Saddleworth has been, since 1974, a civil parish of the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham in Greater Manchester, England. It comprises several villages and hamlets along the west side of the Pennine hills: Austerlands, Delph, Denshaw, Dobcross, Greenfield, Grotton, Lydgate, Scouthead, Springhead, and Uppermill.
Saddleworth, which lies east of the large town of Oldham and east-northeast of the city of Manchester, is broadly rural, and has a scattered population of 24,351, making it one of the larger civil parishes in the United Kingdom. Until 1974 Saddleworth was a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire.
For centuries Saddleworth was a centre of home-produced woollen cloth. The cloth reached the markets through an agent who would supply the raw wool and pay for the cloth produced. During the 18th and 19th centuries Saddleworth became a centre for cotton spinning and weaving, so much so that by the end of Queen Victoria's reign, mechanized textile production had become a vital part of the local economy. The boom in industry called for greater transport links, including the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and several railways.
Following the Great Depression of the 1920s and '30s Saddleworth's textile sector declined. Much of Saddleworth's architecture and infrastructure dates from its textile processing days however, notably the Saddleworth Viaduct and several cottages and terraces.
Ecclesiastically, Saddleworth was part of the parish of Rochdale and was therefore long talked of as "the part of Yorkshire where Lancastrians lived". The former Saddleworth Urban District was the only part of the West Riding to have been amalgamated into the new county of Greater Manchester in 1974. However, strong cultural links with Yorkshire remain amongst its communities. There are several brass bands in the parish.
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Saddleworth. This is a very extensive article covering the history of Saddleworth from many angles.