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Rochdale Town Hall

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Rochdale Town Hall

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Rochdale Town Hall

It was specifically the gothic Town Hall tower’s stained-glass window that Hitler is supposed to have wanted to acquire. In the light of this, the second world war memorial to those who lost their lives during the conflict is doubly poignant, marking the sacrifice that ensured he didn’t get his hands on it.

Costing £160,000, Rochdale Town Hall was completed in 1871 and designed by WH Crossland, who also built the Royal Holloway College in London. The building’s original clock tower – which measured 240 feet – was destroyed by fire in 1883, and the present tower, stained-glass windows and all, was designed by Alfred Waterhouse in 1887.

The golden lion statues at the front bear the emblems of Rochdale, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and symbolise the part played by the town in bringing about peace between the two warring counties in the 15th century.

Photo: © Mike J Davis

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The town hall in Rochdale is one of the most ornate town halls in the country and, rumour has it, Adolf Hitler wanted to take it back to Germany brick by brick had he won the war! With a clock tower standing at 191ft, it dominated the town centre until the building of the new bus station and council offices in the late 1970s.

Jeff Mills


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My favourite Icon of England has to be the Cornish Pasty.

Ian Baldry

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