Oldham is a large town in Lancashire, England. It lies amid the Pennines on elevated ground between the rivers Irk and Medlock, 5.3 miles (8.5 km) south-southeast of Rochdale, and 6.9 miles (11.1 km) northeast of the city of Manchester. Oldham is surrounded by several smaller settlements which together form the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, of which Oldham is the administrative centre.
Historically a part of Lancashire, and with little early history to speak of, Oldham rose to prominence during the 19th century as an international centre oftextile manufacture. It was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution, and among the first ever industrialised towns, rapidly becoming “one of the most important centres of cotton and textile industries in England”. At its zenith, it was the most productive cotton spinning mill town in the world, spinning more cotton than France and Germany combined. Oldham’s textile industry began to fall into decline during the mid-20th century, and its last mill closed in 1998.