The town of Oldham ˈoʊldəm' covers an area of around 26 square miles (67 km2) and has a population of more than 230,000,it is the centre of the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham within Greater Manchester, England. It is situated beneath the Pennines between the rivers Irk and Medlock, 6.9 miles (11.1 km) northeast of the city ofManchester and 5.3 miles (8.5 km) southeast of Rochdale .
In medieval times Oldham made woollen textiles - but in the 19th century cotton was king. Oldham became one of the world's first industrialised towns and a prominent international centre of textile manufacture, it was said to be "one of the most important centres of cotton and textile industries in England" and at it's peak produced more cotton than France and Germany combined.
By the mid-20th century Oldham's time as "Spindleopolis" was over, with the town's last mill closing in 1998.
Today Oldham is a predominantly residential town, with the ambition to become an expanding centre for further education and the performing arts. Now - many of the cotton mills and other buildings from the heyday of the cotton industry still survive and have been repurposed as business centres and warehouses, while the old Town Hall has been refurbished to house a cluster of cafes and a cinema with a new public space Parliament Square, created alongside - in the place of a former bus station.