The Greater Manchester town with quaint cottages and stunning views where everyone knows each other


Nestled at the foothills of the Pennines and on the western edge of Saddleworth Moor sits the town of Mossley. Owing its spectacular views to the upper Tame Valley, Mossley boasts steep streets and rows of character buildings against a stunning backdrop of sweeping countryside.

Despite being just over the hill from Ashton-under-Lyne, it’s very different from its neighbor with a more rural feel. The town is home to many listed buildings including stone cottages, farms and a local church. Mossley is also a great base for exploring the local area too, with several walking routes starting in and around the village, up along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal or out into the nearby hills thanks to its close proximity to the Peak District and the moors.

the living Tameside town gets its name from the words moss, meaning a boggy area, and read, meaning a clearing in a wood. At one time, much of the area was thickly wooded, and boars would have roamed there, but over the years trees were felled and the hillsides used to graze sheep.

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Mossley boasts steep streets, rows of stone houses and character buildings

“We know loads of our neighbours. I do lots of stuff in the community here – it’s a really nice community. In fact, a friend came here who was looking to move. I gave her a tour of the area. I bought my kids up here, now they’re teenagers.”

The town, which is split into two sections, has a bustling centre, with shops, pubs, a community center and cafes lining the main streets in both Top and Bottom Mossley. But how do residents find life in one of Greater Manchester’s beauty spots?

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Rachel Summerscales says her favorite part about the area is the community. “What I really like about it is that people know each other,” the 49-year-old told the Manchester Evening News.

The town has lovely views

Lydia Stent has lived in Mossley for 20 years. She says she “loves” the area and has always felt safe in the town. “It’s great. I’ve loved it,” the 60-year-old added. “There are nice and friendly people. I always feel safe and there are good schools around here. I love the views, the countryside. I couldn’t live anywhere else.”

Rachel Summerscales with dog Barney

People have lived in Mossley since at least the stone age. The ancient road which runs along the eastern side of the valley above Micklehurst was improved by the Romans, who used to travel between the forts at Melandra ( Glossop ) and Castleshaw ( Saddleworth ).

The town is lined with four houses

Susan Keymer has lived in Mossley her entire life. The 57-year-old says while she adores the “lovely” views, she fears the area has become “built-up”. “It’s just a lovely, friendly place to live,” the 56-year-old added. “People who come to live in Mossley from outside the area feel like they are welcomed into the community.

Susan Keymer

“It’s a lovely place with lovely views. It’s getting a bit more built up now but that’s the case across most of the country.” Valerie Brook moved to Mossley from Oldham as it was cheaper to buy. On arrival, she says she was n’t keen on the tight-knit community spirit – but she now loves it.

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Susan Keymer

“It’s a lovely place with lovely views. It’s getting a bit more built up now but that’s the case across most of the country.” Valerie Brook moved to Mossley from Oldham as it was cheaper to buy. On arrival, she says she was n’t keen on the tight-knit community spirit – but she now loves it.

“I’ve lived here for 47 years,” she added. I love Mosley. I love how everyone knows everyone. At first, I didn’t like it. But once I got used to it I did. I love the countryside; it’s lovely. And we have good train stations and bus routes.”

The town is packed with pretty cottages

Mossley became a borough in 1885 and was part of Lancashire until 1974, when it was made part of Tameside. Wool production was the chief industry in the village in the 1700s and 1800s, when it was full of weavers’ cottages with weaving rooms.

When powered looms were invented, woolen and cotton mills were built along the valley bottom. The Huddersfield Narrow Canal and Transpennine Railway were constructed, along with mills along the valley bottom, and Mossley expanded to fill the valley.

The town is known as a Greater Manchester beauty spot

Alicea Hagh moved to Mossley from Huddersfield with her husband. She says she feels “free” living in the area with the stunning countryside and walking routes. “The area is nice. We don’t have any issues,” the 27-year-old told the Manchester Evening News. “I’m from Huddersfield originally.

“There are lovely walks to Uppermill and Carrbrook. My favorite thing is the countryside, being free and exploring different areas. It’s cute on Bonfire Night, they put on a display at the cricket club and at Christmas there’s a music group that come around and play.”

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Frederick Robinson, 91, was three-and-a-half when he moved to Mossley. He says the town has changed a lot since that time – especially the number of cars on the roads. “It’s changed a lot now – all these cars,” he continued. It was the odd horse now and again in the early 30s. There was the odd taxi.”

Frederick Robinson, 91

Amber Macrae has grown up in Mossley. The 18-year-old added: “I’ve lived here seven years. I’ve grown up here. I think the community is really nice and it’s great to live in the countryside.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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