Chadderton (pop. 33,000) is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, in Greater Manchester, England. It lies along the course of the River Irk and the Rochdale Canal, on undulating land in the foothills of the Pennines, west of Oldham, south of Rochdale, and northeast of the city of Manchester.
Historically part of Lancashire, Chadderton's early history is marked by its status as a manorial township, with its own line of lords and overlords, who included the Asshetons, Chethams, Radclyffes, and Traffords. Chadderton in the Middle Ages was chiefly distinguished by its two mansions, Foxdenton Hall and Chadderton Hall, and by the prestigious families who occupied them. Farming was the main industry of the area, with locals supplementing their incomes by hand-loom woollen weaving in the domestic system.
Chadderton's urbanisation and expansion largely coincided with developments in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian era. A late 19th century factory-building boom transformed Chadderton from a rural township into a major mill town—one of several in its region—and the second most populous urban district in the United Kingdom. More than 50 cotton mills had been built in Chadderton by 1914.
Although Chadderton's industries declined during the mid-20th century, the town continued to grow as a result of suburbanisation and urban renewal. The legacy of the town's industrial past remains visible in its landscape of red-brick cotton mills, now used as warehouses or distribution centres. Some of these are listed buildings because of their architectural, historical, and cultural significance.