MEN Media. Archived from the original on 2007-10-16.
  2. ^ a b c Historic England. "Rochdale Central Library, Museum and Art Gallery (1367096)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Touchstones Rochdale". Link4Life. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Touchstones". Oen Plaques. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b Hartwell, Clare; Hyde, Matthew; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2004), Lancashire: Manchester and the South-East, The Buildings of England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, p. 597, ISBN 0-300-10583-5
  6. ^ "Touchstones Rochdale". Revealing Histories. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Touchstones Rochdale". Arts Society Fylde. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Exhibitions". Link for Life. Retrieved 17 March 2020.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°36′55″N 2°09′43″W / 53.6152°N 2.1620°W / 53.6152; -2.1620