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West Riding
Dobcross from a distance.jpg
Grid reference: SD9906
Location: 53°33’18"N, 2°0’25"W
Post town: Oldham
Postcode: OL3
Dialling code: 01457
Local Government
Council: Oldham
Oldham East and Saddleworth

Dobcross is a village in Saddleworth in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It is found in a valley in the southern Pennines, along the course of the River Tame and the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, 13 miles west of Huddersfield.

Dobcross was anciently a chapelry in the Quickmere division of Saddleworth. For centuries, Dobcross was a hamlet, sustained by domestic flannel and woollen cloth production. Many of the original 17th and 18th century barns and weavers' cottages survive today as listed buildings.[1][2][3]

Together with neighbouring Delph, Dobcross is, geographically, "considered as the centre of Saddleworth", although is not its largest village centre by some margin.[4] Industrial tycoon Henry Platt was born in Dobcross in 1770. John Schlesinger's 1979 film Yanks was filmed on location in Dobcross, and an annual Yanks festival, coupled with a brass band contest on Whit Friday, each contribute to the village's cultural calendar.


Dobcross is located at an ancient crossing point of the River Tame, which was formerly used by trans-Pennine packhorses as they travelled east from Lancashire to Yorkshire.

At this crossing point of the River Tame lies the site of Walk Mill, which derives its name from the way the wool was 'walked' or trodden to 'Full' the cloth before the introduction of mechanical stocks by which the cloth was beaten with fulling hammers to felt and thicken it. Probably the earliest fulling mill in Saddleworth, Walk Mill would have been a common meeting place for the local clothiers.

Beginning with Richard, the Lawton family ran the mill from at least the late 16th century, if not earlier, and their later wealth in buildings, land and money probably came from the monopoly held by the fulling mill in finishing locally made cloth. The size of the business can be estimated in that by 1792, Saddleworth saw the production of 36,637 cloth pieces, each priced at 7 pounds each. A total of 1,480,000 lbs of wool had been used in their manufacture. From wool to the innkeeping business, the Lawton family continued to be a prominent family in Dobcross through to the early 19th century.

On the morning of Whit Friday, the traditional Whit Walks – a church procession followed by a service – take place in Saddleworth parish. Saddleworth and District Whit Friday Brass Band Contests take place every year on the afternoon and evening of Whit Friday. In the village of Dobcross a Henry Livings memorial prize is open to bands who have played on any of the morning's walks.


  1. "1-5 Edge End, Dobcross". 2001. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  2. "Brownhill Bridge Mill". 2001. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  3. "Holly Grove". 2001. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  4. Banes & Parson 1822, p. 262.


  • Baines, Edward; Parson, William (1822). History, directory & gazeteer, of the county of York. E. Baines 

Further reading

  • Livings, Henry (1975) That the Medals and the Baton Be Put on View: story of a village band, 1875-1975. Newton Abbot: David & Charles (relating to Dobcross Band).

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Dobcross)
Villages and hamlets of Saddleworth

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