Saddleworth is nestled by the English Pennines, directly on the idyllic borders of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Uninhabited moorland comprises the majority of its acreage, with more than half of the area lying over 1,000 feet above sea level. Most of the villages grew up in the valleys around the arrival of the textile mills and the turnpike roads, but the original settlements of land labourers and monasteries sit higher up on the hillsides.

Historically Saddleworth sits within the West Riding of Yorkshire, but due to the isolation imposed by the Pennines, it has made more sense for administration to derive from Oldham. Whilst the town of Oldham belongs to Lancashire, the historic Yorkshire boundaries were never abolished - Saddleworth is one of the few areas which under traditional rules, could provide cricketers for both Yorkshire and Lancashire! Understandably, opinions differ surrounding this issue as with any historic border debate where lines have been manipulated to facilitate government administration.

Communicative and industrial advances over the past couple of centuries have meant that Saddleworth is nowhere near as remote as it once was. The M62, which stretches from Liverpool to Leeds runs close by and is easily accessible (in good weather!) from most of the northern conurbation. This stretch of the M62 running past Saddleworth is possibly the most memorable stretch of English motorway one will ever travel on. Not only does the Saddleworth junction lie at the highest point of any motorway in the UK, but just a few hundred yards away, the carriageways famously split from each other in order to circumnavigate a farmhouse!

Web links:
Reference Map
Detailed map of the area provided by Saddleworth Historical Society

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