Rockliffe House

Rockliffe House was built by John Maden cotton spinner and manufacturer, in 1866 on land once known as Raw Cliffe. John started off life as a humble handloom weaver, born at Bent in the hamlet of Heald. At the age of twenty, he married and, encouraged by his wife, he saved his first £5.00, walking over Rooley Moor Road to deposit the money in Fentons Bank Rochdale, terrified that someone would steal the money from him. Like many families of the time, John and his wife had several children, but only one son Henry born in 1829 survived to carry on the business his father had built up. At the age of 50, Henry married his housekeeper Martha Darlington on 3rd July 1878 in the parish church at Bettwys- y- Coed. Henry and Martha had no children that survived infancy, Henry, however, did have an illegitimate son John Henry Kay, whose name was changed by deed poll in 1885 to John Henry Maden.


Following his name change, John came to live in Bacup taking a great interest in the welfare of the town and its people. Shortly after his marriage in April 1891, the death of the Duke of Devonshire caused a vacancy in the Rossendale Division, which was then represented in the House of Commons by the Duke’s son, the Marquis of Hartington. Mr Maden was adopted and his name was put forward as the most suitable of candidates, when the day of the election came, Mr Maden was returned by a majority of 1,244 votes over his opponent Sir Thomas Brooks.


Elected to the Bacup Council in 1896. He served as the Mayor of the Bacup Borough a total of 13 times and was knighted in 1915.


There is no doubt the Maden family was very well-loved by the people of Bacup, having donated the land on Burnley Road for the Liberal Club, the Maden Public Baths now the Maden Centre and the Maden Recreation Ground. Following Henry’s death from cancer on 18th February 1920, at which time he left an estate valued at £213,248.5s.11d, his son, also called Henry but known as Hal who was a barrister, took over the family business.


By 1939 the house was being used as separate dwellings.