Located a short distance to the south-east of the town of Rochdale are the two small communities of Milnrow and Newhey. Today they are divided, somewhat dramatically, by junction 21 of the M62 Trans-Pennine motorway. The River Beal flows through both communities.
Milnrow has connections with the eccentric Tim Bobbin, Lancashire poet and dialect writer, who was a teacher in Milnrow for many years. A somewhat larger than life character, renowned for his satirical caricatures, his real name was John Collier, but it is the name of Tim Bobbin which is remembered in Milnrow and immortalized in the naming of a local pub.
of Bryan Tenny of Milnrow-Village
Milrow's connection with the textile trade from its earliest times can be seen in the weavers' cottages on Dale Street.
Beyond the M62 lies Newhey, home to the former Ellenroad ring-spinning mill. Part of the mill remains as a museum. The chimney, as well as the engine and boiler house, are still standing and within, they house the world's largest mill engine.
The foundation stone for St Thomas' Church, Newhey, was laid in 1875 by James Heap, who along with his brother Benjamin, paid for the erection of the church in honour of their father, Thomas Heap of Cliff House.
The completed church was consecrated on St. Thomas' Day (December 21), in 1876, by the Bishop of Manchester. The building is constructed of bath stone and is a replica of the Holy Trinity Church in Weston-super-Mere, in Somerset (see below).
and its history consult the St. Thomas' Web Site.