Middleton, Greater Manchester

Middleton, Greater Manchester

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Middleton, Greater Manchester

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Middleton is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, in Greater Manchester, England. It stands on the River Irk, south-southwest of Rochdale, and north-northeast of the city of Manchester. At the time of the United Kingdom Census 2001, Middleton had a population of 45,580.

Historically a part of Lancashire, Middleton took its name from being situated in the centre of several circumjacent settlements. Its early history is marked by its status as an ecclesiastical parish of the hundred of Salford, held successively by a series of notable ruling families. In 1770, Middleton was a village of 20 houses; during the 18th and 19th centuries it grew into a thiving and populous seat of textile manufacture, so much so that Middleton was granted borough status in 1886.

The Church of St Leonard – a Grade I listed building – has lain at the centre of the community for centuries. The "Flodden Window", in the church's sanctuary, is thought to be the oldest war memorial in the United Kingdom. It memorialises on it the names of the archers of Middleton who fought at the Battle of Flodden Field (1513), the largest battle ever fought between the kingdoms of Scotland and England.

In the library at Middleton is displayed a replica of the only surviving Peterloo Banner. Until quite recently the original was on show, but because of its now delicate nature it is in storeage in Rochdale. The banner is inscribed 'Unity and...
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