The most common renewable energy source mentioned in Rochdale medieval and early post-medieval documents was water power.
Uses of water power
Water power was used in watermills for grinding flower and also in fulling mills, to process wool.
An early water mill in Rochdale
Near to the market on the south-west side was a house occupied by Thomas Holme,
which was reputed to have been the ancient ” Milne House ” 2
p.50 Fishwick’s History of the Parish of Rochdale.
An early water mill in Middleton
You can still see the remains of an early water mill at Hopwood, Middleton. It has recently been cleaned up a little.
Conflicts over water power sources
By the 16th Century the growing cottage textile industry saw conflicts over streams that could be used to power fulling mills. One example I will detail was in the moors above Whitworth,