Delph

Delph is one of the most popular villages in Saddleworth. It is situated in the steep-sided valley of the river Tame not far from the remains of an old Roman fort at Castleshaw built on the Roman road which ran between Chester and York.

It has a wealth of heritage to explore and visitors to this traditional English village can almost be forgiven for thinking that little has changed over the past 150 years.

The village itself is dominated, at its southern end, by the clock tower on the library building which was built by the Co-operative Society in1899, originally as a furnishing and hardware department.

The wheatsheaf symbol of the society can be seen above the clock, together with the motto, "Labour and Wait". The building was converted to a library in the 1970s and commendibly, is currently being run by volunteers.

The Swan public house was built alongside of the original turnpike road which was established through Delph in 1758, which crossed the river Tame by a ford. When the bridge was eventually built across the river, the road was re-aligned and its level raised which is why the pub and nearby buildings are set back from the line of the road.

The chip shop and the Rose and Crown pub, which featured in the film "Brassed Off", both stand back from the road.

The chip shop's datestone of 1769 and the way the building is aligned, suggest that the ford was still in use at that date. The ford lay adjacent to the Rose and Crown and there is a street sign at the side of the pub pointing the way to Brookside Terrace, a row of cottages reached by a small bridge just beyond where the river Tame and Hull Brook come together.

It was probably near this point that the Romans constructed a wooden bridge to cross the river on their way to Castleshaw Camp. At Castleshaw there is a picnic area to enjoy stunning views over the Castleshaw valley. With the heights church peering majestically over the skyline and sheep grazing near the calm water of the reservoirs, this little known corner of Saddleworth has a tranquility all of its own.