Chadderton (pop. 34,818) is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, in Greater Manchester, England. It lies along the course of the River Irk and the Rochdale Canal, on undulating land in the foothills of the Pennines, 1 mile (1.6 km) west of Oldham, 4.5 miles (7.2 km) south of Rochdale and 6 miles (9.7 km) northeast of the city of Manchester.
Historically part of Lancashire, Chadderton’s early history is marked by its status as a manorial township, with its own line of lords and overlords, who included the Asshetons, Chethams, Radclyffes and Traffords. Chadderton in the Middle Ages was chiefly distinguished by its two mansions, Foxdenton Hall and Chadderton Hall, and by the prestigious families who occupied them. Farming was the main industry of the area, with locals supplementing their incomes by hand-loom woollen weaving in the domestic system.
Chadderton’s urbanisation and expansion largely coincided with developments in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian era. A late-19th-century factory-building boom transformed Chadderton from a rural township into a major mill town—one of several in its region—and the second most populous urban district in the United Kingdom. More than 50 cotton mills had been built in Chadderton by 1914.