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Oldham

UK Place
Area
Total Area6.9 sq mi (17.9 km2)
Demography
Population103544 ((2001 Census))
Population density5784.6/km2 15006.4/sq mi
Administration
Metropolitan boroughOldham
Metropolitan countyGreater Manchester
RegionNorth West England
CountryEngland
Other Information
Post townOLDHAM
Postcode districtOL1-OL2, OL4, OL8-OL9 OL
Dialling code0161
UK ParliamentOldham East and Saddleworth
Oldham West and Royton

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Oldham c-eniconˈɒldəm is a large town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies amid the Pennines on elevated ground between the rivers Irk and Medlock, 5.3 mi (8.5 km) south-southeast of Rochdale, and 6.9 mi (11.1 km) northeast of the city of Manchester. Oldham is surrounded by several smaller settlements which together form the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, of which Oldham is the administrative centre.

Historically a part of Lancashire, and with little early history to speak of, Oldham rose to prominence during the 19th century as an international centre of textile manufacture. It was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution, and among the first ever industrialised towns, rapidly becoming "one of the most important centres of cotton and textile industries in England". At its zenith, it was the most productive cotton spinning mill town in the world, spinning more cotton than France and Germany combined. Oldham's textile industry began to fall into decline during the mid-20th century, and its last mill closed in 1998.

The demise of textile processing in Oldham depressed the local economy. Today Oldham is a predominantly residential town, and a centre for further education and the performing arts. It is, however, still distinguished architecturally by the surviving cotton mills and other buildings associated with that industry. The town's population of 103,544 lives in an area of around 26 sqmi (67.3 km2).


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