Waterhead, Greater Manchester

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
View from Waterhead park across the rugby pitch towards Austerlands
Waterhead is located in Greater Manchester
Waterhead shown within Greater Manchester
Population12,029 (2011 Census)
• Density52.4
OS grid referenceSD943056
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townOLDHAM
Postcode districtOL4
Dialling code0161
PoliceGreater Manchester
FireGreater Manchester
AmbulanceNorth West
EU ParliamentNorth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
Greater Manchester
53°32′50″N 2°05′07″W / 53.5472°N 2.0852°W / 53.5472; -2.0852Coordinates: 53°32′50″N 2°05′07″W / 53.5472°N 2.0852°W / 53.5472; -2.0852

Waterhead (or archaically, Waterhead Mill), is an area of Oldham, and an electoral ward of the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, in Greater Manchester, England. Historically in Lancashire, an upland area in the Pennines, the ward of Waterhead has population of 12,876,[1] decreasing to 12,029 at the 2011 Census.[2]

Waterhead once formed an ecclesiastical parish in Prestwich-cum-Oldham, in the Salfordshire hundred of Lancashire.[3] Waterhead also formed a significant part of the Oldham Above Town registration district.

Following a building boom during the Industrial Revolution, Waterhead became a densely populated industrial district dominated by cotton mills, such as Majestic Mill (pictured), owned by the Lancashire Cotton Corporation.

Waterhead was the site of considerable industry and commerce, including coal mining and cotton spinning.[3] Following a building boom associated with the Industrial Revolution, Waterhead became a densely populated industrial district dominated by cotton mills. In 2005, Waterhead was described as still "dominated by early 20th century mills".[4] Cairo Mill was used by the Ferranti company for many years.

Waterhead is next to parts of Greenacres, Salem, Moorside and Lees, and Austerlands and Scouthead from the west side of Saddleworth. The main A62 road from Oldham to Huddersfield passes through the locality.

Waterhead is the terminus for First Greater Manchester's 81, 81A and 82 services to Manchester via Oldham. The area is served by First's 350 service between Oldham and Ashton, First's 410 and 411 east Oldham circular services and Checkmate's 418 service between Austerlands and Chadderton.

Notable people[edit]

The Rev. Charles E. Shaw was a botanist (renowned for finding plants on rubbish dumps) and also a Church of England clergyman. After serving in various other parishes he became vicar of Waterhead in 1957; he remained vicar until 1994 and is commemorated by a memorial window in the church.[5][6] A song about him called "The' Parson o' Waterhead" was written about him by Harvey Kershaw of Rochdale.[7]

Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield played his amateur rugby for Waterhead ARLFC.


  1. ^ United Kingdom Census 2001. "Waterhead (Ward)". neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved 2007-06-02.
  2. ^ "Oldham Ward population 2011". Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b British History Online (1848). "'Watchett - Waterstock' A Topographical Dictionary of England". Victoria County History. Retrieved 2007-06-02.
  4. ^ Hartwell, Hyde & Pevsner 2005, p. 554.
  5. ^ BBC Media Centre (2013). "The Botanical Vicar". BBC. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  6. ^ "History of Holy Trinity Church, Waterhead". Medlock Head Team Ministry. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  7. ^ Kershaw, Mary & Harvey (1976) Lancashire Sings Again! songs & poems in the Lancashire dialect. Topic Records 12TS302


  • Hartwell, Clare; Hyde, Matthew; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2005). Lancashire: Manchester and the South East. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10583-4.