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The River Roch (pronounced "roach") is a river in Greater Manchestermarker in North West England, a tributary of the River Irwell that gives Rochdalemarker its name.


Rising on Chelburn Moor (south of Todmordenmarker in the Pennines), the river flows south through Littleboroughmarker towards Rochdalemarker where it is joined by the River Beal at Belfieldmarker, and the River Spodden from Whitworth. Turning west it runs past Heywoodmarker and Burymarker before meeting the River Irwell just to the east of Radcliffemarker.


The river gets its name from "rached", a Celtic word meaning "river by the forest".

The Domesday Book (1086) gives the name "Recedham" for the settlement that became Rochdalemarker.

The river has been culverted in Rochdalemarker town centre since the early 20th century. This was built by the joining together of seven bridges to form one large bridge, making it one of the widest bridges in the world. Maintenance work was carried out on the bridge in the 1990s and the river was uncovered temporarily.


Moving upstream from the Irwell confluence, the tributaries include the following: -


Image:Source of the Roch 1.JPG|The source on Chelburn MoorImage:Roch Aquaduct.jpg|Aqueduct across the Caldervale RailwayImage:Looking downsteam from Smallbridge.jpg|Looking downstream from SmallbridgeImage:Beal and Roch Confluence.JPG|Confluence of River BealImage:River Roch after heavy rain 2.jpg|Flowing under one of the world's widest bridgesImage:River Roch Town Centre.JPG|Rochdale town centre section uncovered during bridge works in the 1990sImage:Spodden Roch Confluence 3.jpg|Confluence of River SpoddenImage:River Roch Bottom o th brow.JPG|Upstream from Bottom o' th' Brow, HeywoodImage:Roch_Irwell_confluence_Keith_Williamson.jpg‎|Confluence with River Irwell


  1. Link4Life | Covering the River Roch in Rochdale | Provider of arts, sport and heritage development work in the Rochdale area

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