Norden is located to the west of Rochdale, astride the Edenfield Road, the A680, which climbs over Ashworth Moor and past the Owd Betts Pub.

Owd Betts  © Les Cotton

Once known as Black Pits, Norden is located in Spotland Township. Norden Brook flows southwards through the community on its way to join the River Roch at Hooley Bridge after passing down the Ashworth Valley.

Norden © Les Cotton

On the side of the Norden Brook, not far from the A680, is the Three Owls Bird Sanctuary. Founded in 1962 by Mrs. Eillen Watkinson. Four and a half acres of what was derelict industrial land has been converted into an award winning sanctuary and medical centre for injured birds. Patients arrive at the sanctuary from around the country and a 24 hour a day, seven days a week service is provided. Mrs. Watkinson, who was awarded an M.B.E. for her work with birds, died in 1995, but the sanctuary is now run by Nigel Fowler. He was awarded the "Volunteer of the Year Award" in 2000 for his work at the Three Owls Bird Sanctuary.

Three Owls Bird Sanctuary Logo © Three Owls Bird Sanctuary Three Owls Bird Sanctuary Logo © Three Owls Bird Sanctuary

One attraction which is sadly no more in Norden is the Norden Riviera which closed its doors for the last time in 1966. The Riviera was an open-air aquatic centre with an 85 feet x 40 feet swimming pool, varying in depth from 2 feet 6 inches to 9 feet. It had a tower of 7 diving boards, the highest being 18 feet above the water. Originally the pool was filled with circulating brine water at a constant 70° F. The Riviera also offered gardens, a tea room, a paddling pool, badminton, horse-riding and dancing.

seasons © Les Cotton
A Tale of Two Seasons in Norden - a combination of two of Les Cotton's images


The images of Norden are shown with the permission of Les Cotton. Les also provided the image of the "Rochdale - birthplace of co-operation" bridge photograph used in the site banner.

The images of the Three Owls Bird Sanctuary are shown with the permission of Nigel Fowler