The River Roch, which has been hidden underneath Rochdale town centre for more than a century, has been uncovered, alongside its historic bridge, as part of a wider £250 million regeneration programme.
The bridge was built in the medieval period and expanded as the town grew, with sections dating back to the Regency, Georgian and Restoration periods.
By the early 1900s, the bridge and river had been covered over and they’ve been hidden from view ever since. But now they're on display once again, offering visitors a stunning historical attraction and an attractive place to sit and watch the world go by.
As well as giving visitors a glimpse of Rochdale’s glorious past, the project reduces the flood risk in the town centre.
The opening has also re-naturalised the river and attracted new wildlife into the area - brown trout, Kingfisher and Pied Wagtails have all been spotted.
The project has won:
- Excellence in planning for the natural environment at the national RPTI awards
- Outstanding project management in the Considerate Constructor Scheme awards
- The Green Apple award for environmental good practice
Support for the project
The £5 million council scheme was supported by:
- Heritage Lottery Fund
- Environment Agency
- North West Regional and Coastal and Flood Committee