Birch Hill Hospital has stood at the foot of the West Pennines, overlooking Dearnley and Rochdale, since 1877. Originally opened on 1 November 1877 as a Workhouse by Rochdale Union, it later became a hospital. In 1902 the Workhouse was expanded with a hospital block. In 1931 it gained a Children’s Ward and a Maternity Home. In 1948, they all became a part of the newly formed National Health Service.