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Heywood Co-operative Heritage Trail

The Villas Residence Rochdale

The Co-operative in Heywood

Heywood Industrial Co-operative Society was founded in 1850 and its first shop was in Longford St. The first manager was a William Bell, a leading local Chartist. The Society prospered over the years and by 1950 had 8,000 members, a significant presence in the town centre and 17 branches throughout the districts.

Heywood has a distinctive niche in the annals of Co-operation when it became the home in 1850 of Charles Haworth, the innovator of ‘the divi’, a founder member of the Rochdale Pioneers in 1844 and its President in 1845. He became auditor & keen supporter of the Heywood Society.

The history of the society can be traced on this trail despite the changing face of the town centre over the years.

The Trail

The Heywood Co-operative heritage Trail starts near Market Place and will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete. This trail will take you to the Heywood Co-operative Society of buildings and sites which are part of the history of the development of Heywood town centre. The 471 bus route serves Rochdale, Heywood, Bury. Train or tram services link Manchester to Rochdale and Bury.


Read how the volunteers of Co-operatives History Group (Rochdale) have been raising the awareness of Co-op Heritage Trails. For more information about the trail or to pick up the leaflet, contact Rochdale Visitor Information Centre on 01706 924928 or online at

Mercure Grange Hotel External link Five ways to wellbeing
Heywood Co-operative Heritage Trail (2.4Mb pdf)  Explore the Five Ways to Wellbeing