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West Riding
View down Delph Main Street - - 904865.jpg
Grid reference: SD984080
Location: 53°34’8"N, 2°1’24"W
Population: 1,899
Post town: Oldham
Postcode: OL3
Dialling code: 01457
Local Government
Council: Oldham
Oldham East and Saddleworth

Delph is a village in Saddleworth in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It lies at the edge of the moors amongst the Pennines on the River Tame below the village of Denshaw, a little under two miles north of Uppermill.

The centre of the village has barely changed from the 19th century, when a number of small textile mills provided employment for the local community. The result is a village full of old Yorkshire charm.

The village's name is from the Old English word Delf, meaning "quarry", which refers to the bakestone quarries which lay at the lower end of the Castleshaw Valley just north of the village. Bakestones were quarried as tiles up to three quarters of an inch thick and used to bake oatcakes and muffins. The industry was in existence well before 1330 and only died out in 1930.

Outside Delph is a small airport used for light craft and local airshows.

Delph railway station was opened in 1851 as part of the London and North Western Railway route from Oldham to Delph. The station closed in May 1955, when the "Delph Donkey" passenger train service to Delph by way of Greenfield was withdrawn.

Big Society

On Whit Sunday each year, the village plays host to a brass band contest. Some seventy-five bands from across Britain and beyond march down the main street at five minute intervals on the evening of the contest, which often continues into the early hours. In the nearby Saddleworth village of Dobcross a Henry Livings memorial prize is open to bands who play on any of the morning's walks on Whit Friday.

The Millgate Arts Centre in Delph is the home of the Saddleworth Players. This group of actors puts on six plays a year, as well as hosting a number of other events throughout the year.

Popular culture

Delph's is popular with filmmakers. The main street was used in some of the external shots of the 2001 feature film The Parole Officer, starring Steve Coogan. Delph was also used in the filming of the Whit Friday scene in the 1996 film Brassed Off.


View over Delph

Outside links

Villages and hamlets of Saddleworth

Austerlands • Castleshaw • Delph • Denshaw • Diggle • Dobcross • Friezland • Grasscroft • Greenfield • Grotton • Heights • Lydgate • Scouthead • Springhead • Uppermill