Oldham Histories Festival 2020

Oldham’s annual Histories Festival is your chance to find out more about the people, places, buildings and stories in your area. This year we’re offering a range of self-guided trails – there’s plenty to discover, whether you’re interested in architecture or heritage or just curious about the history around you.

Our Histories Festival links to the Heritage Open Days England’s largest festival of history and culture. The festival runs from 11 – 20 September 2020 and is your chance to try out something new. For young detectives to adults who never grew up our family-fun Oldham Town Centre and Alexandra Park trails are a captivating challenge for anyone with an adventurous spirit.

Ghost Trail

Find out more about ghostly happenings in Oldham. Join us for a spine chilling collection of audio stories created by Oldham Theatre Workshop. Take a self-guided tour through the most unsettling side of the town. Discover tales of paranormal activity, body snatchers, witchcraft and haunted locations all from your own smartphone.

Click here to download the trail. Suitable for children 6 years + accompanied by an adult.

Oldham War Memorial

Oldham Pals

Step back in time as we guide you through Oldham town centre and uncover what Oldham was like during the First War World. Learn about the 24th Manchester Regiment, also known as the Oldham Pals; friends and neighbours that joined up and fought together. Visit the Drill Hall and meet Captain Albert whose parade voice at Chadderton training camp could be heard 3 miles away in Tommyfield Market.

Click here to download the trail.

Picture of Delph village.

Delph Trail

Visit the historic villages of Saddleworth and follow the Delph trail. The quarry here is renowned for providing stone that locals would cook food on. Follow in the footsteps of Roman soldiers and travel along the Roman Road, take in Castleshaw Reservoir and stop off at the Old Bell Inn.

Click here to download the trail.

Picture of Diggle canal tunnel.

Diggle Trail

Why not head for Saddleworth and take the Diggle trail? Journey along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, past traditional weaver’s cottages and through the highest, longest and deepest canal tunnel in the UK.

Click here to download the trail.

Uppermill Trail

Take in the changing season along forgot footpaths trodden by Oldhamers for hundreds of years. Rediscover our local industrial past in Uppermill. Follow the Saddleworth Linear a disused railway route, take in the impressive viaduct and spot the canal barges and mills.

Click here to download the trail.

Tea rooms at Alexandra Park

Alexandra Park

Do you like puzzles? This fun-packed family trail through Alexandra park combines mind-twisting clues and fascinating stories for anyone with a sense of adventure. Spot the bandstand, roar like a lion at Lions’ Den and check the weather at the Observatory. As you follow the trail you will meet some fascinating people from Oldham’s past including Joseph Howard and Emma the Flower girl.

Click here to download the trail.

Royton Heritage Trail and Tandle Hill

We’ve got trails throughout the borough to keep you busy this September. Have you ever explored Royton? Royton Hall, the Town Hall, the Library, Tandle Hill, Royton Park and St. Paul’s Church are just a few of the places we stop off at in this set of informative trails.

Click here to download the trail.

Oldham Town Centre Trail

Crack the clues along the route to unlock incredible stories from the past and solve the mysteries of Oldham Town Centre. Find out about the grand buildings along Union Street including the old Library, spot the elephants and take your parents to the Court House where criminals were brought to justice in Victorian times.

Click here to download the trail.

Find out more….

Take a look at these other films, trails and resources provided by our heritage partners.

Holy Trinity, WaterheadPreparing to build a new Parish Church in Waterhead, Oldhamhttps://youtu.be/jh8oVIP7cx0
Holy Trinity, WaterheadBuilding the new Parish Church in Waterhead, Oldhamhttps://youtu.be/MyyTL03xTw0
Holy Trinity, WaterheadVictorian updating of the Parish Church in Waterhead, Oldhamhttps://youtu.be/rM_dP7Nbku8
Holy Trinity, WaterheadMusic in the Parish Church in Waterhead, Oldhamhttps://youtu.be/EjIBOvgnkOc
Oldham Historical Research SocietyThe Great War: How IT Touched Lives In Oldham. Part 1http://www.pixnet.co.uk/war-oldham-1.pdf
Oldham Historical Research SocietyThe Great War: How IT Touched Lives In Oldham. Part 2
Hollinwood Canal SocietyWaterways Explorer Daisy Nook Canal Trailhttps://izi.travel/en/5463-waterways-explorer-daisy-nook-canal-trail/en
Northern RootsUncover the stories of the 160-acre Northern Roots site and its surroundings.https://northern-roots.uk/get-involved/history-detectives/