River Beal

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River Beal
Firgrove View.JPG
River Beal at Firgrove.
River Beal 5.svg
Country England
Physical characteristics
 - location Stoneleigh Park, Derker
 - coordinates 53°33′14″N 2°5′46″W / 53.55389°N 2.09611°W / 53.55389; -2.09611
 - location
River Roch, Belfield
 - coordinates
53°37′40.41″N 2°7′55.68″W / 53.6278917°N 2.1321333°W / 53.6278917; -2.1321333Coordinates: 53°37′40.41″N 2°7′55.68″W / 53.6278917°N 2.1321333°W / 53.6278917; -2.1321333

The Beal is a small river in Greater Manchester, England, and is a tributary of the River Roch. It rises in the Beal Valley in green space between Sholver and Royton, before continuing northwards through Shaw and Crompton, Newhey, Milnrow and Belfield.


From its source at Beal Valley, it flows north through Shaw and Crompton in the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, where Old Brook and Pencil Brook are tributaries. It continues north through Newhey and Milnrow in the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, before joining the River Roch at Belfield.

In part, the river forms a boundary between Oldham on one side and Royton and Shaw and Crompton on the other.[1]


1212 : The Beal valley was recorded as part of the thegnage estate of Kaskenmoor, held on behalf of King John by Roger de Montbegon and William de Nevill.[2]

1892 : Ellenroad Cotton Mill was built on the bank of the Beal, and made fine cotton yarn by mule spinning.[3]

During operation of a bleaching and dying works, discharge to the river of used dyes and waste would cause it to change colour from one day to another.[4]

c. 1997 : Littlewoods PLC changed the course of the river slightly to allow development of their Shaw National Distribution Warehouse Centre.

2005 : Raw sewage was discharged to the river, killing thousands of fish and raising health fears among local residents.[5]


Next confluence upstream River Roch Next confluence downstream
Ash Brook River Beal Stanney Brook



  1. ^ Brownbill, J; William Farrer (1911). A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5. Victoria County History. pp. 92–108. ISBN 978-0-7129-1055-2.
  2. ^ Brownbill, J; William Farrer (1911). A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5. Victoria County History. pp. 108–12. ISBN 978-0-7129-1055-2.
  3. ^ "Ellenroad Steam Museum". ellenroad.org.uk. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
  4. ^ Mersey Basin Campaign. "Local Action / Action Irk & Roch". merseybasin.org.uk. Archived from the original on 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2007-08-15.
  5. ^ Stephen Foster (2005-08-03). "Leak turns Beal into dead river". manchestereveningnews.co.uk. Retrieved 2007-08-15.
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