Hunnordesfeld, 1202; Hunewrthefeld, 1235;
Humfridesfeld, Hunneswurthefeld, Hunwurthfeld,
1246; Hunresfeld, Hunderesfeld, 1301; Hunrettesfeld, Hunrisfeld, 1306; Honersfeld, 1338; Honoresfeld, 1361.
Wirdehill, Wordehill, 1324.
This ancient township, divided from Spotland by
the summit of the high land to the west, occupies the
upper part of the Roch valley and also takes in the
southerly side of the Calder valley above Todmorden;
it has a total area of 16,077 acres. On the east it is
bounded by Blackstone Edge and other hills dividing
Lancashire from Yorkshire.
It was later divided into four townships;
WARDLEWORTH, a triangular township to the
north of Rochdale, having an area of 766 acres. The
surface slopes gradually from about 700 ft. on the
northern border to less than 400 ft. on the southern.
WUERDLE and WARDLE, to the north of
Wardleworth, situate in a broad valley between the
higher lands on north, west, and east. It has an area of
3,523 acres, Wuerdle having 987, and Wardle 2,536.
BLATCHINWORTH and CALDERBROOK, to
the east of the last-named township, has an area of
4,781 acres, of which Blatchinworth has 2,221. It
occupies the Roch Valley, the hills rising to 1,200 ft.
on the west, and 1,550 ft. on the east. It contains
the ancient chapelry of Littleborough, a growing town
situated in a rich valley.
TODMORDEN and WALSDEN occupies the
northern slope of the hills, as the surface descends to
the Calder. The scenery is fine. (fn. 1) It has an area of
7,007 acres, the respective hamlets having 2,954½ and
4,052½. Todmorden has long been a chapelry.
The principal road is that from Rochdale northeast and north through Littleborough and Todmorden,
and thence north-west to Burnley. Over Blackstone
Edge is an ancient road into Yorkshire. (fn. 2) By the side
of the Todmorden road almost all the way are the
Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's railway, and the
Rochdale canal. The railway has a tunnel known as
Summit tunnel, over a mile and a half long, under
the highest part of the hills; there are stations at
Smithy Bridge, Littleborough, Walsden, and Todmorden; also one at Portsmouth on the Burnley branch.
The same company's line from Rochdale to Bacup
crosses Wardleworth, and has a station so named. A
large reservoir in Ramsden valley, Walsden, belongs to
the Corporation of Rochdale.
At Wardle an agricultural show was established
as early as 1839. (fn. 3)
There are remains of ancient iron works in Walsden.
Mines and forges are known to have existed in 1235. (fn. 4)
Among the celebrities of the district are David
Crossley, a Baptist minister, born near Todmorden in
1670 (d. 1744); and James Leach, a musical composer, who was born at Wardle in 1762, and died at
Salford in 1798. (fn. 5)
The local board district of Wuerdle and Wardle
was formed in 1874; (fn. 6) the board had five members.
In 1894 the new township of Wardle was constituted;
the urban council has nine members. At Littleborough, likewise, a local board of nine members, constituted in 1870, (fn. 7) has been, since 1894, an urban
council of twelve members elected by four wards, the
district being formed into an independent township.
At Littleborough is a Carnegie free library.