Sir John Byron bought the manor of Rochdale in 1638. It remained in his family until 1824, when Lord Byron the poet sold it to James Dearden. It was then passed down through the Dearden family to Jeremy James Dearden, who inherited the Manor in 1980 from his father James Dearden. Jeremy Dearden was the Lord of the Manor until 2013 when he sold his interest.
Rochdale had no manor house but the "Orchard" built in 1702 was acquired in 1745 by Simon Dearden. This was the home of the lords of the manor after 1824. It was described as "a red-brick building of no architectural distinction, on the north side of the river opposite the town hall", this was on toad lane, and sometimes referred to as the Manor House. It was demolished in 1922 and the War memorial is now on the site of the old house.
When Jeremy Dearden inherited the Lord of the Manor in 1980 his objectives were to maintain the income stream where possible, but also ensure the general management and up keep of the common for the people of Rochdale. From the early 1980’s through to 2006 the Steward to the Lord of the Manor was the solicitor Peter Jackson, at that time Andrew Crossley was the surveyor to the Manor and in 2006 he was appointed the new Steward.
The current Lord of the Manor is Andrew Scott, the brother-in-law of Jeremy James Dearden. The objectives are again to generate an income from the Manor and the common land owned by it, but also to try and improve the look and accessibility of the Moors for the benefit of the Rochdale community. Further to this is the implementation of improvements to the easterly moors, in the form of the SSSI improvements and the HLS schemes with the help of Natural England.