Lying amongst the Pennines, Oldham is a large town in Greater Manchester, England.
A boomtown of the Industrial Revolution, and one of the first ever industrialised towns, Oldham truly rose to prominence in the 19th century as an international centre of textile manufacture famed for cotton-spinning.
Since the mid-20th century Oldham's manufacturing industries have given way to home shopping, publishing, healthcare and food processing sectors, and the town today is predominantly residential. However, it is still distinguished architecturally by its cotton mills and other surviving buildings from the cotton industry.
Following extensive redevelopment, Oldham's town centre embraces a high concentration of retailing and cultural facilities. Its two shopping centres, Town Square and The Spindles, offer one of Greater Manchester's largest covered retail areas, with the latter (whose name refers to textile spindles) boasting one of the oldest stained glass roofs in Europe. Historically renowned for its theatrical culture, Oldham is home to the Oldham Coliseum Theatre and the Oldham Theatre Workshop and remains a centre for the performing arts and further education.
Another major landmark is the neo-classical Old Town Hall, one of the last purpose built town halls in northwest England. It is from the steps of here that Sir Winston Churchill made his inaugural acceptance speech in 1900.
Oldham also lays claim to the origin of several culinary and medical advances, including the first chip shop, the savoury dish Rag Pudding, the founding of Yates Wine Lodge and the invention and development of the tubular bandage.
Leading Oldham sports teams include Oldham Athletic football club and Oldham Roughyeds rugby league club, both of whom have achieved league and cup successes, plus a number of cricket teams.