Saddleworth in the Community

Diggle sits on the outer edge of Saddleworth, just before the ascent over to West Yorkshire. In consistency with Delph and Denshaw nearby, it remains as one of Saddleworth's more rural areas, with much more to it than just the long main road running through up towards Standedge. A series of small settlements such as Harrop Green and the Diglea conservation area are prime examples of traditional pre-Industrial weaving settlements.

The Industrial Revolution left several indications of its occurrence in Diggle. The 3 mile Standedge canal tunnel - the longest, deepest and highest of its kind in the country - begins in Diggle and stretches through the hillside emerging on the other side in Marsden. Its construction in the early 1800s is recognised nationally as a great feat engineering. Although out of use for many years, the project of restoring and re-opening the canal and tunnel was taken on by the Millennium Commission. Completed in 2001, the tunnel is now once again open for business with less emphasis on transporting textiles and more on transporting those who enjoy the tranquility of a canal holiday.

The railway tunnels through Standedge were also constructed in the mid 19th century. Although Diggle station has been closed for many years, the tunnel is still an important thoroughfare for the Huddersfield to Manchester train.

In common with other Saddleworth villages, the majority of the mills in Diggle are now closed, either demolished or put to other uses. Wharf Mill, like many old mills in Saddleworth is now comprised of small businesses, while Diggle Mill, which no longer exists, used to operate the second largest water wheel in the UK.

There have been new housing developments built in Diggle, but the village still remains slightly off the beaten track. Many farms are still active around the village and the community is still one of close and rural orientation. Perhaps the most unusual hub of social interaction is the tiny, but legendary Diggle Chippy. More often than not there is a small crowd of smiles and banter to keep one occupied in the queue for dinner. Leisure attractions include canal cruising, fishing and walking - both along the canal path as well as up onto the moors.

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