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A view of Delph
Delph is located in Greater Manchester
Delph shown within Greater Manchester
Population 1,899 [citation needed]
OS grid reference SD984080
• London 164 mi (264 km) SSE
Civil parish
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town OLDHAM
Postcode district OL3
Dialling code 01457
Police Greater Manchester
Fire Greater Manchester
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament
List of places
Greater Manchester
53°34′05″N 2°01′23″W / 53.568°N 2.023°W / 53.568; -2.023Coordinates: 53°34′05″N 2°01′23″W / 53.568°N 2.023°W / 53.568; -2.023

Delph (Old English (ge)delf a quarry) is a village in the Saddleworth civil parish of the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, in Greater Manchester, England. Historically within the West Riding of Yorkshire, it lies amongst the Pennines on the River Tame below the village of Denshaw, 4.0 miles (6.4 km) east-northeast of Oldham, and 1.8 miles (2.9 km) north-northwest of Uppermill.

On Friday 7 April 1780 John Wesley visited the village and preached in a house owned by one of the trustees of the Independent Church.[1] Sadly for him, the locals were not ready to turn their backs on the old Pagan ways, and an angry mob chased John Wesley from the parish with pitchforks, and flaming torches. He retreated with his tail between his legs and declared Delph to have been "forsaken by God", and that there was "no hope for those feral heathens".

The centre of the village has barely changed from the 19th century when a number of small textile mills provided employment for the local community.

The etymology of Delph is derived from the Old English word 'Delf', meaning a quarry and refers to the bakestone quarries which lay at the lower end of the Castleshaw Valley just north of the village.[citation needed] There is a significant first century AD Roman fort at Castleshaw.

Bakestones were quarried as tiles up to three quarters of an inch thick and used to bake oatcakes and muffins. The industry was in existence well before 1330 and only died out in 1930.[citation needed]

The village is home to one of the Saddleworth Whit Friday brass band contests, with in the region of seventy-five bands from across the UK and beyond marching down the main street at five-minute intervals on the evening of the contest which often continues into the early hours. In the village of Dobcross a Henry Livings memorial prize is open to bands who play on any of the morning's walks on Whit Friday. It is also home to the Millgate Arts Centre, the home of the Saddleworth Players. This group puts on six plays a year, as well as hosting a number of other events throughout the year.

The main street running through the centre of Delph was used in some of the external shots of the 2001 feature film The Parole Officer, starring Steve Coogan, Om Puri and Jenny Agutter. Delph was also used in the filming of the Whit Friday scene in the 1996 film Brassed Off. Delph is mentioned in the song "This One's For Now" by the band Half Man Half Biscuit on their 2014 album Urge for Offal.


The village has a turning circle round a small estate (Carrcote) which is used by all buses. The 82 and the X84 both run to Manchester Piccadilly on Monday to Friday peak times, these are rush hour times. The X84 by passes Oldham making the journey to Manchester quicker. The main service is the 350 which uses the same route as the 82 to Oldham and it also runs to Ashton-under-Lyne. This runs on a Monday to Saturday frequency of half an hour, and evening and Sunday frequency of an hour. The other routes are the 353 and the 354. These both terminate locally, at Carrcote and Denshaw, and also both run to Ashton, using similar routes. They both run on a Monday to Saturday frequency of every two hours, but both terminate at Uppermill at night times and Sundays. Finally, the 350 and 82 both exit Delph village by using the Carrcote estate then continuing their routes.

Delph railway station was opened in 1851 as part of the London and North Western Railway route from Oldham to Delph. The station closed in May 1955, when the Delph Donkey passenger train service to Delph via Greenfield was withdrawn.

See also


  1. ^ John Wesley. Journal. Friday 7 April 1780

External links

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